Moose and calf

Cow Moose, like this one, can be aggressive in defending calves. 

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers and bikers to exercise caution when in the Adams Gulch area following a moose-charging incident on Friday.

A family of three with two leashed dogs was hiking along the creek when an aggressive cow moose charged at the group, the department said in a Friday press release.

“An adult male put himself between the charging moose, yelling and raising his arms, which stopped the charge just short of the family,” Fish and Game stated.

The cow moose, who ‘bluff’ charged—running forward and then stopping, then running forward again—reportedly had a calf with her, increasing her defensiveness, the department said.

Hikers should always give moose a wide berth and keep their dogs leashed.

“Residents are reminded to never allow your dog to have the opportunity to chase a moose. Dogs can be viewed as a threat, especially of they were to try and chase a moose,” the department said.

Moose may strike dogs and people with their front hooves when threatened, according to Conservation Officer Brandyn Hurd. To avoid surprising a moose, hikers should consistently announce their presence and listen for sounds of agitation such as snorts or grunts.

Paying attention to a moose’s body language is also important during an encounter. A moose that lays its ears back, raises the hair on its neck or stomps its hooves may charge at any time, Fish and Game stated.

“If you see any of these behaviors, the best course of safety is to put something between you and the moose, like a tree or vehicle,” it said.

Cow moose with calves are more apt to charge if a person or dog separates them from their offspring. Bull moose are also more likely to charge during the mating rut from late September to early October, according to Fish and Game.

Residents are asked to report aggressive moose on trails by calling the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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