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Nick - Cacher

What do you do when a moose comes running around the corner on a single track hiking trail?

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I ask because just this last Saturday I was about ready to go on a hike where a moose came barreling around the corner! I've heard they can get dangerous.

 

I went up a canyon where cars have to pay a fee to get past the gate on the road. I drove up 6 miles.

 

When I got to where the road ends and a dirt trail begins, at first I was excited to go hiking, but then decided to relax inside my car for five minutes. Just a couple of minutes later, I saw something dashing in my direction. I looked up and saw a moose moving quickly and was less than 10 feet from my car. After it passed my car, it stopped for a second, looked around, and then with speed started down the paved road I just drove up. I thought to myself, "If I would have started my hike right when I parked here, I would have been on this trail when it came barreling around the corner."

 

Since that thought freaked me out, I am asking if anyone here knows what you're supposed to do if you're in a situation like the one I almost got in? I was about ready to hike on a narrow single track trail, thick with trees on both sides. Do you try to move off the trail a bit? Would a moose ignore you if you try that, or would they just charge you?

 

Another reason I'm concerned: You know how people can get "concealed carry" permits for carrying guns? I have one of those and was carrying both a 9mm handgun and some of that grizzly bear pepper spray which shoots a cone shaped spray out 35 feet. If a moose comes around the corner, wouldn't that be awkward to then make a police report "I just shot my gun several times at a moose within 'City Limits' and sprayed it with my pepper spray"? I also don't know how much a 9mm handgun will protect you from something as big as a moose.

 

This really concerns me! What do you do if you're caught in a situation like this?

Edited by Nick - Cacher

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I would get off the trail as far and quick as I could, dropping my pack if it hindered my movement in the thick trees.

 

And moose are incredibly fast. I can't imagine you could get an effective stopping power with a charging moose that has closed within 35 feet. They are like mountains.

 

Same with a sidearm.

 

Part of me just wants to say try getting to one side and out of sight as fast as your mortal self can and pray.

Edited by ATMouse
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Our xcountry ski trails are popular with local moose in wintertime. I guess this is because they are packed down more than the surrounding bush snow. Moose still put deep holes in the surface regardless but only calf deep for them, much better than the other places that can have several metres of snow over brush and logs. It is not unusual to find yourself 'catching up to' a moose on a downhill run and they won't move period. Then ensues a wait it out period. I was at one cabin on the system with a woman that was getting concerned that her husband had not come back from the second cabin, maybe an hour round trip from the first. I had just decided that I could go up and look for him (not planned part of my day) when I heard skis approaching. It was him, he had been waiting for the moose for over an hour after nearly running into it. We decided to head down to the parking lot and I was going ahead only to find the moose had moved alright... down the trail. Didn't want to move for me either. Or for the three of us when they caught up. We went back to the cabin to wait where it was warm... met up with 3 more heading down and finally with six of us 'acting out' it decided to turn and run away, right down the ski track. One of the chaps had wanted to use a bear banger to move it. I didn't like the idea. and still don't after watching the way it 'cleared the track'. I had only come up that same track a short time before and would not like to have a moose come at me unnanounced at full trot. Bad enough when they are simply in a hurry, but when startled or afraid for their lives? Same could be said for bears etc. I support not doing anything to annoy them if possible. For your sake and others you may not know are there. Moving out of the way is always a good move, especially when there is little time.

Flattening yourself at the same time might help. Moose don't run for fun as far as I know, so it is either hostile to you or fleeing something else. If it intends to get you, then be a lousy target, if it is fleeing, then you are of no consequence, move or get run down like everything else... and pay attention to WHY it is fleeing ASAP. Fire? Predator? Fool with pyrotechnics? Other?

They seem to be adept at not running into things if they can help it (or don't intend to do so), so move aside and look big and hard or move and duck to be no obstruction at all, I'd say. You likely wouldn't have time for countermeasures if it appeared suddenly regardless since it takes time to recognize a threat, acknowledge the threat, draw, remove safety, aim and initiate. Not to mention considering should I, repercussions etc. And that is for something like BearSpray, not a gun. Better to duck. We don't get the option of carrying up here though, except for Prospector Permits. Long guns are to big when you are loaded down most times doing something. BS wouldn't do anything for you either.

 

Welcome to the woods.

 

Doug 7rxc

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I have never hiked in moose country, but I have read and heard a few stories about it that if it is mating season, a male moose can be the single most dangerous animal on the planet. If you see one and it spots you, you drop everything and run like hell and hope that you get into trees thick enough to slow him down a little. If you find a tree strong enough to take it a raging moose, climb it and wait it out. But again, this is one of those situations you probably best know the area you are in and time of year you are in. Moose mating season, just avoid being in an area moose may be.

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Oh! "Moose"! I thought the title said "mouse", so I was very curious to see what you were talking about.

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Oh! "Moose"! I thought the title said "mouse", so I was very curious to see what you were talking about.

Mice can cause more damage over time than any moose. The moose mostly bide their sweet time about things, until they are moved to action. Mice destroy wiring, food, crap everywhere (but then what critter doesn't), carry diseases (I can't remember anyone catching anything from a moose except it's wrath) and so on. Size isn't all that matters, or attitude. Hey it's a jungle out there, or at least a forest. My real sworn enemies seem to be chipmunks, sometimes squirrels. They have a knack for causing the most damage to food possible when it gets left exposed, even for a few seconds... Ever notice that given an unprotected loaf of bread, they bore straight up the middle of the loaf, rather than nibbling on the end piece or one of the middle ones... nah, they ruin the whole thing.

Porcupines seem to like the sulphur in older tires (not sure about new versions), and were famous for taking tires off of untended travel trailers and sometimes cars in cottage country (Ontario). On the other hand they can carefully be taken by hand with the right tool and when roasted are great, other than dump porcs... same goes for groundhogs, ones raised in grain fields rival good beef. Avoid garbage dump GH.

 

BTW I suspect that Groundspeak takes a dim view of harming Hamsters except for placing in caches that might get ignored.

 

Doug 7rxc

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I read a story once about a dog sled race (Iditorod, I think it was). This particular racer packed a bolt action rifle while racing. Apparently, some racers do not, to save weight. This "packing" racer said he came around a bend and runs up on a scary scene. He sees it's Susan Butcher and her team is being stomped into the snow by a PO's bull moose. He drops the moose and gives aid to her and the surviving dogs.

 

Packing a bolt rifle or a shotgun with slugs would work to stop a moose, but that would be a tough load to tote. Plus it might not be legal where you are. I hear that moose have really bad vision, but good hearing/sense of smell. Be mindfull of that. Be still/quiet and stay downwind.

 

An example of that....another story I read: Bowhunter (and owner of the Bowsite.com) Pat Lefemine was bowhunting for moose. His tactic was to attract the attention of a rutting bull...breaking dead branches to see what he could scare up in earshot. He got more than he bargained for, faster than he bargained for. Immediately after breaking the first branch he heard a freight train coming right in. Small trees moving breaking freight train. Sure enough, it is a large bull running full speed right to him and the sound he made. The only thing he had time to do was duck behind a small bush nearby. He said the bull went straight to where he broke the branch a few yards away. It never saw him, even as he sent an arrow through it's lungs while it slowed to investigate what made the sound.

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I almost feel worse when I'm in a car in angry moose country because what they do to cars is not cute when they're mad.

 

On foot I go the prevention route. Don't get them all mad and be mindful of cows and calves and ornery males. Moose aren't the most lithe and graceful creatures. If they are wanting to chase you off once they feel safe they'll go away. I'd run out of immediate sight (dropping anything holding me back as said before) and probably go into denser/harder to negotiate woods that is going to slow the moose down. But honestly I've only had a couple moose issues both were resolved by turn around and leaving without a big to do. They're not predatory just territorial.

 

Most all my moose encounters have been peaceful. Been able to canoe closer to them without issue (didn't know they were there initially) and been out in the woods with them and usually have no issues. Just hit and miss.

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I have never hiked in moose country, but I have read and heard a few stories about it that if it is mating season, a male moose can be the single most dangerous animal on the planet. If you see one and it spots you, you drop everything and run like hell and hope that you get into trees thick enough to slow him down a little. If you find a tree strong enough to take it a raging moose, climb it and wait it out. But again, this is one of those situations you probably best know the area you are in and time of year you are in. Moose mating season, just avoid being in an area moose may be.

 

Um... I don't think I would do that.

 

Male moose can be dangerous if they mistake you as another male moose during mating season. Most cases, they are not dangerous.

You will also never out run a moose. I've seen them bomb through insanely thick bush that you or I would struggle to crawl through. They simply tilt their head back (rack across their shoulders) and go.

 

Your best bet when it doubt (or dealing with a running moose) is to find a large tree and stand behind it. A running moose is a spooked moose.

If it is not on the run, enjoy the view of this animal and don't bother it.

 

And don't expect your vehicle to save you. These animals are very agressive if provoked. DO NOT HONK your horn at one.

 

To the OP, the best course of action would have been simply step off the trail into the bush and possibly behind a tree. The moose isn't running for you and will take the path of least resistance.

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One of my favs.

 

 

Wayne

Sudbury, On.

 

Wow! That is amazing that a huge animal like a moose can move that fast in incredibly deep snow. It just shows how much strength they have to be able to muscle their way through the fluffy stuff. I wouldn't want to get in their way.

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Not as good as Wayne's video, this was shot with my dash cam while returning home from geocaching. Was shot just East of Noelville Ontario on a middle of no where hwy. If you look closely, you'll see the grass get kicked up on the hood.

We didn't stick around as it turned around and decided to come towards us.

 

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Run run run....

 

And if that moose begins to attack you, get that 9mm out and start shooting!!

 

I don't care what you think the police report will look like - you're defending your life!!!

 

If you're not willing to shoot in self defense, then don't carry a gun.

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Run run run....

 

And if that moose begins to attack you, get that 9mm out and start shooting!!

 

I don't care what you think the police report will look like - you're defending your life!!!

 

If you're not willing to shoot in self defense, then don't carry a gun.

 

We can't carry handguns here in Canada. Carrying a rifle around everywhere you go would get you some odd looks.

 

As the folks in the video Tec posted did, give the moose the right of way and if possible, put natural obsticals between you and it. Most cases, these animals are looking for the path of least resistance (unless you are honking at a male during mating season, then he's looking straight at you).

 

The moose in my video was a bit odd as it was stopped on the side of the road before it decided to run with the turbo. What you don't see in the video is I had a whole half second to stand on the clutch and brake before the wife yelled.

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I decided I am never going to moose country!!!! :blink:

Moose are not that big a problem generally. Ornery sometimes, sure. So am I, sometimes! :rolleyes:

 

This guy was also a bit threatening, but turned out to be fairly docile recently.

4a957a25-63bf-4d62-9cce-eed485a11fec.jpg

 

I was seeking a cache (DNF) and it came up behind me while I was occupied, I thought it was one of the many ducks there.

Luckily it was 'friendly', seems tail raising is a natural pastime when they are eating.

 

Sort of a Garboesque "I want to be alone" thing. :blink:

 

Doug 7rxc

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I decided I am never going to moose country!!!! :blink:

Moose are not that big a problem generally. Ornery sometimes, sure. So am I, sometimes! :rolleyes:

 

This guy was also a bit threatening, but turned out to be fairly docile recently.

4a957a25-63bf-4d62-9cce-eed485a11fec.jpg

 

I was seeking a cache (DNF) and it came up behind me while I was occupied, I thought it was one of the many ducks there.

Luckily it was 'friendly', seems tail raising is a natural pastime when they are eating.

 

Sort of a Garboesque "I want to be alone" thing. :blink:

 

Doug 7rxc

 

My cat has a friend that looks just like that. Nearly gave her friend a pat on the head one night until I realized it wasn't the neighbor's cat.

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I know this is a very old thread but

My wife's uncle was almost stomped to death about 15 year ago

The only thing that saved him was a log that he was able to crawl under

As it was he had broken ribs, bruises all over

He managed to crawl back to his snowmobile and get to a road before collapsing

Luckily a passing motorist found him and got him to the hospital

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The only moose I've seen in the wild was out in Yellowstone National Park. It was quite far away, so it was difficult to judge how big it was.

 

I have, however, stood next to a stuffed moose at Cabelas and those things are not just tall but extremely muscular. I would NOT want to be in the way if it decided it didn't like me and I sure as heck couldn't outrun it (neither can you! :ph34r: ).

 

I always thought this "moose attack" video was pretty scary. Just how fast one of these monsters can be on top of you in thick brush.

 

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The log Henry was able to crawl under saved his life

The moose kept kicking at him and the log for quite some time

ER doctor said he looked like he had been run over by a car

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I have seen, and other cachers have reported on several occasions, moose within Edmonton city limits.

 

So far they've just kept to themselves, and so have we.

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If a moose came running around the corner I would step as far out of the way as possible preferably off the trail and behind big trees. However I would not necessarily assume that it was after me unless it saw me first and then started charging. I have been standing within about 25 feet of a bull moose ambling down a trail and it basically paid no attention to me.

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i live in Finland and we got alot of moose here so we run in to them quite often, always remember that the animal is for sure more afraid of you than you're afraid of them... Just scream as loud as you can and the moose will hopefully run away... But if you come in betwen a mother and her cob you might be in trouble!

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We spent a week on Isle Royale NP this summer and encountered three moose. Park officials tell you the first thing to do is stop and don't approach. Then look all around to make sure you are not in between a mother and her calf.

post-4841-030431500 1411144076_thumb.jpg

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First, forget the gun. Jeeze sakes you are in it's backyard, what shoot it cause you are in it's yard? Frick.

Easy get out of its way. Step aside.

Third, go get some wilderness training.

Fourth, use your brain.

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I would like to see a moose. About a dozen were released in Fiordland New Zealand in the 1930s. (Or around that decade). Many people have recently had searching trips and there are motion activated cameras in the area to hopefully catch one. They have not been sighted for many many years. So I would like to see one on a trail.

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Guess I try to feed them... Or just try to get out of its way. Anyway, moose doesn't looks like a very dangerous animal.

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