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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: what to do if you encounter a moose

Sep 13, 2020, 8:29 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 6:46 pm
Utah Division Wildlife Resources...

PARK CITY, Utah- On Sunday afternoon, a woman sustained a head injury after coming into contact with a bull moose. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported it occurred around 2:15 p.m. along the Bloods Lake Trail in the Bonanza Flat area.

A family was hiking in the area with their leashed dogs. While hiking, they encountered a bull moose laying down, and the dogs startled it.

When the moose attempted to flee the area, it lowered its head and brushed past the woman. The woman then fell and hit her head. Medical personnel were dispatched to the scene, and the woman was transported to the Heber Valley Hospital for the head injuries she sustained.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wants to remind the public of what to do if you encounter a moose.

DWR explains that because of the “recent cooler temperatures, many people are getting outside to enjoy hiking and beautiful scenery this fall. Hikers should be mindful that moose cows with calves can be aggressive in the spring and summer, and bull moose may be especially aggressive during the fall breeding season. Moose often feel threatened when people or dogs get too close, which can make them aggressive and lead them to charge, knock someone over and stomp on them.”

Physical warning signs that a moose may become aggressive include:

  • Lowering their head
  • Hair standing up on the neck
  • Licking their snout
  • Pinning their ears back

A few safety reminders when recreating in areas with moose (which includes much of the mountain areas along the Wasatch Front):

  • On a trail, give the moose a lot of space and watch its behavior. 
  • Do not approach or feed a moose.
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. Moose can be very aggressive around dogs. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass wildlife.
  • Back off if a moose exhibits any signs of aggression.
  • Stay calm. Do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back off in the direction you came.
  • If a moose charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid (like a tree) or try to get inside a vehicle or building.
  • If a moose knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until the moose retreats. 

For more moose safety tips, visit the Wild Aware Utah website. 

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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: what to do if you encounter a moose