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Encounter with a moose - how to behave correctly


How to behave in case of a moose encounter


  • Pay attention to your surroundings, listen carefully and look around! Avoid hiking with earphones! Moose are provoked by dogs and don't like them, so if you are hiking with a dog, leash him and keep him back from moose.

  • If you've spotted the moose from a distance, keep your distance (at least 25m) and don't try to approach the animal.

  • If you see that it is a mother moose with a calf, you should keep an even longer distance. Cows are protecting their young and if they see you as a threat, they won't hesitate to attack. Be careful not to get between the mother moose and her calf (highest risk is in late summer)! Males are more likely to be aggressive during mating season (early fall).

  • If the moose didn't notice you: don't try to get its attention! Stay quiet and continue in a direction away from it. If your trail continues away from it, continue your hike, otherwise it's better to turn back. If the moose did notice you: it should feel that you are not a threat – start talking in a soft way and slowly move away, either on your trail if it continues away from it or turn back! Do NOT behave aggressively, do NOT wave your arms or yell, do NOT throw things and don't try to feed!

  • If you see signs, that the moose is agitated (laidback ears, upright hackles, hair raised on hump, grunting or stomping feet) or watches you intensively, it could be a sign that you are too close and the moose considers you as a threat . In this case, leave the area immediately but stay calm and quiet!


If the moose is attacking you


Run or find cover!

  • If a moose is agitated, you should get out of its area immediately. It is absolutely ok to run away from a moose! Their attack is purely defensive and it is unlikely that they continue chasing you if you're out of their area and you no longer present a threat to them. There is a high chance that an attack from a moose is a "bluff" attack and that it stops short of you – still you should get out of its way quickly, the second attack might be real!


  • In case you are unable to run or the situation does not permit, try to find cover behind a solid object like a big tree, cabin, fence or rock.


  • Should you get knocked down by a moose or fall down, curl up into a ball and don't move! Moose often fight with their front hooves, so try to protect your head and your neck with your arms or backpack and do NOT fight back!

  • If the moose considers you not being a threat anymore, it will most likely stop its attack and move away. You should nevertheless stay calm and wait a while until the moose is at a safe distance.

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