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Moose On The Loose

Posted by Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on Monday, May 6th, 2019 at 10:25pm.

If you’ve lived in Breckenridge and Summit County, you’ll notice in recent years there’s something besides snow and sunshine that’s getting a lot of attention. More and more, we’re hearing about moose sightings and interactions in Breckenridge.

Stories of mama moose and her calves in our neighbor’s backyard can be beautiful - you get that “one with nature” feeling of “this is why I live here” to truly experience the joy of wildlife and nature. Quietly watching from your window is perhaps the best way to be in awe of these beautiful animals, but if you encounter one outside it’s best to keep great distance between you and the moose. Your chance of a sighting is best at dusk and dawn, but these days you may see a moose strolling through town on your way to the slopes.

Hopefully, your moose interactions are observing from afar in a safe environment, but we know some stories of moose encounters from the news this ski season as guests happened upon them on the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort. Guests captured several interactions during the day where moose came far too close to humans. Cameras caught a moose chasing a skier as well as moose running through the crowded ski area base. Both stories caused no harm though easily could have in either incident.

You may encounter moose or other wildlife in Breckenridge, but use extreme caution and don’t be fooled by the slow moving and mostly sedentary appearance of these animals. Though moose are herbivores and generally uninterested in humans, they are the largest of all the deer species (can be more than 7 feet tall and easily more than 1,000 pounds), and if they feel threatened they will charge in response with aggression.

Signs of an aggressive moose include:

  • Walking in your direction

  • Stomping its feet

  • Peeling its ears back

  • Grunting

  • Throwing its head back and forth

These are all signs of an aggressive, wild moose. If you are hiking through moose habitat and encounter a moose behaving in this manner, it perceives you as a threat and you must be prepared for an attack. Should you encounter an aggressive, wild moose, here is how to prevent and survive an attack:

  • Back away with your palms facing the moose.

  • Speak softly and reassuringly, like you would to a little child.

  • If the moose charges, get behind a large tree or rock in order to separate your body from the moose. Most moose charges, like grizzly bear charges, are bluffs.

  • If the moose attacks you, feign death by curling up in a little ball. Protect your head and neck with your arms. If you are wearing a backpack, your pack will protect your back.




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