Moose Safety and Our Future
Spring time has finally arrived in Colorado for good, I think it is safe to say that we won’t see any more snow outside of the mountains for a few months. It’s hard to believe that it snowed a fair amount only three weeks ago, enough to damage my trees and bushes which were already full of leaves. I think they will recover though, just as I have been recovering quite well from my back surgeries in March, enough that I have been able to get out and do some lake fishing quite a few times so far this year. Like many, I am anxious to get outdoors in the spring time, and I also feel the need to provide some important safety information for those venturing outside. In this case, it’s about moose.
Ten days ago in Colorado two women were attacked by a moose while out for a leisurely hike with a dog. Luckily they were not killed, but sustained some serious injuries. You can see a video by clicking here. I also wrote a post about moose awareness last year, which you can read by clicking here. I won’t repeat all of that information in this post, so please read the previous post; it has some very interesting information, and some vital techniques for dealing with moose. This is an article that I will repost every year as I continue to gain new readers, and I consider this to be very important information.
Just to pique your interest, I will repeat one paragraph here: Aside from their aggressiveness, moose are incredibly huge animals. A moose is 5’ – 6.5’ tall at the shoulders, and weighs up to 1,800 pounds. Add to that a large neck, a head larger than that of a horse, and if it is a bull, add on a massive rack that can reach 6’ wide. In addition to their size, moose are surprisingly fast, with the ability to run at 35 miles per hour. A moose will typically attack you with its antlers (or head if it is a cow) and front hooves, which are deadly. That’s a pretty scary mass of wild animal coming at you if an encounter happens. Hopefully that is enough to get you to read more about this magnificent animal, and the dangers that it presents.
While it is difficult to find information on moose attacks across all of North America, I did discover that there are about four deaths per year attributed to moose attacks, but non-lethal attacks/aggressive encounters average over 120 per year, and none of them happened to beautiful women who were shopping for shoes at the time. But now that spring is here, your awareness of moose should be heightened as the cows (females) are very protective of their young calves. In any statistics I found, I discounted the dumbass behavior of people like the idiot in this video, click here to see what not to do with a moose. Notice the beer bottle in his right hand. We never see what really happened to him, but I hope he at least got a hoof in the head.
One thing to keep in mind is that the wild animals have learned to adapt, and you may encounter wild animals in places that you wouldn’t expect to. The women last week who were attacked by a moose were walking on a dirt road in a mountain subdivision, not a remote wilderness area. A friend of mine sent me a picture the other day of three mountain lions in the back yard of his neighbor outside of Boulder, CO. I see coyotes in my neighborhood on a regular basis, and a friend of my son had one of his two dogs snatched by coyotes from the end of the leash his dad was holding while taking them for a walk in his neighborhood less than a mile from his house.
As our human population grows, and our effectiveness at wildlife management continues to improve, it results in more human vs. wildlife encounters, and that’s OK, we have to learn to live with it. We should be happy that that we encounter wild animals. But we need to be smart about those encounters, because when something goes wrong, the humans are never the ones who get shot or euthanized; it’s always the wild animal, whose habitat we have encroached upon.
If you are a hunter you already know how much we have done to not only preserve, but to exponentially grow our wild game populations. If you are a non-hunter, I encourage you to learn more about wildlife management, and to understand how those of us that fish and hunt have restored our wildlife in North America. The first step is to keep reading my website because I write about this topic often. But go the extra mile and buy a fishing license, even if you don’t plan to fish; that money goes towards wildlife management. Also, get young kids interested in the outdoors. If the next generations are not interested in the outdoors, then our wild places will go away, and you won’t have to worry about getting attacked by a moose or any other wild animal.
Just this week I have felt good enough about my recovery from my surgery that I booked a horse back fishing trip to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area with my two sons; a trip that I have taken every year for the past 15 years either by myself, or with others. Both of my sons have taken this trip with me multiple times, and they will take their sons on the same trip in the future. Maybe someday I can convince my daughter to go, and she will then bring her daughter. I’m doing my part, are you?