M is for Moose – by Gabby Fringette
Now that I live in Alaska, I have to deal with the very real problem that is the moose. Essentially a cow on stilts, this huge brown beast tends to be everywhere. For the first week, there was one who lived in our back yard, the house and land having been empty for a month, she grew quite used to coming and going whenever she liked.
After about a week of smelling our dogs, and the Fringe yelling at her at ten at night, she left. I’m serious, at ten at night I hear him yelling, “Hey! SHOO! Get out of the yard, moose!”.
Nuisance moose aren’t uncommon. Though moose hunting is legal here, there are a lot of restrictions. You can’t just up and shoot a moose in your back yard. You have to go to special areas during hunting season. The moose who are just around, you have to deal with.
They aren’t too bad until they pair up with squirrels and get into shenanigans.
Believe it or not, they are dangerous. If they feel threatened, if there’s a mama and a calf, if it’s mating season and you’re in their territory, you’re in danger. Just because it eats plants doesn’t mean it’s all nice and friendly. It just means it’ll kick you instead of bite you. Although they probably would bite. An important note about moose: they can kick sideways. Hard. So stay clear. Even though it literally looks like Bambi, NOT BAMBI. Dangerous wild animal. Don’t get out of your car to try and sneak up and take a picture. If they see you sneaking, walking, running, hiding, or anything they think a wolf might do (and keep in mind, if you’re a food source to wolves, everything anything does will remind you of a wolf) then you are in danger.
They do kill people. In most cases, that’s because somebody hits a moose with a car. They dart across the road, or walk slowly on the road. They’re the world’s worst slow drivers. They will even charge cars. If a moose is hit and killed, you must notify the police or the Alaska State Troopers. There is actually a list of people who are called, a list of regular Alaska citizens, who when a moose is hit by a vehicle and killed, are called, and they come and butcher the animal and take it home for food. Waste not want not.
Now let’s talk about dogs. Dogs look and act like wolves. Moose hate wolves. People with dogs have actually been attacked by moose. Moose with attack dogs, and will even go after and kill dogs tied up on leashes. I am not making this up. If you doubt me, look it up. So if you have dogs, be careful.
Moose and bicycles. They’ve been known to steal bikes. Okay, this is made up. But they have attacked cyclists, because they move fast. Like a wolf. Not too long ago, at a ski resort, a moose was put down because it was being aggressive towards skiers. They were coming out of nowhere and whizzing by quickly, like wolves. If they had halted the skiers for a little while, the moose would have left. However, since people paid good money to go skiing, and god forbid nature get in the way of the WASPy, upper-middle-class vacation at the ski resort, so the moose met bullet. There were already people on the sidelines standing by with small chainsaws for ease of butchering.
So there you have it, everything I’ve learned about moose in the last three weeks.