Close encounter of the moose kind

8:42 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Watch how the moose kicks out with its front legs. You definitely don't want to be within reach of those.

9:00 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Here is one that comes to mind. 

Of all the animals I could run into this is the one that worries me the most. 

I would much rather view them like this playing a Gordon Lightfoot song on his "uke a lou lou."

Bullwinkle is no joke. ;)

9:57 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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That first video is in Norwegian, and the dog is a Norwegian "elkhound" - elg is moose in Norwegian so they are really moosehounds. They are bred for hunting moose, among other jobs. I can't quite get the full translation, but the voice at the beginning says something like "as a rule... (unclear)... who is hunting whom".

10:57 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Moose are fascinating animals that I enjoy watching, and I would travel a long way to see one.  We used to see them in Wyoming fairly often.  They have walked through camp before within 10 feet of a campfire.

The Norwegian fellows did not react to the charge in the video.  They may be used to moose, but more likely they were surprised and froze like most people.  If that bull moose had been in full rut, it could have turned out differently.  In this case the dog lead the moose right at the people.  Remember what your dog's alert bark sounds like so you can anticipate wildlife instead of being taken by surprise.  Two of my dogs reacted when I played the video because it was an alert bark to possible danger.


11:09 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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no moose in the san jacintos. I'd like to see one for real though, where would I have to go to see a moose? what is their habitat?

11:18 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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The closest moose to your location are  probably the Uinta Mtns of Utah.  They eat aquatic plants, both emergent like willows, and underwater.  Look for them in large undisturbed riparian areas and meadows with shallow lakes.  In many parts of Alaska they form the main trail network, so make noise in the brush so they know you are coming.

11:41 a.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Plenty of them here in NH. A few people die each year from striking a moose with their car. I once hit a moose but my car was low to the ground, I went between the fore and hind legs and scooped Mr. Moose up for a ride. When I came to a stop, the moose got off my car, kicked in the front quarter panel, and marched off into the woods. My windshield, covered with black hair and reduced to crystals, was two inches from my face. Naturally, the hood was crushed, the dashboard also, and the roof was bent severely. It was a new car. : )

2:05 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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"Skin that one pilgrim and I'll get you another."

For those of you who remember Jeramiah Johnson


2:13 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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"I thought it was kinda cute" 

Um, ok. When encountering a mature Bull Moose, the first adjective that comes to my mind isn't "Cute."

2:27 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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overmywaders, you are incredibly lucky. I'm sure you know, moose collisions are often fatal, because that massively heavy animal is on very long legs. Even in a truck, the vehicle is going to hit the legs of the animal, not its body, which then gets launched through the windshield or onto the roof. Do you use moose whistles on your cars down there?

trailjester, the world's highest population density for moose is in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland. Villagers have trouble with them in their gardens. They're on all the trails. I once counted 48 in a 30 minute drive, and many people can beat that. Last year Parks Canada actually allowed a hunt, too much vegetation munching.

I've never heard of anyone on foot being killed, which seems to be just luck, because people have certainly ended up badly beaten and with many broken bones. I would like to add that females with calves are not to be messed with either. I recently pulled over to watch a calf, and looked up to see the cow charging my car. Reverse! She veered off once I was no longer between her and her calf. Had I seen her, I never would have been.

You also need to be wary of the bulls in winter, when they're hampered by deep snow, because flight is not an option, but fight is. Mostly, though, they're pretty docile. They're very impressive. Also, delicious! :)

3:02 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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I see them fairly frequently in the city forest area right outside my back door, and sometimes have to backtrack and change my running or skiing route to avoid them. I have heard of people getting hurt.

One time I was skiing up one of the main trails and a couple people came down and said there was moose up ahead, more or less being driven down the trail by a log skidder. I pulled off on a side trail and turned to watch them go by. They came around a corner and saw me an my dog, who was straining at the leash out of curiosity. The lead moose approached us, also seeming curious, until it and the dog were just a few meters apart, almost nose to nose, before it turned and headed on down the trail.

Another time on a canoe trip in Algonquin park in Canada we watched a cow moose feeding from a respectful distance -- we had binoculars. She was almost belly deep in the water, and repeatedly stuck her head deep into the water and basically blew bubbles for a good 5-10 seconds before coming up with a mouthful of plants.

5:17 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Ppine- both of my dogs perked up as well, one even started growling.

BigRed- Algonquin park is famous for its moose, in the spring time you can drive along the road early in the morning, around 5 or 6 o'clock, and see dozens of them. They all come out to replenish their sodium levels with all the salt that's been put on the roads to melt the ice. If you look at my Algonquin album from last fall I saw a couple who were stockin up on food before the winter.

5:22 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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If you have a look at my Jacques Lake backpack trip from last year, we shared our campsite with a female moose and her calf. She walked around us by wading through the lake and we left her alone. No sign of fear, really, just caution. 

Curious note in the campsite register, though. A little drawing of two people running, being chased by a bull moose, and the caution 'Never wind your flashlight around a moose!'. I guess the sound of the little dynamo in those wind-up flashlights makes them crazy!

9:00 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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It looks like the moose just wanted the vines off it's head.

12:23 a.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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More people are killed each year in NA by moose than by bears. Both are potentially dangerous. Moose are big, not terribly bright, prey animals. A cow with a calf is arguably more dangerous than a bull, except the latter in rut. I would rank a cow moose with calf more dangerous than a muskox circle. I enjoy seeing them but am always quite wary when I do.

4:31 a.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Anybody else seen the bubble-blowing behavior. We're talking a lot of air. My best guess is that she was blowing mud away from the roots before pulling the plant up.

10:54 a.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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BigRed said:

My best guess is that she was blowing mud away from the roots before pulling the plant up.

Or exhaling the air she has held in her lungs while under water. Horses(as well as other animals do this.)

It seems as though this is somewhat a "common practice" for them. 

Here is a link to a cow doing it although not quite as deep as you describe.

11:13 a.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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A rite of passage in the Northwoods is for young Native Americans to jump on the back of a moose from a canoe in deep water.

A friend of mine was paddling in failing light in the Boundary Waters, MN and hit the back of a moose with his canoe when the animal had his head underwater foraging.

My uncle used to be late to work a few days a month on the Kenai Peninsula when moose hung around in his yard and he couldn't get to his truck.

I have seen 2 moose with their antlers locked together during the rut in Yellowstone, 3 moose swimming across the Snake River, and a cow and a calf walk through our campsite in broad daylilght.  A moose is "a horse designed by a committee."  They are a combination of goofy and dangerous unlike anything else in the bush partly because of their size.

12:16 p.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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I had a cow moose in Denali NP chase me over a 1/2 mile across the tundra after rounding a corner and coming between her and her calf. She chased me and it is hard running across the tundra. I finally ducked into a Sitka Spruce and hugged the trees base with the branches pointing out to keep her away from me. She wandered away after 20 minutes of trying to get to me. I eventually got out from the tree but saw her a short distance away and again she chased me. Eventually I came to the park road and got behind some approaching automobiles. She went back to her calf.

7:56 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Such awesome animals! Climate change is really hurting the population here in Minnesota but when I lived in Utah I used to see them all the time. Albion Basin (Alta Ski Resort) was my go to spot to show visitors Moose. This is my favorite pic of an Albion Moose. I was lucky to find myself on a safe high rock to watch this guy for about 25 minutes.


1:29 p.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Gary P,

That is a great story.  The moose in Denali seem somewhat habituated to people, but that one certainly wasn't.  It could have turned out differently.  You did good to get away from her.

3:21 p.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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My trek on the TCT last year had a rather hair raising encounter with a daddy bull moose. I was hiking by moonlight and headlamp through a laurel thicket above Marion Lake, a laurel thicket that was their "bedroom."  Nothing quite like 2000lbs of bellowing, thrashing, angry moose bearing down on you, at night no less! 
He gave pause when I shone nearly 200 lumens of flashlight in his eyes, but still followed me for about a hundred yards. 

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