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Author Topic: What do you do when a moose comes running around the corner on a hiking trail?  (Read 10027 times)

QuestionsGPS

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I ask because just this last Saturday I was about ready to go on a hike where a moose came barreling around the corner! I've heard they can get dangerous.

I went up a canyon where cars have to pay a fee to get past the gate on the road. I drove up 6 miles.

When I got to where the road ends and a dirt trail begins, at first I was excited to go hiking, but then decided to relax inside my car for five minutes. Just a couple of minutes later, I saw something dashing in my direction. I looked up and saw a moose moving quickly and was less than 10 feet from my car. After it passed my car, it stopped for a second, looked around, and then with speed started down the paved road I just drove up. I thought to myself, "If I would have started my hike right when I parked here, I would have been on this trail when it came barreling around the corner."

Since that thought freaked me out, I am asking if anyone here knows what you're supposed to do if you're in a situation like the one I almost got in? I was about ready to hike on a narrow single track trail, thick with trees on both sides. Do you try to move off the trail a bit? Would a moose ignore you if you try that, or would it just charge you?

Another reason I'm concerned: You know how people can get "concealed carry" permits for carrying guns? I have one of those for the state of Utah and was carrying both a 9mm handgun and some of that grizzly bear pepper spray which shoots a cone shaped spray out 35 feet. If a moose comes around the corner, wouldn't that be awkward to then make a police report "I just shot my gun several times at a moose within 'City Limits' and sprayed it with my pepper spray"? I also don't know how much a 9mm handgun will protect you from something as big as a moose.

This really concerns me! What do you do if you're caught in a situation like this?

Boyd

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This really concerns me! What do you do if you're caught in a situation like this?

Which GPSFileDepot map were you using?  ::)

QuestionsGPS

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Utah Topo 2011

The reason I asked this forum is in the description of "General Discussion" forum, it reads "Feel free to talk about anything and everything in this board."  In addition, a reasonable and prudent person would believe hiking safety is essentially related to anything dealing with a hiking GPS forum.

Seldom

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Didn't know we had moose in UT.  Thought the only large ones were elk.  What trail were you on? 

QuestionsGPS

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Didn't know we had moose in UT.  Thought the only large ones were elk.  What trail were you on?

City Creek Canyon just east of the Utah Capitol building.  At the front entrance, they have a sign saying dangerous animals, with a picture of a moose, black bear, rattle snake and cougar. 

Moose are in the Wasatch Mountains.  I've also come across one in Mueller Park in Bountiful, and in person, although it wasn't hurrying down a trail.  I also saw one from a car, in North Canyon in Bountiful.

In fact, I found this map of the North American range from Wikipedia:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alces_alces_NA.svg

Seldom

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Looks like a couple of lonely A. a. shirasi hanging out near Mexican Hat.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 07:37:27 AM by Seldom »

mhaseltine

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I'd say that under the circumstances you describe, your 9mm and your pepper spray would both be useless unless they were already in your hand. Your best bet would be get the hell out of its way (which is probably what you would instinctively do anyway) and hope for a thicket of trees you could get into that the moose couldn't get through. Moose are not only dangerous, but unpredictable, so you couldn't anticipate whether it would ignore you or charge you.

fiddleheadpa

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If it was a bull moose that was in heat (fall season) then you could be in trouble.
Remember: Moose do not have very big brains.  Just get out of their way as it might take them a while to figure out what you are.
The pepper spray would be the best thing.   The handgun would just make it mad.  Moose are huge.
I've had a few close moose encounters, all friendly and just a bit of adrenaline running.
They are not out to get you.

-Oz-

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Moose also will not care about the bear pepper spray... at all.  People run into them all the time on trails/biking in Alaska and you just turn and go the other way.  If the ears go back you're in trouble.  Also if you're between the calf and mama that is also no good.  But otherwise you just go back and the moose will continue its business.
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maps4gps

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I think a moose moving quickly was doing so to be somewhere quickly or not be where it had
been quickly.  I quick exit from the trail, even if you may get scratched in the vegetaion, and the moose would have kept moving for whatever reason it had be doing so.

I think you should remember the positive of what is a somewhat unusual experience.

'Since that thought freaked me out' - and think how it would have adversly affected any hikers on the trail.

' ...wouldn't that be awkward to then make a police report "I just shot my gun several times at a moose within 'City Limits' ... - and just happened to hit or kill one of the hikers on the
trail around the corner.

You should know the hazards ahead of time and what to possible do before you go into an area.   If you choose to place yourself in harms way you should accept the risks of doing so.
 
Your local wildlife organization should be able to offer advise on what might be best to do in
such situations.  Advice might also be posted in the parking area/ trail head.

Many/most Federal and State areas are no firearms areas.  I would not expect (and hope) a normal carry permit to override these laws.  I would suggest you pose the situation to local
law enforcement (and let us know that they say).

Seldom

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Many/most Federal and State areas are no firearms areas.  I would not expect (and hope) a normal carry permit to override these laws.  I would suggest you pose the situation to local
law enforcement (and let us know that they say).
You've been permitted to carry firearms in National Parks for at least a year now.  In UT concealed carry in a BAR is permitted.  I suspect this shows the 70% Mormon legislature's trust in Darwinism.  They must figure the gun toting drunks will be eliminated by natural selection.

maps4gps

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You've been permitted to carry firearms in National Parks for at least a year now.

For what purpose? What would it be legal to use it for? 
To murder the bison that did not accept an unsupervised child climbing on its back, etc?
Are park rangers, etc. now receving hazardous duty pay?   Must be a very scary feeling to be called to a disturbance in a campground knowing one or more self-centered intoxicated wacos might be carring.

Seldom

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You've been permitted to carry firearms in National Parks for at least a year now.

For what purpose?

I'm afraid an answer to that's way above my pay grade, but the NRA thought it was a good idea, and Congress went along.

omegaman

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Seriously! Isn't this supposed to be a forum about Garmin GPS and map use? Why the big discussion about Gun Rights and imagined Wildlife hazards?

This reminds me of some of the mindless comments that appear after news articles.

How about focusing on the subject matter the forum represents?

-Oz-

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Seriously! Isn't this supposed to be a forum about Garmin GPS and map use? Why the big discussion about Gun Rights and imagined Wildlife hazards?

This reminds me of some of the mindless comments that appear after news articles.

How about focusing on the subject matter the forum represents?
Well, this is the general discussion forum; the maps are used for hiking; and people seem to have some experience with the topic at hand.  You could always just not read this topic :)
Dan Blomberg
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GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
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