informant was just testing our agent to see what his reaction would
Schwartz, the Kid was last seen in the flesh about mid-February when he crossed
a state highway heading into the roundwood country of northern Pike County.
However, there was later circumstantial evidence, as incontestable as a trout
in a milk pail, as to his subsequent whereabouts and activities. About six
weeks after the last sighting, Marion Traynor, the chief operator of the
Louisiana waterworks, was scouting around in the woods in preparation for the
opening of the spring season on turkey gobblers, birds he loves to hunt with a
muzzle-loading black-powder shotgun. In a thicket near an old quarry northeast
of Bowling Green, Traynor came upon a set of moose antlers, the halves of which
were lying within 10 feet of each other. "I have a little schooling in
conservation and I own a lot of outdoor books," said Traynor. "So with
all the stories of this moose, and knowing from reading what they should look
like. I knew what these were right off. There were signs he had been lying
around in that spot for a few days."
the antlers (they were 41 inches tip to tip with a seven-inch skull space) and
then took them to Jeff Pennock, another state wildlife biologist who resides in
There the matter
rests for the moment. The consensus among mooseologists is that the Kid is in
the ravine and brush country that covers much of the area between Louisiana and
Hannibal—lying doggo as he did during his antlerless periods in Iowa in 1977
and in northeast Missouri in 1978.
places in those bottoms that we call Africa," says Brown, the veteran game
warden who knows the country as well as anyone. "A moose or anything else
could lay up in there for a long time without being seen."
That is a
reasonable assumption. Beyond it there remains considerable speculation about
what the Missouri Kid will do and where he'll go next, say in the fall. One
fanciful theory is that his ultimate objective is to get to New Orleans for
Mardi Gras and that he was just waiting around in Pike County for the police
strike to be settled in that city. While this might seem beyond the realm of
possibility, the Kid has already stretched a good many realms beyond what had
previously been regarded as possible. In a technical zoological way, he has
expanded the known range of his species farther than any other moose.
Indisputably he has enlarged the folklore of the true-blue classic American
Sensation. Even more significantly, if one cares to pursue the subject, the
Missouri Kid has greatly deepened the always intriguing mystery that has to do
with the inner world of other species.