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Thread: Moose more dangerous than bears?

  1. #1
    Cheechaquo33
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    Default Moose more dangerous than bears?

    I've heard this from many Alaskans. Some told me that people are killed by Moose every year, within Anchorage city limits. I've dug around and found some stories, but nothing that corroborates such an extreme claim.

    During my time in the Alaskan bush, I had a few moose encounters. They seemed surprsingly bold, or unafraid, compared with skittish caribou. But I never encountered a bear, so I can't compare.

    So, please share your moose stories, knowledge, perhaps links to moose attack news...

  2. #2
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    They are exsadurating. there are not that many people killed by moose in Anchorage. There are lots of dangerous situations encountered but few result in deaths.
    Unless they are including car accedents as well. There might be one or 2 of them each year.

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    I remember one case where a person was stomped to death by a moose at the doors to the University here in Anchorage. The stomping was shown on television news. That's the only death I can recall. Bears? I can remember two deaths (one incident) a few years ago at McHugh Creek. The bear had a kill stashed near the trail. The hikers (Marcie Trent and son Larry Waldron) happened upon the bear. Very sad.

    The primary danger that I've seen with moose is in the winter when they're on a narrow and packed trail and you come upon them leaving them no place to escape easily. It happens while on skis and snowmachines very regularly. A guy needs to be aware and avoid those controntations. Just give them space. Dog teams get beat-up and/or killed by moose fairly regularly. Same deal.

    Personally I've had a few close encounters with bears. One involved contact (no gun). I've been really close with moose, but we both wanted to get away, not tangle. My mission was to figure which way the moose was going to go by me and then allow it by the biggest margin possible.

  4. #4

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    About a month ago, there was a moose hanging out outside my apartment in Anchorage. He wouldn't let me leave my place! I was a good 40 yards from him, but he became awfully ornery. He started huffing, stomping on the ground and moving around in every which direction... I had to go back inside and wait for him to leave.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    They are dangerous animals but such encounters rarely result in deaths.
    I use to encounter them dog mushing all the time. there was one outing that I saw 36 moose. I have never had them try to stomp me or my dogs.
    Most of the people that I have talked to that got in to real trouble did some thing stupid. not all though

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    You couple a mama moose with a newborn calf and you had better have your track shoes on.

    I had a hundred yard sprint in early June from a PO'd mama. I was walking cross country to fish my way down a stream near Dillingham. I saw her at about 80 yards as I walked across an open meadow and she was about 10 yards inside the spruce on the edge. Having been in this area for a few springs, I figured a cow her size has a calf...and close. So, I circle out to more than 100 yards to keep things safe and go way out of my way. I figure things are ok, and I knew she had seen me and hadn't reacted yet so I figured I was far enough away. I started to relax, then I heard crashing, and soon realized it was getting louder, about 60 yards away she came crashin out of the spruce runnin hard...and soon so was I,it was more than a hundred yards to the nearest piece of woods and I headed straight for it with her on my tail. She closed to within 20 yards and stayed there for about 100 yards until she slowed to a trot, and I to a tired sprint, then she was at a walk and I stayed on runnin until I had a 150 yard lead...then I nearly puked and bootscooted back to camp at a brisk trot. I've been really close to bears...and even charged. But figured with her, running was the best option hands down, she didn't come at me to prove a point...she wanted the threat neutralized or gone. This was instinct but luckily it was right, I asked the local biologist what to do if one actually got that close, I've seen plenty of laid back ears and raised hairs and have had the boat charged by mama's a few times, he said the best option is to run and find a tree to climb, and quick.

    It seems bears can be handled, and bluffed back, and satisfied by posturing and etc. If a moose wants a piece...don't stand there and expect her to hit the brakes at ten feet. I personally am much more concerned,( in the springtime mainly) by moose than I am of bears...but they both get my undivided respect.

  7. #7
    Cheechaquo33
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    Default thanks for all these replies..

    ... I had a standoff with a moose myself. She was maybe 50 feet away. She urinated, raised her hackles, and seemed very agitated. I didn't know I was supposed to run. I fired my shotgun once in the air, which made her flinch but not depart. I couldn't believe it! Another shot finally got her loping casually away. This was on flat, open tundra, not a confined trail. It happened in early December, and I saw no sign of a calf. I'm wondering if there was maybe something wrong with this creature. Do moose normally react so lazily to gunfire? Do they get rabies or anything like it?

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    They can get rabies,but I doubt this one did because it backed down. sort of

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I remember one case where a person was stomped to death by a moose at the doors to the University here in Anchorage. The stomping was shown on television news. That's the only death I can recall....
    A couple of years later an elderly woman was killed by a moose in Anchorage in her backyard. Apparently her dog had been let out into the yard, pissed the moose off, and the woman went out into the yard to see was the dog was barking at.

    I can't seem to find a link to the story.........

    ....Bears? I can remember two deaths (one incident) a few years ago at McHugh Creek....
    There have been lots of bear fatalities over the past decade. Here's a good site listing them.

    Note there have been 52 fatalities attributed to black bears and 50 attributed to brown bears........

    ....The primary danger that I've seen with moose is in the winter when they're on a narrow and packed trail and you come upon them leaving them no place to escape easily. It happens while on skis and snowmachines very regularly....
    That's how my close call came with a moose.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I've never been charged by a bear and I've run into plenty. I have been charged by 4 moose (not at the same time). This is probably how the myths get started....that I have been charged by moose = moose are meaner = more contact = more death.

    That's a similar line of reasoning to bear ran away from wolverine = wolverine is tougher = wolverines can and often do beat up bears.

    People draw conclusions based on incomplete evidence.

    I don't want to be assaulted by any of them.

  11. #11
    Cheechaquo33
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    Soggy -

    Perhaps, based on your experience, (and stuff I've heard from many Alaskans) it is possible to say that moose tend to be more exciteable than bears? Maybe 'dangerous' is the wrong word..

    I just thought of another explanation. Maybe there are simply more moose than bears...

  12. #12
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I've run into plenty of both. Haven't been hurt by either. But, I tend to think of moose is more easily agitated. I could be wrong...just the way it seems to me. I don't think I consider them more dangerous in the whole. Just a bit more "froggy."

    One thought is that 2 and probably 3 of the four had been acclimated to people. 1 in Anchorage, one in Glennallen, and one in Chitina right at the corner. Enough to make you wonder whether the same moose would have acted so in a different environment?

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    The wife's a RN in a ICU she sees allot more moose stompings than bear attacks. Also I've seen a bull in rut stomp a VW bug flatter than a pancake, personally it sure seems like moose gone bad encounters are more common than bear gone bad. In fact we have a spike fork wondering our "neighborhood" right now who has chased both dogs and people.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I believe that there are a lot more moose stomping then bear attacks, but I suspect that there are many times more moose encounters then bear encounters. I also think problem moose are less likly to be shot.

  15. #15
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    I believe that there are a lot more moose stomping then bear attacks, but I suspect that there are many times more moose encounters then bear encounters....
    Yup. There are an estimated 140,000 bears in Alaska (100,000 blacks, 35,000 browns, and 5,000 polars).

    There are an estimated 200,000 moose in Alaska.

    ....I also think problem moose are less likly to be shot.
    I agree.

    But if I catch one nibbling on my apple tree, I'll shoot him in the ass with my BB gun.

    If I catch a bear in my garbage trailer or chasing my livestock, he gets 540 grains of Brenneke slug in the boiler room.....

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    The moose that stomped the elderly lady to death happened about 15 years ago. She was house sitting for her son Mel Brown and the dogs stirred up the moose and when she went to see what the ruckus was all about she was killed.

    By the way one sign that a moose is really getting agitated other than the hackles being raised up is when animal starts licking it's lips in an agitated manner. If you see that happening you know you are in a dangerous situation.

  17. #17
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Outside of Moose Pass

    Was out hunting last year...on the way out to Spencer Glacier area for goat. I was just off the RR tracks out of Moose Pass. I heard a Horny bull calling just inside the dense treeline/brush. I stopped to see if I could get a good view of him. He was grunting like crazy ! After about 30 seconds of me standing there 15 feet from the treeline, he charged out of the brush. He had one antler. He stood looking at me from about 10 feet away. He was huffing and puffing. I was too afraid to move. I would've never had the chance to unsling my rifle, let alone shoot him. He stared at me for about 20 seconds (felt like 20 minutes) just a huffing away, before he trotted his way down the RR tracks. The only thing I could think of was "if i did manage to shoot this moose in DLP, would F&G believe me? He wasn't a legal moose, and it was just out of season"? I'd hate to have to haul his meat out 10 miles each way (x 10 trips). That would've really sucked. I think what saved me from getting stomped was that I didn't move a muscle. I thought he was so horny at the time, that he was gonna bend me over and have his way with me ! After that thought went through my head..I figured ...." what goes on outside of Moose Pass, stays outside of Moose Pass....".
    Johnny

  18. #18
    Cheechaquo33
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    HAHAHA! Moose rape. It's a taboo subject and I think we should start addressing it. I mean, haven't we all been raped by a moose at one time or another?

  19. #19
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver_99654 View Post
    ....I heard a Horny bull calling just inside the dense treeline/brush. I stopped to see if I could get a good view of him. He was grunting like crazy ! After about 30 seconds of me standing there 15 feet from the treeline, he charged out of the brush. He had one antler. He stood looking at me from about 10 feet away. He was huffing and puffing. I was too afraid to move. I would've never had the chance to unsling my rifle, let alone shoot him. He stared at me for about 20 seconds (felt like 20 minutes) just a huffing away, before he trotted his way down the RR tracks.....
    I came across a similar scene once, but it was during hunting season, it was a legal bull, and I had my rifle in my hands.

    It was the first year moose season opened on August 20th. I was just out scouting an area out. It was tough to get in. I had to cross a few beaver dams, swinging a machete. Once I got in there, it was moose haven. It was a nursery. Lots of cows with calves.

    Then I walked up to the spike bull. He was huffing and puffing, but it wasn't with anger or threatening. It was obvious frustration. One of his little spikes was on the ground and the other was dangling from his head by a little skin. He had torn the area up pretty well. I stood there some 15 yards away, cradling my rifle in my arms, and we stared at each other while he huffed and puffed.

    It occurred to me to shoot him, but there was no way I was going to get my buggy in there, and I didn't feel much like carrying his ass out of that jungle, over the dams, through the creeks, etc on my back.

    So I talked to him. He stood there for a while, then proceeded to rub the other spike off on a tree. Then he simply walked away, still huffing and puffing.

    I picked up one of the spikes and kept it. It's somewhere with all the bear oosiks, etc............

    Less than a half hour later I was treated to the spectacle of coyotes fishing for salmon, but that's another story.................

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