Know your moose.

That is the message coming from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry about being careful about stalking legal animals in the upcoming provincial moose hunt.

The MNRF asks hunters to be sure what they are shooting at to avoid killing animals not available for hunting based on the type of tags a hunter or group of hunters might have.

A calf has a shorter nose and face than an adult.

The press release describes calves having “more body than leg and a sharply pointed shoulder hump.”

An adult moose has a long, bulbous nose, with a longer more rectangular-shaped face with prominent ears and bell.

Calves typically stand around 1.2 metres (four feet) high at the shoulder and weigh in around 160 to 180 kilograms (350 – 400 pounds). Their faces are short and triangular-shaped. A moose calf’s head appears shorter and stouter than that of an adult moose.

The MNRF is also asking hunters to pause when spotting a single moose without antlers. Take a look around for nearby a calf. Yearlings do not stick as close to a mother, but the calf is often found very nearby.

The hunting season based on location and type of tag goes from now to as late as November 15th. You should check for the dates in your area and type of tag. Fines for killing an animal without the proper tag can range from $2,000 to $5,000. Depending on the offense there can be other fines given as well.

The 2018 harvest numbers for the southern Ontario zone, which includes the Muskoka area, shows 659 moose are available for harvest out of an estimated population in the area of 6,505.

The MNRF encourage hunters who have had a mistaken kill to call the Conservation Tip line 1 877-847-7667 and self-report. Penalties include forfeiting the animal plus fines ranging from $500 to 25,000.