German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

Registered
Joined
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This story is a bit tl; dr but this year has been SO MOOSY.

I posted the story a few months back of the two moose calves in town that we had to relocate (well, one got hit by a car, the other we relocated). Then TWO more showed up. We relocated one, and the other (a bull calf) has been going back to the river park so hopefully we can just leave him alone.

So, two Willow vs. moose stories, really. The third moose (the second one we relocated) was hanging out in someone's backyard eating dropped crabapples. It was far enough away from town I didn't think we needed to relocate it, but something needed to be done as the calf was becoming aggressive to the homeowners trying to shoo it away. So I showed up with a shotgun and some rubber bullets and fired off a few rounds, which appeared to succeed.

As I was leaving, however, the moose began coming back to the house. I had Willow with me, so I got this bright idea to let her out and see what she would do, knowing she's fast enough to escape if it decided to charge. So I let her out, lifted up the barbed-wire fence, and said, "Go get it!" She immediately took off and charged the moose.

Unfortunately the moose, after taking a few steps in the right direction, turned and looked about ready to charge right back. So I instantly called for Willow to come back and SHE DID. It was awesome. I am so thankful for that dog's recall. It was probably a dumb move for me to put her in that situation, but I figured it was worth a shot; dogs are used to haze ungulates all the time. Just doesn't work well with moose. (The game wardens came back the next day and relocated this moose too.)
---

ANYWAY. Today's story. Preface: there have been MORE moose in the river parks; at least one more cow/calf pair, the young bull, and one very large I'm guessing bull. There are three river parks; I've been seeing the young bull and cow/calf in the park by my house, but as I'm having some remodeling done, I've been taking Willow with me to the office and we walk in the park nearest to there. I want to note that Willow never shows any interest in approaching the moose when we encounter them in the parks, or I would definitely keep her leashed.

So we take off right from the office and dive down into this sort of unofficial spur trail that connects in with the main park. Within 5 minutes we're on a portion of trail that's really closed in with willows (irony) so that it's very difficult to see anything ahead or on either side, even in winter. Willow (the GSD) was walking maybe 20 steps ahead of me. Suddenly, simultaneously, she looks to the side and then LEAPS forward, and I hear a massive breaking of limbs and rustling of brush and sure enough, there was a moose bedded frickin RIGHT BESIDE THE TRAIL. Willow had to have walked within a few inches of it. Said moose has gotten to its feet and is now standing between me and Willow, blocking us from each other.

I didn't really know what to do. I ran a few paces back in case the moose came at me, but there was really no side trail to escape on. There was one further back, so I remained calm and stood there and tried to figure if I should go around, if Willow would wait for me over there. She doesn't like to be separated from me, and I was worried she'd start freaking out and just further upset this moose. So I decided to just call her to me, hoping she'd crash through the brush.

She was utterly silent; I couldn't see her, couldn't hear her. No whining, no barking, no crashing through brush. I called her again. Nothing. I could see the moose still standing there. Suddenly I see Willow DIVE RIGHT BY THE MOOSE with super-dog speed. The moose flailed its front hooves trying to kick her, but she was too fast. Thank goodness! Maybe the herding-dog instinct to avoid flailing hooves?? Anyway, as Willow raced toward me, I saw the moose flatten its ears and take off after her, and a half second after that I was running back the way we had come, Willow already ahead of me. Luckily the moose didn't charge more than a few feet.

So. That was fun. Willow was so funny afterward, smiling and wagging her tail with a "THAT WAS SO AWESOME" kind of expression. We got on the side trail and gave that moose a wide berth as we walked around it. It watched us but was otherwise calm. Three minutes later we came upon ANOTHER moose beside the trail AGAIN, but luckily the habitat was open enough that I could see it and walk well around it.

Ugh. Moose. So lucky these guys are so generally tolerant of humans and dogs in these parks, or this could have ended much worse. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for moose when we walk, but I guess I depend on Willow to give me a bit more warning when they're bedded right beside the trail like that. She had NO idea. THANKS, WILLOW.
 

Premium Member
Joined
400 Posts
SuperWillow -- able to scoot past moose in a single bound!

I don't think I'll bother posting about how my Luca recently treed a possum. Maybe a bit anticlimactic after a moose story.馃槅
 

Registered
Joined
2,007 Posts
I was on a canoe trip staying on an island with my conservation biologist bestie and Neb. We did a little morning amble around the island and saw two moose swimming the lake. I've heard a number of horror stories about moose going after dogs, so she stayed to watch them land and I took Neb back to the campsite to attach him to a tie out. She came back, said they'd landed and were resting. I quickly checked it out, we agreed the logical route they'd take across the island (going to the other side of the lake) was through our campsite.

Neb being part Husky, will howl with a few prompts. So we got him to howl and hoped it would keep the moose clear. About 30 minutes later we saw them make landfall on our side of the lake.

I'm glad all worked out for you guys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: banzai555

Super Moderator
Joined
7,440 Posts
That is scary! We don't want you to be posting from your hospital bed because you two surprised a grumpy moose next time:-(
 

Registered
Joined
3,334 Posts
Great stories.
Too bad that other old thread about GSD and wildlife got shut down the other day. It struck me how gentle and kind (and soft) this site has become ;)

I have let Harley run deer off the property in the past and of course deer always run. But I wouldn't let them run a moose; too rare around here and .... they don't always run:oops:
 

Registered
Joined
211 Posts
Boy, talk about an adrenaline rush! Glad you and Willow managed to evade the moose.

As a side note, I think moose are super cool. Any time I鈥檓 in a region with the smallest chance of spotting one I鈥檓 on the look out. Finally saw a couple of them eating plants in a stream last August in Idaho near Yellowstone. They鈥檙e pretty neat to watch!
 

Registered
Joined
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Great stories.
Too bad that other old thread about GSD and wildlife got shut down the other day. It struck me how gentle and kind (and soft) this site has become ;)

I have let Harley run deer off the property in the past and of course deer always run. But I wouldn't let them run a moose; too rare around here and .... they don't always run:oops:
Lol... In my experience over the last six years here, they NEVER run! My boss told me once that "moose don't haze well" and boy he wasn't kidding!
 

Registered
Joined
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Boy, talk about an adrenaline rush! Glad you and Willow managed to evade the moose.

As a side note, I think moose are super cool. Any time I鈥檓 in a region with the smallest chance of spotting one I鈥檓 on the look out. Finally saw a couple of them eating plants in a stream last August in Idaho near Yellowstone. They鈥檙e pretty neat to watch!
Agreed! I think I'd only seen moose once or twice before I moved here. I kept track of how many I saw for the first year or so. Now it's like.... the same as seeing white-tailed deer in town. :-/ (only a bit more nerve-wracking)
 

Registered
Joined
7,945 Posts
That's a bit close for comfort! Glad it was all ok. I warn people constantly to stay away from moose. People seem to think that moose are all like Bullwinkle or something.
Of all the critters roaming the bush the ONLY ones I am really worried about are moose.
I can deal with bears, cats, wolves, coyotes. Moose are angry, irrational and highly territorial sometimes. They are powerful animals that are pros at moving through heavy bush. They will mow down small trees and aside from their obvious weapons they pack a powerful kick that can be deadly accurate!
I love reading about your adventures. I think Willow is super lucky to have you as her owner, few dogs are as fortunate.
I just don't want someone less experienced deciding to let their dog near a moose!
 

Registered
Joined
3,334 Posts
For those of us more urban folk:

Height: 4.6 鈥 6.9 ft.
Speed: 35 mph
Mass: Male: 840 鈥 1,500 lbs


That is about half a mini-cooper with antlers and an attitude!
Those are mini moose

I have never seen a 4.6 ft adult moose, even cows. All of the ones that I have seen look to be closer to 6+ feet.


"Male moose weigh over 550 kg (1200 lb) on average, and females are often more than 400 kg (880 lb). Calves weigh around 15 kg (33 lb) at birth but quickly increase in size. Height at the shoulders generally ranges between 2.1 to 2.3 m (6.5 to 7.5 feet). Only the males have antlers, averaging 160 cm (63 in.)"
 

Registered
Joined
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The moose in Montana are a bit smaller than the moose in Alaska and Canada. But still big enough for me. :) They're known as Shiras moose, long thought to be s subspecies but recent genetic evidence suggests they're just small because of local adaptation. So there's your useless wildlife ecology fact of the day.

The first time I saw a moose in Montana, I had been here for three months and had to help dig a cow moose out of a soggy swamp pit of the river. I spent two hours only being able to see her head and shoulders...when she finally got out, we were standing mere feet away from her, and the way she suddenly towered over us was.....frightening. One of those "OK, we just helped you, please decide not to kill us now that you are ambulatory". LOL.

Hey I think there was a news story about that too...here it is!

 

Registered
Joined
1,210 Posts
Wow!! Quite an adventure.

And to think we went to Maine, and we hiked every trail near every lake that said there would be Moose...and we never saw one, and we were sad... :)
Whereas you and Willow are plagued by Moose!
 

Registered
Joined
10,212 Posts
Northern problems 馃槃
 

Registered
Joined
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Soooooo the moose was in that park again yesterday when we went for a walk. This time RIGHT BEHIND my office, at the entrance point I usually use. You can't really see anything through the willows until you're at the "trailhead" (the gap in the willows). Willow rushed ahead like she usually does, but then she came running back, stood there at the entrance, and barked furiously down at something I couldn't see. She's NEVER done that before, ever. I immediately thought, "I bet the moose is there". I walked forward and peeked inside and sure enough, the moose was standing there 15 feet away on the trail.

Good to know Willow knows not to mess with moose now! I'd love to know what she was trying to say by her bark though. "Hey, you, I know you're there this time and you're not gonna kick me again or get in between me and my hooman!"
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top