Outdoors blog

Moose in the yard? Chill


This pair of moose  roamed around Hauser Lake on Sunday. Agencies are getting more complaints about wildlife munching on local gardens.
 (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
This pair of moose roamed around Hauser Lake on Sunday. Agencies are getting more complaints about wildlife munching on local gardens. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE -- Winter weather is tempting moose to wander into towns and neighborhoods to nibble tender landscaping plants.

In most cases, Idaho  Fish and Game Department officers recommend giving the moose a day or two to find its way back into the wild.  "It found its way into town; it can find a way out," said officer Mark Rhodes. "That is the favored option." 

Idaho and Washington wildlife agencies would rather avoid responding to moose complaints, partly because it takes a ton of time out of the schedule of already overstretched officers, and partly because it's dangerous for the people involved and for the moose.

The drugs administered by a tranquilizer gun can be fatal if the moose is especially agitated or its weight misjudged, Rhodes said.

If you encounter a moose, IDFG says you shouldn't approach it. Keep your distance, and keep dogs away.
 
Every case is different, but the officers would prefer not getting a call unless the moose has been given time to leave or if it's posing a significant danger. Rhodes said.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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