The Moose Drop Inns name was inspired by the Moose Lifts of 1985 and 1987.
Moose are a native species to the Upper Peninsula but were wiped out by the early twentieth century. Habitat changes, increased deer population, and overharvesting are believed to have contributed to the disappearance of Moose in the UP.
By the mid 1960s habitat of the UP had once again shifted and the deer population was diminishing, creating a situation where the reintroduction of moose to the UP was plausible. It took 20 more years but the dream of reintroducing moose to the UP was made real with the Moose Lifts of 1985 and 1987.
The Michigan DNR in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources devised a plan to translocate moose from the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario Canada to Michigamme Township in Marquette County. Moose were located by helicopter in the park and driven onto a frozen lake. The moose were then tranquillized, antlers removed, ears plugged, blindfolded, and harnessed for their first leg of their trip to Michigamme. During the first leg of the trip the moose were suspended beneath a transport helicopter and flown 15 miles to base camp.
At base camp each animal’s health was checked, they were tagged with an ear tag and a radio collar, crated up and loaded on a truck for a 600 mile overnight ride to Michigamme. The animals were released onto the Peshekee grade just north of the Moose Drop Inn. Hundreds of spectators gathered in below zero degree weather to welcome the moose to their new home.
The first Moose Lift in 1985; 19 Cows and 10 Bulls were released. The second in 1987; 15 Cows and 15 Bulls were released. Given average growth the population in our area in 2014 there were approximately 475 animals.
All the Moose in the Upper Peninsula are descendants of the original 59 dropped here 30 years ago. The best time and place to go looking for Moose is dawn and dusk around swampy areas.