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  1. #1

    Default When Moose Attack

    Had an adrenaline rush during my mule deer hunt in Colorado. My bud and I saw many signs driving in saying “moose in area”— we laughed it off... there’s no way moose are out here, we told ourselves. Day 1, we are hiking along a trail when I hear a broken branch and I look to my left and see darkness. That darkness turns out to have eyes and antlers— oh cool, it’s an elk 10 yards from us... wait no... definitely not an elk... run! We book it, have a good chuckle and go about our day. Fast forward two days and we are back hunting in the same area where we saw the moose. My bud and I are split up on opposite sides of a mini canyon and a creek bed between us. The creek bed had thick 10 foot high vegetation, so when I saw the brushes moving 200 yards out, I waited to see what was moving towards me. Like something out of Jurassic Park, the brushes moved closer and closer until out of the opening 20 yards in front of me emerges a calf and cow moose. “Cute photo op”, I think to myself as I grab my phone to take a pic. Before I can get it unlocked, out comes a third moose... the big bull from the first day. I hold still for a solid 10 second before he charges at me. I manage to grab my bear mace and rifle, leaving behind my bag, and sprint into the woods behind me. I’m jumping over and ducking under fallen timber until I’m in it so thick, the bull stops and goes back to his cow. I wait until they leave before making my way back to my bag and calling it quits for the day.

    Lesson learned— those warning signs are for real. Is there a better way to handle moose encounters than running? Anyone else have a scary moose encounter?
    Last edited by Brachii; 11-14-2017 at 10:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    New Mexico


    That would be cool. Even better that you survived!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada


    Lots of stories from my old boss when they used to capture moose a lot. They are no joke. Not being predators, running does not trigger that “chase” response so run/dodge/climb or do whatever it takes to get out of the way of those feet. If you can’t do any of those, a well placed blow to the nose has been known to stop one, but I sure wouldn’t rely on that as my first option if I didn’t have to. If I had bear spray, I would probably use it - couldn’t hurt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Bozeman, MT


    I was in an area one time where on the Forest Service sign heading in, there was "Beware of Moose" Scratched into it. I chuckled and continued on.

    10 minutes later we (my dog and a buddy) popped into a clearing with a moose on the other end. I likewise grabbed my camera for the photo op. It slowly walked closer until my buddy said to hell with it and beat feet to the edge of the timber to take cover. I thought he was being silly, but it kept coming and before long, I too was headed for cover. Grabbed my dog by the collar and took shelter behind a group of saplings in the middle of the meadow. That damn cow ran us around that tree for 20 minutes. Had I stumbled on the one deadfall that I had to continually step over I know she would have trampled me. At one point she tried to charge between the group of two or three saplings that I was on the other side of. but she didn't quite fit. I could have easily reached around and punched her in the nose as she stared at me from the other side.

    Every so often she would walk off, but just when you thought she was going to dissaper into the timber you would here her charge right back into the meadow and run me around the tree for a few more minutes. Until I finally made a brake for it down the trail when she wandered off again. My buddy who was still on the edge of the meadow said the cow did turn around and follow me down the trail. He sat there not wanting to follow the cow down the trail and said she eventually came back out into the meadow from the trail and wandered off the other direction. At which point he made his break for it.

    I always carried pepper spray with me after that trip. Even just the little personal defense jogging ones if that's all i had room for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Southwest of Helena, MT


    I live in southwest Montana and I tell people that I worry about being charged by moose more than I worry about bear attacks.

  6. #6


    Nothing too dramatic, but I literally stumbled into this pair the year I had my moose tag. After picking myself up and dusting myself off I noticed the pair so I took got my phone out and took a picture. She then pinned her ears back and made a grunting noise and I took that as a cue to stumble back the direction I came from.
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  7. #7


    I got pinned in a tree by a young bull one day for hours. Every time I tried to climb down it would run me back up the tree, I finally decided to shoot it with a blunt arrow, but my fingers were so cold that I dropped my arrow. After dark, I decided to make a run for it but I only had made it a few hundred yards up the mountain when he ran up the hill after me.

    I was so tired from running I finally drew a broadhead and turned to shoot it between the eyes if it got too close but luckily it hit the skids at about 10 feet. My wife kept running and still laughs at me for turning to fight a charging moose with an arrow.

  8. #8


    Had my share of run ins. Never been charged. I give them a wide berth when I see them first but that can be hard to do in the dark. Hearing this... at very close range in the dark will make you pucker.

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