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.