View Poll Results: How do you handle moose on the trail?

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  • Thumb the throttle to see if they spook off?

    2 9.52%
  • Turn around, find alternate route?

    12 57.14%
  • Gun it and try to blast past them?

    0 0%
  • Tell, shout, shoot or make other noise?

    7 33.33%
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Thread: How do you handle moose on the trail?

  1. #1
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default How do you handle moose on the trail?

    Been a thread in the hunting forum and thought it would be to cool to see how we Alaskans actually handle encountering a moose on the trail.
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  2. #2
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    I might do any of those things (and have). All depends on the situation.

  3. #3
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I suppose I'm asking for first reaction. Majority of the time.
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    On the trail the human's choices for how to resolve the situation are practically limitless.

    A far more complex yet similar situation is found commonly right here at my home.

    I speak of the problem you have when there is a cow and calf moose standing at the bus stop before the bus arrives.

    You lose the option to change venue. And you have to solve the problem now because the bus is going to arrive at the bus stop and then young kids get into the picture.

    I ''ve solved this situation quite a number of times. I bring a large handgun and try not to use the gun option.

    They will move on, anytime that you work to scare the Moose away without overly exciting him / them. You can't get them excited for the adrenaline will give them a fight flight reaction. That's what you don't want. And of course you never get between them, or get closer to the calf than the mom.

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I should have made it so you could vote for multiple options. I'm speaking of moose on a snow machine trail, which is why I'm in the snow machine forum. Not sure how we got on the bus stop idea....but I know what your saying.
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  6. #6
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    If conditions allow I pull off the trail and boondock around the moose. Otherwise I slow down to a crawl, or stop, and play the wait and see game.

    If they bail off the trail into deep snow I always try to get by them a fast as I can so they'll calm down sooner
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  7. #7
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    The one option that I use and most of the folks I know use is, "stop and wait for them to move off the trail". I can't come up with a situation where goosing the throttle, making noise, or going faster is even the least bit a smart thing to do around moose. You'll spook them and make them use up critical energy reserves that they need to get through the winter. Going faster is inviting a collision that can cause your own death or serious injury, not to mention that of the moose.

    Just stop and wait. If the moose is moving away and the trail is clear, move by very slowly without causing a bunch of stress.
    Winter is Coming...

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  8. #8
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Last winter was a great example of this scenario. We had record snow depth on the Susitna drainage.
    Many times we encountered moose that simply wouldn't leave the sledding trail. They would run in front of you and were very reluctant to step off the trail. Made for some interesting riding at times.
    The last thing anyone wants is to go toe to toe with a pissed off, starving, exhausted moose on a 5' wide path. At times there was no option to boondock around them. We simply had to wait or convince them them it was better to get off the trail and let us pass.
    (Think '94 tundra hauling construction materials, fuel drums, and freight, you ain't boondocking and turning around isn't an option.)
    BK

  9. #9

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    Same approach as below,


    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    If conditions allow I pull off the trail and boondock around the moose. Otherwise I slow down to a crawl, or stop, and play the wait and see game.

    If they bail off the trail into deep snow I always try to get by them a fast as I can so they'll calm down sooner

  10. #10
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    "Grin and Bear It"

  11. #11

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    While I don't snowmachine, I do encounter moose on a fairly frequent basis while out cross country skiing, running, or mountain biking. In pretty much every instance, my first reaction when seeing them down the trail is to stop. What happens next depends on how the moose reacts. If it turns and walks the other direction or moves off the trail, I will approach accordingly and, if the moose is off the trail far enough, I will pass by, talking to it calmly just to make sure it knows exactly where I am all the time as I go by and that I am not doing anything sudden. If after I first stop, it doesn't move, I will look for a way around. If the moose appears relaxed, I might wait a bit (depending on what I am trying to do) to see if it will eventually move. If I am in a hurry, I will make my decision about turning around or finding a detour through the woods much quicker.

    Really, each situation is going to be somewhat different and will play out differently depending on both my intentions and the actions of the moose.

  12. #12
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    I usually take this action which works 100% of the time.

    See moose on trail
    Turn on Go Pro
    Approach moose
    Make noises
    If bluff charge happens I rev engine and approach moose further
    If second charge happens I pull out glock fire a warning shot at moose.
    1/4 second later I unload clip into moose.
    Once it is dying and incapable of moving I speed off frantically
    Once victorious and no other moose victims in sight I speed home to post the video on internet, blame my actions on having a heart condition.
    Buy burger from mcdonalds, contemplate learning how to quarter a moose.
    Repeat

  13. #13
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Does sound like a skidoo owner....
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  14. #14
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Here are a few more suggestions...on how to deal with a moose on the trail, and about moose encounters in general.

    CO-EXISTING WITH MOOSE

    MOOSE CAN BE AGGRESSIVE.
    Moose have evolved defenses to keep them from becoming easy prey. Unfortunately for humans, moose sometimes perceive us as threats. When a moose feels threatened it has only two choices, either to flee or attack. Normally it will flee, and we can feel glad or apologetic, but when a moose decides to be aggressive, we can find ourselves in a dangerous situation.
    Moose can become aggressive in winter when they are hungry, tired of walking in deep snow, and being harassed by dogs and people. During mating season bull moose may be aggressive towards other bulls and humans.
    Each year in Alaska more people are injured by moose than by bears. In the past ten years two people have died from moose attacks in the Anchorage area. Each year there are at least 5-10 moose-related injuries in the Anchorage area alone, with many reports of charging moose in neighborhoods or on ski trails.

    AVOlD CONFRONTAT1ONS.
    First and most important to avoiding confrontations is to give moose plenty of room. DO NOT APPROACH THEM. Moose, like other animals, have a distance around them, that if entered by another animal--wolf, dog, bear, or human--causes them to react. Biologists call this area "personal space" or "critical distance."

    COWS AND CALVES NEED EXTRA ROOM.
    Moose calves, because of their size and lack of experience, are particularly susceptible to predation. Thus cow moose have evolved some very strong defensive behaviors. If one perceives a threat to its calf, it may attack. A cow moose can defend itself against a full-grown grizzly. If you are out walking and see a calf but not a cow, be very careful; you may have gotten between them and will want to remove yourself without drawing their attention. Calves themselves can also be dangerous. Weighing 200 to 400 pounds by their first winter, they are fully equipped to injure a predator--or a human.
    DOGS AND MOOSE DON'T MIX. Moose are likely to treat dogs just as they do wolves. If Lassie barks and runs towards a moose, the moose is likely to defend itself by lunging, kicking, and chasing the dog. A frightened dog, not having been a wolf for several thousand years, will run back to its master for protection, and you may find yourself between your pet and 1000 pounds of irate moose that seems capable of kicking in four directions at once. Because moose consider dogs to be their enemies they may go out of their way to kick at them, no matter if the dog is on a leash or in a fenced yard. If you have a dog with you, give moose extra room.
    Each year packs of domestic dogs harm and sometimes kill moose. Moose calves are especially vulnerable. It is against the law to allow your pet to harass wildlife. If your dog is a habitual offender it may be destroyed by authorized personnel. Moose need to conserve energy during long Alaska winters. Being chased by dogs can lead to exhaustion, weakness, inability to move to feed, and ultimately death.

    MOOSE BODY LANGUAGE.
    Moose use body language as a method of communication. Understanding this language will help keep both you and the moose out of harms way. The first thing you might notice is that a moose has stopped feeding, walking, or resting, and is looking at you. Its ears will be up and it will be listening as well as looking for clues as to what you are, and what you may be up to. You can stay where you are, or increase the distance between you and the moose. The moose can move towards you, stay put, or move away. What you do influences what the moose does. You should be thinking: Does the moose have room! Does it have a safe escape route! Could it consider me a threat! If the moose has your garden fence on one side, your house on another, and you are in its only path of escape, it is going to behave differently than if it is on the edge of your lawn with only the Chugach Mountains beyond. Even then, what looks like a logical escape route to you isn't always apparent to a moose. Terrified moose have run through and over all manner of things.
    If the moose puts down its head, lowers its ears, and the hair on its back and neck go up, it's time to start worrying and looking for your own escape route. The moose may begin to lick its lips and walk towards you. The moose is telling you very clearly in moose language that either you have gotten too close and are a threat, or, in urban areas where it may have been hand-fed by humans, it may think you have something for it to eat. Regardless of the reason, you are too close and in a dangerous situation. Back off and look for something to get behind.
    A TRUE MOOSE STORY Sour Dough John "l've noticed that moose get angry, especially after a long winter of harassment by people and dogs. Their anger can easily be directed at an innocent bystander. Several years ago I was working on my snow machine in the back yard, when a yearling calf walked out of the woods. Its teeth were clicking, its hackles were up, and its ears laid back. I chuckled as it slowly approached me and when it reached a distance of about 20 yards, I said, who are you trying to kid. When it got to within 10 yards, I waved my hands and yelled Shoo. In an instant I found myself curled in a ball, the moose flailing over me. Fortunately, he left me with only a few bruises, but he definitely proved his point: I was on his turf and he could do what he darned pleased. I had made three mistakes in this unprovoked attack. First, I didn't realize that my dog had been pestering the moose in the woods. Second, I didn't appreciate his verbal warnings. Third, I underestimated his physical capabilities. This moose was in a bad humor and I happened to be in his way. He gave me ample opportunity to retreat, and when I didn't, I made his day.

    IF A MOOSE CHARGES...
    Fortunately most moose charges are bluffs--warnings for you to get back. They should nevertheless be taken seriously. If a moose chases you, get behind something solid. You can run around a tree faster than a moose can. If a moose knocks you down, it may continue running or start stomping and kicking with all four feet. Curl up in a ball, protect your head with your arms, and lie still. Don't try to move until the moose moves a safe distance away or it may renew its attack.

    DON'T FEED MOOSE. 1T'S AGAINST THE LAW!
    Feeding moose either at your house, dumpster, or haystack is against the law. Moose quickly become habituated, and can be very aggressive when they expect to be fed. It may seem harmless to feed a hungry moose out of your car window or off your porch. However, when the same moose charges a child on the way to school, with the hope of a handout, the outcome can be tragic. A moose with a history of unprovoked attacks will be shot by enforcement officers to protect public safety. By feeding a moose, you are likely contributing to its death.

    DON'T RESCUE BABY MOOSE.
    Every year people find "abandoned" moose calves. In most cases the mother has moved off for one reason or another and will return. If you find a calf, remember that its best chance for survival is to be left alone. After early July calves are weaned and capable of surviving on their own, although they remain very vulnerable to predation.

    REMEMBER. . .
    If for any reason you have to get close to a moose, ALWAYS MAINTAIN AN ESCAPE ROUTE.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  15. #15
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    Call adfg, they'll wipe out the whole herd/pack

  16. #16
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    I watch for the moose to make the first move. Every motion will tell you something. Sit and watch. No hurry.

    They will move off most of the time. If not, then go around or turn around. My first thought is to spare the moose any stress. I hate being chased.

    All bets off on a winter hunt though. }:>
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  17. #17
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    All bets off on a winter hunt though.
    Yep. If you're hunting, you better stop your vehicle and shut it off immediately. Any movement of the vehicle that could be seen as "herding with a motorized vehicle" is against the law and will land you in a world of hurt with the wildlife trooper hiding in the bushes over yonder.
    Winter is Coming...

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  18. #18
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    What works for me everytime is walk just a bit closer to the moose and then shimmy up a tree about eight feet. Each time the moose thinks its won and moves off to different ground. Always let cows be between me and calfs..
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  19. #19
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    I did not choose a poll option, my choice(s) are not there. I wait for them to move on, if they are still present after a certain amount of waiting I go offtrail and around.

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