I was charged by a bull moose today. I forgot my camera at home,
so unfortunately no pictures, but here is the story anyway.
I was hiking back to the Bradley/Taggart Trailhead around mid-afternoon, after a solo ski mission in Garnet Canyon. My skis were on my back and AT boots on my feet. I was descending the moraine between Bradley and Taggart Lakes when I entered an open area and saw the bull moose, with a healthy rack, about 50 yards out and 5-10â€™ off to the side of the trail. I continued hiking towards him, shouting, waving my arms above my head and banging my ski poles together trying to get him to skedaddle.
As I got closer, it was apparent that he wasnâ€™t moving and I stopped about 15-20 yards away from himâ€¦still making noise and shouting. We were at a stand-off and he was staring at me, and literally licking his chops. After a couple minutes, I decided to head into the bush and try to navigate around him. I took a couple steps into some waist high willows and glanced back at the moose as I did so. It was at that time that the moose turned to the side, lowered its head and then began swaying his head and rack back and forth. I started to shit bricks, as I knew this couldnâ€™t be a good sign and I picked up the pace as I bushwhacked.
Glancing back again, I saw the moose dig in, then leap from a stand still and begin to run right towards me. I was freaked and began clawing at the willows with my Whippet and trying to negotiate through the willows with my ski boots on and skis flailing above my head. I knew I didnâ€™t have much time to run away, since he was pretty close, and I dove behind a couple 10â€™ tall dwarf pines on the edge of the thicker bush. The moose shoved his paddles into the trees from the other side, then stopped and just stood there, still licking his chops and also now snorting.
My mind was racing and I didnâ€™t know what to do. I got impatient and didnâ€™t want to stick around and just wait for the mooseâ€™s next move. Slowly, I backed up, keeping the trees between me and the moose until I was about 10 yards away from him. Then, I made my move, turned my back to the moose and bolted through an open area to get some distance between the two of us.
The moose seemed content to leave me alone at this point, but the darn thing just walked right back to the trail again and blocked my route. Finally, I went for it and gave him a wide berth as I hopped over some logs and trashed though the willows to try to get past him. As I did, he sat down 5â€™ off the trail and seemed to laugh to himself, as I cursed at him until I was finally able to gain the trail again. I will definitely be a bit more cautious on my next moose encounter and Iâ€™m thankful this one didnâ€™t get the better of me.