A snowmobiling trip near Palisades, Idaho intensified for a group of five riders when a moose charged the front rider on March 2. A video showing the exact moment when the moose charges the snowmobiler has now gone viral.
Ririe resident Jeremiah Bigelow, 44, started filming shortly after the moose charged him first. The moose stopped 20 feet away from Bigelow, EastIdahoNews.com reports. When the video begins, the moose is turning to the rider in front, who Bigelow refers to as his brother. He had been trying to draw the moose’s attention away from the rest of the group by standing on his sled and waving his hands over his head. The moose starts walking toward him, and eventually picks up speed to charge.
“My brother thought he could hit the throttle and get out of there but the engine died when he did,” Bigelow writes in the video caption.
Bigelow’s brother leaps from the sled just before the moose crashes into it from behind. The moose trips on the snowmobile and tumbles forward, face-planting in the snow. The sled lurches from the impact and the moose immediately stands back up. At first it looks like the moose might charge again, but then it turns and trots away. Bigelow rides toward his brother, who’s back on the sled trying to start it. The rear reflector and other parts of the sled’s backend are crushed.
According to Bigelow, the sled behind his was older and couldn’t reverse, so he didn’t have much room to back up. But he still acknowledged the group should have figured out how to distance themselves from the moose more.
“Lesson learned…brother should have continued on and given it more space,” Bigelow writes. “We should have gotten our sleds turned around as well. Bad scenario with an okay outcome. Moose was unharmed and I saw it later walking just fine. Scary.”
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, moose bluff charge pretty frequently, and it’s not often that a moose charges a snowmobiler. But when they’re not bluffing, the attacks can be disastrous. We’ve reported on plenty of moose attacks, including one where a wiener dog protected its owner from a hostile cow and another where a bull moose stomped a sled dog team for an hour after the musher emptied her .380 semi-auto pistol into its neck and chest. (None of the dogs succumbed to their injuries, but a few needed life-saving surgeries.)
“I encourage people to enjoy moose from afar,” James Brower of Idaho Fish and Game told EastIdahoNews.com. “They can be dangerous if they feel cornered. If a moose does charge you, get something between you, like a tree. Something big.”