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Old 11-25-2012, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Moose.

I see the tracks in the snow all the time, and the depressions where they have bedded down for the night - sometimes, you can see from the 'bed holes' in the snow that it was a female with twin calves, finding a cozy spot hidden by bushes. The dogs will dig up the moose pellets and enjoy them as snacks before I can command them to leave it.

I often see Moose on the side of the road, or standing in a field, or just ambling down the street as if it was a moose trail, when I'm driving to and fro, toward town or back to home.

But this morning I was out playing with Gryffon, and all the dogs in the neighborhood where making such a racket!!! I hate noise, that is why I moved out into a rural area, where moose walking down the road is a normal sight. It was a warm, sunny day, the temps just above freezing - very pleasant winter weather. Even though I'm on five acres and we are at the back of the property bordering undeveloped wooded lands, the racket from the area dogs is deafening. I'm thinking how much I prefer the really cold and crisp -20 weather, as this nice warm weather is bringing out people walking down the road, or riding their horses, whipping all the local dog population into a frenzy of barking. At least, it is normally quieter when really cold, nobody ventures out.

Then through the bush I see movement, and a full grown bull moose materializes itself - Gryff sees it the same time I do, and he barks a "You tresspasser! , get out of here" bark and runs towards the moose. The moose turns on his haunches and takes off, while I try to remain calm and recall Gryff - he didn't really seem set on chasing the moose, and seems satisfied that he is gone, and I have his ball on a string so he comes back and gets rewarded for responding with a bit of tug and a lot of praise.

How interesting for me - I've seen Gryffon sniff out and chase rabbits, grouse, squirrels - it is a game for him, and chases them a short distance, but doesn't pursue. But I've never seen him bark and go AT something with so much presence and confidence. He is normally a very quiet dog, more of a wait and see reaction when presented with something new. I loved to see how 'in control' he appeared in this instance. This wasn't about chasing prey, this was very different.

So the moose runs off in the direction it came from, and I give it a few minutes to put some distance on between us. Then I walk out of the wooded area into my field with Gryff, and up the middle of the field comes trotting this moose! Looks like he ran back out towards the road, got the dogs all hepped up in another barking frenzy, so decided that the empty field with the tree cover in the back was the best place for a moose to retreat back to.

Dang! Nice rack though, I notice. He sees us and stops. This time, I saw the moose before Gryff did, so I call him to me and platz him. Now what to do?? He is between us and the way back to the house? I'm wishing I had my camera, but of course I do not - I mean, I just stepped out to play ball with my dog!

Well, I let the moose know this is MY territory and call out loud "HEY! THERE'S A MOOSE IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FIELD!

Mr. Moose probably felt ackward for invading private property, he turned off to the left and trotted of at a 90 degree angle back into the woods, going away from us.

Hmmmphhh! Thanks for letting us pass.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, that would be a bit intimidating to say the least!
So good that Gryff isn't a lower threshold boy....his thinking bodes well in experiences like that! Don't moose act aggressive, or only during breeding season?
Maybe he wants to be friends with you and your pack!
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That would freak me out! I'm glad it all worked out
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The time to REALLY worry about moose is when you see a female with a newborn calf. I've never heard any stories of a bull moose attacking, but lots of stories of females with calves trampling people and/or dogs to death because they came too close.

I had such a moment a few years back, out for an early bicycle ride with Keeta along the dirt roads, bush and trees lining both sides of the road. Then up ahead about five hundred feet a female with an obviously newborn come out of the bush onto the road. The calve looked like it may have been born that very night!

Woah woah woah!! I'm telling Keeta, who is on leash, as I stop fast making the brakes squeal. The cow moose faces us, for sure trying to decide if we are a threat to her baby. I'm not sure what to do. Thankfully, Keeta is very good on leash (guaranteed different story if she were off leash), and she stops and sits and is quiet as instructed. I get off the bike and stand there, trying to look as un-threatening as possible, then start slowly walking backwards. Moose still staring, then suddenly turns and trots off back into the woods the way she came, her baby following. I walk forward pushing my bide slowly, and she is following the road just inside the cover of the bush, moving away from us. Down further she crosses again and pops into the field she was aiming for in the first encounter.

I've seen bull moose standing on the side of the same road a other times, when bicycling. They pretend they don't see you, I guess hoping that ignoring will make you go away, but if you get to a certain distance to them they trot off. Of course, if I ever came across a bull moose that stood his ground and didn't move, I'd just slowly back away . . . .
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very cool! And good boy Gryff

I love moose so big and awkward looking, yet so majestic and graceful.

I was camping last spring, took the dogs for a walk around the campsite. We were literally surrounded by grizzly bears and cubs (2 moms, 5 babies) so I being pretty cautious and keeping a good eye out. I came around a corner and standing maybe 20 feet away was a giant blond moose! Of course my first thought was OMG A GIANT GRIZZLY BEAR! Haha. The moose just stood there looking at me. The dogs and I just kept walking while I tried to slow my heart rate down. Scared the crap out of me for a second though lol.


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Old 11-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is soooo not happening here.

We have a lot of little lizards, though

And "nice rack" in Florida means an entirely different thing...lots of beaches here, ya know.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I love seeing bull moose! Not super up-close, though. We have moose, including mommas through the yard all the time. In fact, when we went to Yellowstone and Teton NP, the kids were disappointed because we saw mostly moose. We had to laugh because there'd be all these cars pulled over and the kids would get all excited, only to say, "Aww, it's just another stupid moose". LOL

Glad he wasn't in a cranky mood! I totally respect them all, but especially the mommas with babes though.
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