What Does Moose Poop Look Like? ( Scat Pictures)

When we talk about moose poop (scat), most people only think of the dry oval nuggets found in piles. However, this is far from reality, when there’s good vegetation for moose to feed on, the nuggets tend to be soft and glom together. If the vegetation contains a lot of water, moose scat can look like a cow patty and this is why lots of people see summer moose scat and think it is from a bear.

When in doubt, break the scat apart with a stick. Moose are ruminants with an excellent digestive system to break down food properly. Moose scat is characterized by a very fine and consistent texture.  

Moose are the biggest members of the deer family that are easily found in North America. These huge mammals can weigh up to 800kg and stand tall as 6.5ft.

The best way to recognize the presence of moose is from their scat. Though it may seem easy, it is quite tough. The droppings of a moose change based on the climate and the food they eat, so you must learn the effective ways to accurately identify a moose poop.


What does moose poop look like?  The appearance of  Moose poop largely depends on climate due to the kind of food they eat in that period. It also varies based on the availability of water.

In the winter when green vegetation is scarce, moose poop may look like dry, oval nuggets and can be found in piles.

In spring when the snow recedes, moose begin to eat grasses and water becomes readily available. As a result, in springtime, moose scat may become similar to cow dung.

Spring, Summer, Moose Poop
Spring, Summer, Moose Poop

To identify moose poop in any season, you will have to inspect them closely. Moose are ruminants which means all their meals are properly digested. Because of this, their poop has a fine and consistent texture.

In this article, we will have a detailed look at how to accurately identify a moose scat, how to differentiate between a bear’s scat and moose scat, as well as other significant differences.

What does Moose poop look like?

moose poop picture
moose poop picture

As stated earlier, the look of the moose poop depends on what they feed on. Moose are herbivorous animals and thus mainly feed on twigs, bark, and leaves. If you have ever seen a moose, you will understand that it is quite difficult for them to bend their neck low enough to eat low-lying grass.

Because of this, moose prefer to eat barks, twigs, and leaves. They also dive under ponds to eat aquatic plants.

In the winter, they forage around the edges of forests, to feed on bark and twigs of trees. Most of the leaves would have dried up because of the winter so they survive on bark and twigs.

Also, moose cannot get into ponds to eat aquatic plants due to the harsh nature of winter. Thus, their poop during winter resembles dry oval nuggets and can be found in piles. 

When spring sets in, greeneries start to return. Moose also return to foraging in meadows and fields where vegetation is plentiful.

They are also seen foraging in ponds and marshy lands, during springtime, in search of aquatic plants. Because of this, moose droppings tend to soften and glom together during springtime. 

Depending on the quantity of wet vegetation they eat, their droppings can resemble cow dung. In essence, moose poop has different appearances in different climates. 

Moose scat vs bear scat

While the moose scat looks like that of the cow during spring, it greatly resembles that of a bear during the winter.

To correctly differentiate a moose scat from that of a bear, you need to know the difference in their diets. Bears are omnivorous animals that have a very diverse diet ranging from fruits, grain, fish, birds, and other mammals. Bears even hunt down moose! Because of this, bear scat is usually dark.

Also, bears have a simple digestive system. They cannot digest everything they consume. A good amount of what they eat comes out undigested. If you inspect a bear poop using a stick, you will find undigested berries, hair, etc.

Bear scat with undigested berries
Bear scat with undigested berries

This is different from a moose scat. Moose are ruminants and thus thoroughly digest everything that they consume, within the 4 chambers of their stomach. This is why their droppings are of consistent texture.

Thus, the best way to identify a moose scat is to inspect it closely using a stick to search for any undigested food particles. If you don’t find any, then it is most likely a moose scat.

Moose scat vs Elk scat

In parts of Europe and North America, Moose and Elks are seen as the same because they belong to the family of deer. Others, however, consider them different animals.

If you have seen a moose and an elk, you will notice that they do not look similar except for their antlers. Elks tend to be slender and much smaller than the moose. Though their physical appearance differs, their dietary patterns and behavior are quite similar.

Just like the moose, the diet of elks also changes with the climate. In springtime, they forage on meadows and farms, while in winter, they eat the twigs and bark of trees.

Elk Poop
Elk Poop

If you look closely, you may notice that moose droppings are larger and lighter in color than the scat of elks. Elk poop also has more moisture content than moose poop and hence causes a smear when you accidentally step in it.

Also, moose poop turns brown over time, while elk poop usually turns black.

Moose Poop
Dried Moose Poop

Can Moose Scat be used as a fertilizer?

 Moose scat can be used as an organic fertilizer for your plants. Considering the diets of moose during spring and winter, it is advisable to use the scat that is found during spring.

Moose droppings have been considered rich in vital nutrients. The scat contains 74% moisture, NPK of 2.5% N, 1.8% P, 1.2% K. It also contains 1.2% zinc, 1.6% calcium, and 0.7% magnesium.

Aside from being rich in vital nutrients for plants, the moose scat is also rich in organic materials that necessary in maintaining good soil structure. 

The moose scat increases the water retention capacity of the soil. Finally, it is good to note that moose poop does not decay quickly. It will take a while before it begins to disintegrate.

See Also

Caribou vs Moose – What is the difference?

180+ Cute and Funny, Male and Female Deer Names

Best Animal Poop Identification Guide With Pictures