Is an approaching moose an attacking moose?

by Jeff
(Spokane)

Approaching Moose

Approaching Moose

Ive been taking a lot of pictures and videos of moose in the middle of the night and the day along the Courdelane river wetlands in Idaho.


Being alone and on a bicycle--I come right up on them, but a couple times they have glared at me then casually turned and started walking up on to the bank in my direction which I instantly fled since I was not even 100 feet away.

So I was wondering if I could actually get good footage by letting them approach a bit?

Both times this has happened I looked back after I had rode off maybe 300 feet and the moose were then standing exactly in the spot I had just been standing.

Is it possible they may have been curious and wanted to inspect without fear of an attack?

Or if they glare then turn and start walking out--is that in fact the beginning of an attack or almost attack where they intended to run me off or stomp me?

The bull moose in question I had followed from the other side of the lake--did that mean he likely was curious?--OR MAD?

THANKS

Comments for Is an approaching moose an attacking moose?

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Approaching Moose
by: Mark - The Mooseman

You pose some interesting questions Jeff, thanks.

Of course the first consideration is that moose are wild animals, and in that sense can be 100% unpredictable.
But...

I don't think I would be too worried about an approaching moose, he was probably curious as to what you were. That being said, what season was this? During the rut, which runs around the first two weeks of October you might be wise to keep a healthy distance.
If your moose was just curious (likely) he probably would have closed the distance to identify you and the stop or turn away.

So I was wondering if I could actually get good footage by letting them approach a bit?
I would think you could get some excellent footage that way. I'd love to see it!

Is it possible they may have been curious and wanted to inspect without fear of an attack? Probably.

Was this beginning of an attack or almost attack where they intended to run me off or stomp me?
Moose are not predatory by nature. If you are not a threat they won't get too close. Once you are identified as human your moose will probably take for the hills.

Signs of an agitated moose would be a flattening of the ears and bristling of the coat along its back. You are on a bicycle if you see the kind of signs keep your distance. Ear up, forward and rotating? He just wants to know what you are.

Being stomped by a moose could lead to serious injury. I know of a fellow who got too close to an injured moose and was stomped... he spent 2-3 months in the hospital with very serious injuries. In that particular case though, the moose was seriously injured and the fellow surprised the bull.

Did that mean he likely was curious?--OR MAD?

I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure he was just curious as to what you were. A human walking or a dog, wolf, bear or cat are easily identifiable to a moose. Someone on a bicycle, not so easy; he may never have seen one before.

Moose know their predators and usually don't approach them. You were not a threat by just standing your ground.

Unless you were antagonizing him by acting like a bull by gesturing like another bull I'm sure you would have been fine.

Send us some of your pictures so we can share them.

~ Mark

reply
by: Jeff

ok great I will be returning again shortly. THANKS for the great information plus it was worded perfectly. I had a feeling I could have been bolder but with lack of knowledge I erred on the side of my ribs--which take along time to heal. I will report back in a few days at most.

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