Moose.

bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

There was an overly friendly moose on the trail today. I terrified a few old ladies getting that moose off the trail, I think. She, the moose, was only a mile or so from the trailhead. The ladies were waiting and said they’d feel better if I went first so I did. The moose wouldn’t move so I fired a warning shot after giving the ladies a fair warning it was coming. She moved, but just trotted further down the trail. I followed her shouting at her but she stopped and just started eating right on the trail. I fired another shot which sent her trotting back down toward the river. When I went back to tell the old ladies the coast was clear, they were gone, headed back down I guess. Imagine my disappointment in not being hailed as the conquering hero and vanquisher of great beasts by some old ladies.

Replies

  • GoldenladleGoldenladle Super Moderator Posts: 3,874 Senior Member

    Curious, would you have treated the moose the same if it was a cow with calves?

    I frequently run across moose on Rock Creek but they always seem to just move away. The ones with babies have gotten aggressive so I just give them a plenty of space.

    Moved to Montana, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    I would have scared her off, yes. I will always go around as a first option but thats not as easy on a forest service trail in the mountains as it is on the river. Doubt this one had calves since they are usually aggressive when they do as you note. I’ve only ever been charged by cows and a single gunshot into the dirt typically sends them running. I spoke to some campers at the first lake who said they watched her from a vantage point closely follow a group of girls up the trail the day prior. No idea why she is so friendly but I don’t want to be trampled, so...

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member
    edited June 16 #4

    Also, I would not shoot a moose, outside of intended hunting, save some extraneous circumstance. The bear spray will work on a moose same as a bear. A friend came across a moose attacking a dog once, woman screaming in terror, quite the scene I take it -- he said he has never seen a moose move as fast as that one when he bear sprayed in its face. Dog was ok, beat up a little, but walking. I figure the warning shot is better as a warning than just spraying the thing as I dont know if she has a calf nearby and the spray plus pain that goes with it is going to be a lot harder and more stressful on her than a loud bang and short spook.

  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,815 Senior Member

    When I lived in Oslo moose would come down from the nearby mountains in the fall to eat fallen apples in the orchards. They apparently liked the rotting ones in particular, which would ferment in their gut and get them drunk. When an intoxicated moose blocked the two lane road that led out to our kids' school and the little NATO PX and commissary traffic could be held up for a long, long time.

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    Also, I would not shoot a moose, outside of intended hunting, save some extraneous circumstance. The bear spray will work on a moose same as a bear. A friend came across a moose attacking a dog once, woman screaming in terror, quite the scene I take it -- he said he has never seen a moose move as fast as that one when he bear sprayed in its face. Dog was ok, beat up a little, but walking. I figure the warning shot is better as a warning than just spraying the thing as I dont know if she has a calf nearby and the spray plus pain that goes with it is going to be a lot harder and more stressful on her than a loud bang and short spook.

    Your friend should have let the moose finish off the dog and pepper sprayed the owner.
    The dog should be on a lead if there's a chance of wildlife encounters---common sense 101

    The moose was working on instincts as a dog and wolf are the same to it

    If people wish to get the wild experience they should abide by its rules---if they want a 100% safe encounter with animals, they should go to a zoo---otherwise your in their house

    And yes the shot would be better---bear bangers also work
    You would hope a blinded moose wouldn't injure itself fleeing

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    I disagree. There is a difference between and out of control dog off lead and a trained dog under voice control or out hunting. I have no idea whether this particular dog provoked the moose or not, but I have had my dogs charged when I was between them and the moose. If a cow has a calf she may very well charge whether the dogs are in lead or not, and I can guarantee I or anyone else is going to have a much, much slower reaction to the situation holding a dog on lead in one hand.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    With moose calving in the spring---is there something you hunt down there at that time of year with dogs?

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    Nope. I stand by my position.

    There is no reason a dog under control by voice command needs to be on lead. If you are going to take the position that taking a dog into the woods in the spring is poor form, you might as well extend that to being in the woods yourself for the likelihood of moose encounter is no higher with dog or without, just as the likelihood of provoking that moose with a dog is no different whether the dog on heel is on or off lead.

  • CO NativeCO Native Senior Member Posts: 1,488 Senior Member

    I agree with Mike, BUT, only about 5 out of a 100 dogs are that good, but 99 out of 100 dog owners think their dogs are that good.
    Again, it's the owners that cause the problem.

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    I semi-disagree on your numbers, at least as it relates to dogs in the trail. Sure, back east most dogs on trails were s hits. Go to any dog park in town here and you’ll see plenty of a sshole owners with s hit dogs. Buts on the trails the vast majority of dogs, which every other hiker/hiking group seems to have with them, I would call well-behaved, nice dogs. I can think of a couple s hit dogs Ive come across, but the vast majority are not. Now, I can’t say for certain as I’m not seeing them the entire time and the dogs could be wildlife chasers for all I know, but they are all nice, friendly dogs under voice control. I don’t know why this would be different than Colorado, maybe because there are actually things that might kill a dog here - mountain lions, bears, wolves, etc - so those with s hit dogs maybe think better about bringing them?

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    It could also be because I don’t really go on the more crowded, safer (from wildlife) trails around Bozeman.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @CO Native said:
    I agree with Mike, BUT, only about 5 out of a 100 dogs are that good, but 99 out of 100 dog owners think their dogs are that good.
    Again, it's the owners that cause the problem.

    Thanks CO---this makes my point as well as I could have

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    Here are some pitchers from my walk. I did 15 miles, to the the 3rd lake (4th if we count the one at the trailhead) in the series. Did not fish — saw neither rises nor cruising fish, only fish I saw were actively spawning in the inlets and/or outlets. I just sat at the lake, ate lunch, and sullenly wallowed in self pity on being denied my rightful glory and praise by the old ladies.










  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    Nope. I stand by my position.
    There is no reason a dog under control by voice command needs to be on lead. If you are going to take the position that taking a dog into the woods in the spring is poor form, you might as well extend that to being in the woods yourself for the likelihood of moose encounter is no higher with dog or without, just as the likelihood of provoking that moose with a dog is no different whether the dog on heel is on or off lead.

    I have been in the woods in the spring and had encounters

    I'm usually 10 ft from a tree if I had to climb it---or if it's wide open I would see the animal and avoid it

    Fine if your dog heels and when the moose is crushing it's head---then what are you gonna do?

    If the dog's not there that decision does not need to be made

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member
    edited June 16 #16

    So we agree. The decision still needs to be made whether the dog is there or not — there are not trees I can reliably climb and I’m not playing hide and seek with seek with a moose. If a warning doesn’t deter it, it’s getting temporarily blinded

    Its a risk, and if it comes to that there will be a temporarily blind moose. I will not stay out of the wilderness simply because I might disturb some wildlife - I will mitigate the potential for encounter by placing bells on the dogs, something I do not do during the hunting season, and not allowing them to roam.

    If the argument here is to not disturb the wildlife, then we might as all move to the city as we are disturbing it every time we go into the woods, dogs or no.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    So we agree. The decision still needs to be made whether the dog is there or not — there are not trees I can reliably climb and I’m not playing hide and seek with seek with a moose. If a warning doesn’t deter it, it’s getting temporarily blinded
    Its a risk, and if it comes to that there will be a temporarily blind moose. I will not stay out of the wilderness simply because I might disturb some wildlife - I will mitigate the potential for encounter by placing bells on the dogs, something I do not do during the hunting season, and not allowing them to roam.
    If the argument here is to not disturb the wildlife, then we might as all move to the city as we are disturbing it every time we go into the woods, dogs or no.

    It's not about disturbing them---yes we all go out there
    It's about needless confrontation-- Obviously I live in the wilds
    Been a licenced hunter 45 years
    Never ever had to blind a moose on a trail--or take that warning shot
    yet you have given 2 examples in one thread I have not experienced in a lifetime

    Maybe you have people friendly moose there??

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    I think the issue here is that the trail heads into the national forests mainly follow the creek bottom into the valleys at the beginning before they begin to climb. This is where the moose in the mountains are concentrated.

    I live on a river, the Shields, and get the moose coming through my yard. I have only had to run one off once - I chased him off with a rake. For the most part they can avoid people moving up and down the river as this is a large valley, not in the mountains where I am at 30 miles down from the source. It is in the mountains where the forest service trail heads begin that most encounters happen, I think.

  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,765 Senior Member

    Luckily I have not encountered one while out with the dogs.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @Shawn C. said:
    Luckily I have not encountered one while out with the dogs.

    Don't sweat it Shawner---tell the moose that your a "Pens" fan and it will walk away in a cloud of disappointment and sorrow knowing that you have suffered enough :wink:

    In reality...if you see a moose on the trail up ahead---find a rock or a stump and have a seat for 10 minutes or so---sing twinkle twinkle or Hey Jude or your fav Bieber noise loudly
    it'll walk away---a moose is not a predator and hunting Pens fans

    We may place too much importance on our timelines---but a 10 minute sit is not a big deal in the big scheme of life where we find a need to blind an animal or risk a ricochet cuz we need to be somewhere quickly

    It's co-existence---not like the 2nd amendment where you have the right to upset the balance of nature cuz there's somewhere you have to be recreationally

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    Danged Canadian hippies perched high atop their soap boxes igloos!

  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,765 Senior Member

    Also,

    Great pics, Mike! Amazing place up there!

  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,593 Senior Member

    I find the best way to handle a moose is to stick your arm down its throat.

    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • MikeAMikeA Senior Member Posts: 3,783 Senior Member

    Love the pitchers Mike.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    Danged Canadian hippies perched high atop their soap boxes igloos!

    Yes...hippie----last bull moose I took-hunting----I literally shot him between the eyes when he was lookin at me----peace,love ,dope---true story

    And yes stereotypical igloo dwellers---the other day my friend was walking down a trail when he was cut off by a polar bear mid-trail---fortunately he had his pepper spray---he hit the bear in the eyes---the bear darted into the only northern hiway blindly and was tagged by a transport---bear died----all ok--trail clear

    Then me----walkin down a trail in a mountainous area---polar bear blocks the trail again---I hit him in the eyes with pepper spray----yes!!....bear runs away at full speed blindly-----Not sure what happened---maybe cuz I was in the mountains he run off a cliff or fell down a mountainside cuz he couldn't see---anyway---got where I was goin---all good

    Cool---stereotypes are really it

    Smart outdoors people pay heed to those that have been around a while---I did---I am better for it

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    What are the kids saying these days? Something about being triggered, I think.

  • bmmikebmmike Posts: 510 Senior Member

    Also, looks like I am ram hunting this autumn. Yippee.

  • BushartBushart Senior Member Posts: 2,609 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    Also, looks like I am ram hunting this autumn. Yippee.

    Good luck

  • CO NativeCO Native Senior Member Posts: 1,488 Senior Member

    @bmmike said:
    Also, looks like I am ram hunting this autumn. Yippee.

    Did you have to apply for that? I put in for like 12 years in a row for bighorn and never got enough preference points to get one.
    I'm too old now to tote a gun up to where they are. I'll just buy an old scrap Buick and wait for 'em in the spring when they are on the roads and get one that way. ;-)

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