Will moose attack you if you encounter them in the wild? Moose were thought to be less dangerous compared to bears, but a lot of people have begun to question the safety of hanging around moose. This is because, in Alaska, more people are injured by moose yearly. In the past, it was from the bears that people used to run away from, but recently, moose have taken over as the more dangerous animal to be wary of.
You most certainly can’t avoid running into a moose if you go hiking or camping in the woods. What then can you do when you run into a moose?
What to Do When You Encounter a Moose?
In most cases, cow moose will run away when you threaten them. But in some certain conditions, they can behave aggressively and even may attack you. You can easily get hurt by an aggressive moose which is why we advise that you avoid them in the first place and stay in a safe distance.
Keep kids and pets away from them as they can do serious damage in a short time. When a moose charges directly at you, the right thing to do is to back away, run and take cover behind a tree. Or better yet run into a building or lock yourself inside your car and scream for help.
“Last year October, myself and the pack (family) went camping in the woods. After a few days, our son Billy ran into a moose and tried to touch it. We had advised the kids earlier not to stray too far from the pack. But his love for nature photography almost cost him his legs.
He was chased by the moose and he fell into a ditch and was trapped in there for close to an hour. We were lucky that some other hikers walking the trail heard him screaming and came to his rescue. He spent a week in the hospital and had to put on a cast for 3 months before he could walk again.
Still, I consider ourselves to be very lucky that he fell in the ditch. If not, we could be sharing a different story.” Said Lucas who wrote us from Alaska.
What to Do when a Moose is in the way?
Sometimes when driving in the wild, you might run into a moose or other animals in front of your vehicle. The first thing you need to do is to secure yourself in the car and turn off your engine. Patience is the key if you can’t find an alternate route around the animal.
If you wait a few minutes, the moose will likely move away. If you are traveling alone in North America and don’t mind been chased by a moose, you can try to scare it off by blaring your car horn. We advise that you don’t under any circumstances exit your vehicle to confront a moose.
If you’ve got a guard dog, you can let him out of the car to give the moose a chase. A moose will normally get startled when it is being chased by an animal. But you want to get your dog back to you as quickly as possible to prevent him from running into their territory.
Moose Invading your Backyard
Just like bears, moose can also occasionally get close to human settlements. You can even run into them in your backyard ravaging through your trash in search of food. This is mostly at night when they move around to eat.
You want to clear your thrash regularly to keep them and other wild animals away from your property. Ensure that you install outside lights in your property as the bright lights can discourage them from coming your way.
Are Moose Dangerous?
Having read up to this point, you should already conclude that moose are dangerous creatures. Yes, they are! But they are not the worst breed of animals you can encounter in the wild or backyard. Charging directly at a moose can get it upset or any form of flash photography. This is why we recommend taking pictures from a faraway distance.
No matter what, don’t think of getting close to the animal to take a selfie or pet it. Although they are strict vegetarians and won’t eat your brains out, they can also leave you in a not too good condition.
In a publication by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, it was revealed that moose tend to be more aggressive in spring and summer. Especially when they are protecting their calves. You also want to avoid running into a male moose in fall as this is mating season, and unless you are a female moose, you shouldn’t think of sticking around.
Things to Avoid Around Moose
It is only important that you note the do’s and don’ts when you run into a moose. If you had a hard time comprehending what was discussed above, we believe this short summary will be more explicit
- Don’t go charging at a moose
- Stay in the car and lock all the doors
- Don’t try to feed it or give it water to drink
- Don’t get tempted to hit a moose with your vehicle. This is because they are extremely tall and large creatures and would damage your vehicle or even cause some bodily harm to the occupants.
- On no condition should you take selfies or flash photography with a moose. Unless you don’t mind a trip to the ER (or worse).
- When a moose starts charging at you, run as fast as your legs can carry you and don’t look back.
Some signs to look for in a moose that it is becoming angry include
- When it stops eating and stares directly at you.
- When it drops down its ear and lifts the hair on its hips, hump, or neck.
- If it grinds its teeth or licks its lips.
- If it lowers its head and walks in your direction.
- Reveals the white colors in its eyes.
- Urinates and throw its head backward
These are all signs that you are encroaching on its territory and the moose might soon attack.