Friday, October 23, 2020
Moose Charges Hikers Near Ketchum
Moose, derived from the Algonquian word for “stripper and eater of bark,” can stand 7 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 1,300 pounds. They are generally slow moving and sedentary but can move quickly if angered or startling.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

An aggressive cow moose bluffed charged a family in the Adams Gulch area north of Ketchum on Friday.

The family of three was walking with a baby in a stroller and two leashed dogs when a cow moose charged them as they walked along the creek. Cow moose are nothing to mess with as they can stand nearly 7 feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 1,100 pounds.

The adult male put himself between the charging moose, yelling and raising his arms. It worked, as the moose stopped just in front of the family.

Chris Jensen said she was hiking in Adams Gulch that day and heard a gunshot.

"I've been around dogs when they get spooked when they hear a gunshot, fireworks or thunder."

Idaho Fish and Game officers are cautioning hikers to use caution when hiking in Adams Gulch. If you encounter a moose, give it a wide birth, as moose can become agitated if they feel you’re a threat.

“Moose are very large animals and can be extremely dangerous when agitated,” said conservation officer Brandyn Hurd. “Even though they are large animals, they are extremely fast and will use their front hooves to strike out at whatever they view as a threat.”

Hikers should never let their dog chase a moose, as dogs rank high on the ungulate’s list of threats.

Make noise to announce your presence so you do not surprise a moose, bear or any other wildlife. Do not hike or run on a trail with headphones or ear buds, as most wildlife give out warning sounds prior to an attack or aggressive mood and listening to music eliminates what Fish and Game calls your “extremely valuable sense of hearing.”

If you encounter a moose, look for signs of agitation or stress. If the moose lays its ears back or lets the hair on the back of its neck raise, it’s stressed and could charge at any time. Moose will often snort or grunt or stomp their hooves if they feel threatened.

If you see any of these behaviors, put something between you and the moose, such as a tree or vehicle.

Never put yourself between a cow and calf, however. Realize, too, that males can become very agitated during the mating rut in fall when the males fight among themselves over the females. Moose can also become stressed out in late winter when they’re coming out of a long winter, food is scarce and their fat reserves are depleted.

If you encounter an aggressive moose or any other wildlife, call the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359. After hours, call the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office at 208-788-5555.



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