There hasn’t been a place I’ve been or lived that has had as many moose in town as Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They seem to be a common occurrence, which isn’t often seen anywhere. When in Montana, we would run into a moose every six months or more. But here, it seems seeing a moose is a weekly thing. I do exaggerate some. If I haven’t seen a moose this week, a friend has.
The first time I saw moose in Steamboat Springs was early ski season and there were five bull moose lounging on a hillside across from me. (I thought they were boulders at first!) This season we have had an increase of bull and cow moose. They have become a real attraction for persons wanting photos on phones. This is a moose I caught walking outside my condo –
Not a week later, a similar moose came through my yard, and a tourist with phone in hand pursuing it. That seemed risky to me! To make things more complicated, a cow and two calves camped out on our yard for a night. Wildlife offices and websites guide us to stay away from these animals. So, we stayed away.
I get it. They are wild, hence ‘wildlife’. And they would tromp me in a moment. Staying safe is keeping a distance, and maybe even moving on. In our tourist town, the wildlife has become more acquainted with phones. (Sometimes I imagine the moose are wondering if a laser beam is going to come out of that rectangle. Silly humans.) They are more tolerant, but still not to be trusted. If survival instincts kick in, an animal that large takes only a moment to move 100 feet.
Here is an article from Colorado Parks and Wildlife talking about signs of when a moose will be aggressive.
Wildlife in all place I’ve lived have been wonderful. Elk, deer, bears, and more have been neighbors to me. They would look and then run away. Moose, on the other hand, don’t move out of the way quickly. They stare you down while eating a shrub. And with the large, bowled antlers they have, we can be heard long before they are seen. I love moose, and their grand stature makes them easily admired. Me, I’m keeping my distance. And upgrading my camera.