It's 8:20 a.m. at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game office, and the moose patrol is ready to prowl the streets of Idaho Falls looking for the normally reclusive member of the deer family.
There always has been a bit of a problem with marauding moose, but this winter some residents think the situation has gone too far.8:32 a.m.: The phone rings. Secretary Trish Crockett handles yet another moose complaint, one of hundreds so far this winter.
"The first moose in town was at the hospital," she says. "They complained he was eating all the new ornamental shrubs they'd just planted."
This year the moose patrol has removed 34 moose, mostly from yards in Idaho Falls but also from other local communities. Crockett said people first call to say they have a moose in their yard, but they enjoy watching the animal.
"In a few days, they call back to ask us to pick up the moose because they're eating all their bushes," she said.
Moose are browsers. In the winter they nibble on the woody branches of shrubs and trees, aspen and arborvitae being their favorite city grub. The moose have moved into the city because two years of drought have dried up forage in their usual winter range.
8:45 a.m.: Seven Fish and Game officers are preparing dart guns and horse trailers to haul the moose to other areas. A CBS news team filmed the operation on Wednesday.
10:03 a.m.: The patrol spots a calf behind a newly built house, and conservation officer Bruce Penske is sent down the long driveway to shoot the moose with a paralyzing dart.
Penske must carefully estimate the animal's weight and calculate the dosage, as a slight overdose could kill it.
While the patrol has successfully removed 34 moose, four have died of drug complications during capture so far this year. However, wildlife biologist Justin Naderman said that is not a bad record.
If the animal falls too soon after being hit by the dart, it could be a sign it received too much of the drug, and there is no antidote. The men waiting at the end of the driveway begin to worry after 15 minutes have passed.
10:25: The moose calf falls, and the rest of the men join Penske.
The downed male calf's condition is checked. He is tagged and moved into the trailer on a stretcher. Naderman holds its big head up by a soft ear and counts respiration.
"He's going to be all right; he's breathing better now," he says after watching it carefully for about 10 minutes.
That calf, and an adult and another calf both caught later that day in St. Anthony, are relocated to Copper Basin.
They will join four other relocated moose in the remote area about 100 miles northwest of Idaho Falls.