September 24, 2020

Snowmobilers Who Followed Moose Under Investigation

I posted the story a few days ago of a New Hampshire couple snowmobiling in Northern Maine, near their camp, and while following a moose on the trail ended up being attacked by the moose. In my commentary I suggested that after reviewing the video taken of the incident that it appeared to me the two people snowmobiling were too close to the moose and the moose didn’t like it, stopped and attacked. It now appears the incident is being investigated by the Maine Warden Service.

According to the Kennebec Journal, after much ado over the YouTube video of the occurrence, the Maine Warden Service will look into the matter to see if the New Hampshire couple was actually “harassing”, by definition, the moose. Charges could be filed.

In the Kennebec Journal article the man who eventually gets whacked by the moose said, “It looks like we were right on top of the moose, but we were maybe 50 feet from the moose.” In my opinion, 50 feet is too close. He said he was an “experienced” snowmobiler and has seen “dozens of moose” while riding and that he and his wife generally stay 100 feet behind any moose.

In my opinion, 100 feet is also too close. I have no reason to believe this couple was intentionally “harassing”, by definition, this moose. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Warden Service should jump all over this incident and use it as a learning tool to explain to the people about the vulnerability of moose and deer, especially this time of year. Any action that forces a moose or deer to run or “trot” to flee danger is a potential life-threatening situation for the animal. People need to be made cognizant of that fact and fully respect the animal.

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