Midnight Moose

By , August 12, 2017

Just before midnight Wednesday evening, Aly awoke to the sound of browsing in the dooryard. She went downstairs and looked out the window, where she saw an adult moose and calves.

She woke us up. I grabbed our hand-pumped air horn, Michelle picked up a pocket aerosol horn she’d bought after the recent bear visit (see Bear on the Homestead).

I went to the porch and blasted on the horn, causing an immediate startle and scramble. All the animals headed toward the beach and garden, so we went out to try to sweep them off the property.

Our lilac, uneaten, but also uncaged (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

As we came around the corner of the house, we saw the cow and at least one calf rush up the hill to the ridge. Aly saw a second calf near the garden, and we quickly chased it up the hill. Then we gathered and went down to the beach so that we could make a “wall of noise” there, moving toward the cabin to ensure that they all left.

It’s hard to walk on our rocky beach, especially in the dark with just headlamps and the rising moon for light. We found ourselves watching our footing more than where we were going, so I practically ran into a third calf that was on the beach. We’d been visited by a local cow known to have triplets.

The remaining calf left in a hurry, and we made our sweep, then looked for damage as well as we could in the dark.

We found browse on the currant bushes, the elder bush, and birch trees, but also noticed that the wire fencing around our lilac bush had disappeared. We found the stakes that held it down, but not the wire itself.

The next day, Michelle took a look at the tracks and other marks in the yard, and pieced together the story. Doing so, she found the lilac fence. It had been wrapped around a tree near the greenhouse.

Stakes and tracks (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Deep moose tracks. The cow packed some weight, leaving tracks like these in the yard and on the trail above the cabin. (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Apparently, the cow rammed into it when I blew the horn. It caught on her body somehow, and when she ran through our wind break, the fencing got stripped off of her as she passed a tree.

The fencing caught on this tree as the moose passed, stripping it off of her (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Hopefully, we offered too much excitement for this family of moose to return to our property in the future. We certainly found it far too exciting for after bed time; we’re not anxious to do this again!

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy