Wildlife officials warn of moose around Jackson Hole homes

A moose moves through vegetation along the North Fork of the Shoshone River, just east of Yellowstone National Park.

A moose moves through vegetation along the North Fork of the Shoshone River, just east of Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming Game and Fish officials are asking residents in the Jackson and Wilson areas to be mindful of moose that may be traveling through residential areas this time of year. The Jackson Game and Fish office has received a number of calls from concerned citizens about moose near developed areas.

“We typically get a number of moose calls this time of year because it’s the breeding season and the bulls are covering a lot of ground in pursuit of cows and they tend to rub their antlers on whatever they can find,” said Jackson Wildlife Biologist Aly Courtemanch. “Consequently, we get reports of moose with a variety of things wrapped around their antlers, everything from fencing to Christmas lights to hammocks and so on. Unfortunately, these situations can lead to serious injury, or even death, for the animal.” Wildlife officials are asking residents to be aware of this possibility and remove anything on their property that animals may become entangled in.

Also, it is recommended that people keep their distance from these animals as they can become agitated and defensive during the breeding season, according to a statement released by the agency’s public affairs office.

“Generally, these animals are not going to pose a threat to anyone as long as we give them their space and control our pets,” said Courtemanch. “However, if an animal is charging people or posing a threat, we want to know about it and will respond to those situations to ensure both human safety and the animal’s safety.”

Wildlife officials acknowledge that wildlife, such as moose, can be potentially dangerous and offer these tips to avoid a conflict:

  • Be especially watchful during times of low light. Moose can be difficult to see at night.
  • Look for tracks or other signs of moose on trails, pathways, or around houses.
  • Never crowd an animal or surround it.
  • Always allow an animal an escape route.
  • Always control pets while walking them and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house.
  • View and photograph animals from a distance.
  • Avoid feeding wildlife as it often attracts wildlife into conflict situations.

Similarly, Game and Fish officials are also asking area motorists to be wary and exhibit patience to avoid collisions with wildlife.

“Wildlife are regularly crossing area roadways and can be especially hard to see in low light situations,” says Courtemanch. “We really need to slow down and give ourselves plenty of braking distance.”

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