Elk vs Moose

Elk vs Moose–How to Tell the Difference

Every year several moose are mistakenly shot and killed by hunters who do not take the time to differentiate between the obvious differences between the two big game species.  The penalties are severe for taking a moose without a license, even if it was by accident.  Bottom line–know your target and be able to distinguish between an elk vs a moose.  The following pictures and descriptions will help you decide whether you are looking at an elk vs moose.

Elk vs. Moose

Bull Elk–Copyright Paul Avant

Elk vs. Moose

Bull Moose–Copyright Paul Avant

Elk vs. Moose

Cow Elk–Copyright Paul Avant

Elk vs. Moose

Cow Moose

Elk vs moose–a description of each animal.


BODY:  reddish brown to light brown, darker legs

NECK:  distinctly darker brown color compared to body

SNOUT:  slender and pointed

RUMP:  pale yellow to white

BULL ANTLERS:  long brow tines, distinct main beam and points, no palmation


BODY:  dark blackish brown, lighter white-gray legs

NECK:  same color as body, pronounced beard on throat

SNOUT:  large, bulbous nose

RUMP:  yellowish color and lighter than body

BULL ANTLERS:  palmated, tines protrude from edges