Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Moose run-ins: Stomping, chasing

 


Carry a bright flashlight and don’t talk to an angry moose.

That’s the advice of 40-year-resident Deb Marshall after being stomped Sept. 19 near the Paradise Cove beachfront home of George Figdor.

Marshall was walking about 150 yards to Figdor’s from her car around 8:15 p.m. when she rounded a small spruce tree and came eye to eye with a moose she believes was a cow. The moose bellowed and Marshall leapt backward, landing in some rose bushes.

Marshall said she spoke to the animal – “I said, ‘Go away, go away,’” – but instead it kicked her with a foreleg, hitting her hard on the right thigh. A second blow by the moose hit her in the left hip. That’s when she decided to keep quiet.

The moose stood its ground about five feet from her, then eventually laid down there, facing the house.

After about 20 minutes, Marshall sprinted back to her car. Besides a huge bruise, Marshall said she’s taking some lessons from the encounter. “I think they’re super sensitive to sound. She wanted me to be quiet.”

Marshall also wasn’t carrying a flashlight. “I wasn’t in the moose mode because I wasn’t in the woods,” she said. She’s now recommending a “super bright” model available locally called “The Cyclops.”

Marshall said some Internet research she’s done shows run-ins with moose occur with increased frequency in September, possibly because that month coincides with the rut and the moose hunt, she said.

Three days later, Marshall’s neighbors, Eric Holle and Katey Palmer, were chased by a cow moose while hiking on Bromley Ridge, about a half-mile from the site of Marshall’s encounter. Holle said when he and Palmer saw the moose from about 100 feet, they started walking quickly in another direction.

“The moose circled behind us and then turned and started following us. It wasn’t like a full speed chase at that point. But she was coming on and apparently acting aggressively,” Holle said. As the pair sped up, so did the moose, chasing them about a half -mile, he said.

“It wasn’t just walking behind us. It was a chase,” Holle said, that ended when he and Palmer descended about 300 feet and came out of the woods onto the beach near the Chilkat State Park boat landing.

Holle said he’s been charged by moose for a short distance, including while bicycling, but this experience was different. “They’ve never really chased me.”