I was close to a neighbor's weekend cabin so I ran behind it, but she kept trotting around after me so I faked her one way and ran the other way. She came back around that side. I faked her back to the front to try to head me off and when she cleared the corner I dove off the 40 degree slope - covered with snow and mud - and ran down the steep, slippery hill 150 yards toward the tree and willow cover in the creek bottom.
About 3/4 of the way down I looked back and saw her coming back around the cabin. She spotted me and started trotting and sliding down the hill. I got to the bottom and ran through the willows and spruces, over and around a couple big deadfalls, reached the runoff-swollen creek, and stumbled across it on the slick rocks. By that time she was in the bottom, barreling through the spruces on my trail through the snow.
I then tried to climb out on the other side of the creek but a big deadfall spruce blocked me about 15 feet in, so I dove back into the creek and ran upstream 30 yards, twisting my ankle before leaping behind a fallen log beside the creek just as she came out of the willows. She followed my track up out of the creek on the other side (my side...) and started searching for me. I was lying on my side in a foot of wet snow in blue jeans, soaked from the knees down, 40 degrees with wind-chill on top of that.
She began to HUNT me. Luckily she hadn't seen me run upstream on that final dash. She tracked back and forth through the willows and timber, while I lay totally still. There was a big deadfall between me and her that served as a barrier. Besides being cold and soaked on one side, adrenaline had me pretty amped. Then my phone rang and she locked onto the source of the ring.
I fished it out of my pocket and got the damn thing shut off, but not before she figured out where it was coming from. She paced back and forth on the other side of the deadfall but since she couldn't see me and I didn't move, she finally gave up and continued her search downstream, but not before backtracking on "our" trail back across the creek one time to make sure.
After about 20 more minutes I finally took a chance and snuck out of there. When I got back up on the hill I spotted her bedded down about 70 yards from where I'd been laying, head swiveling all around.
I've called bears in and shot them on the ground with a stickbow, had a showdown at 10 feet with a cougar in heavy timber, shot a bull elk with a longbow at 3 yards, running at me with his antlers lowered, but I've never been shook up like that. Freaked me out all afternoon and into the evening. I'm just now getting back together. She was searching for me, and I'm not sure what she'd have done if she found me. This was the one time I didn't bother to carry, since I was going out in mid-day for only a couple miles.
Thank goodness the 9 week "new" hip held up on the run-slide down the steep, muddy, snowy hill while I was carrying a pack. What a freaky experience!! I had photos on my phone of her while she was hunting me, but when I started sneaking out to leave my LG fell out of my breast pocket and down the creek, so those photos are gone, along with the phone. Bummer, but I'm just happy to be out of there.
Insert Proust quote here.
A few years back I was out taking photos and ran into a bear that didn't run, but rather walked towards me, and finally started circling me and the circle kept getting closer and closer. I finally picked up a good sized stick and when it got too close for comfort, I swung it hard, just barely hitting it on the tip of the nose. He jumped on nearby tree and holding the stick in one hand and the camera in the other I took this photo.
But with that said, of all the animals I photograph, I have had more moose chase me and scare me more than any bear or any other animal.
Moose are one scary animal and must be respected.
Many years ago a game warden told me about a guy who got between a cow and her calf on Wiggens Fork by Dubois,Wy. They IDed the guy by his wallet in his pants and the warden said about the only thing that held his body together was his cloths. She stomped him to death. Moose can be a pretty crazy animal.
DonVathome can tell quite a moose story too!
Glad you escaped, some don't!
Have a great bow hunt. BB
If someone had that chase on video it would go viral on the internet. :) LOL.
I saw her in this same little meadow a week ago on a hike and she gave me a look and a took couple steps forward, but didn't continue. This was a very weird thing, like something tripped her trigger and I just happened to be the subject of her ire.
Gotta tell you, it was a surreal situation all around. I've often had them start toward me when hiking with my dog, but never a full-on pursuit. Today I didn't bring my doggie. Even then, after I'd given her the slip, she kept searching for me. That was the spookiest part.
Rick, someday we'll talk about the very real physical perils posed by females of all species. That may be the subject of my first post-retirement book. I have some fabulous material and am probably lucky to be alive from a couple of those misadventures. ;-)
Some CPW folks are coming up with TASERs and we'll attempt to inject some second thoughts. May have a postscript to this story in a few days.
P.S. Glad you're safe. I've been the subject (target) of a moose charge and can still vividly recall the sight of those big horns approaching at freight train speed... 30 years later.
Here is a link for the young guys scratching their heads;
Glad ur safe and let us know if DOW finds her again.
"...you want to work out fine! Go! But don't wake up those kids! It's four in the morning! What kind of idiot is laughing at four in the morning?!..."
So I pointed out that the kids were still sound asleep, we are awake and she was looking kinda sexy with her hair looking like she was in a car accident...
The look that I got wasn't good.
Lou, glad you gave her the slip. Cow moose may be the most dangerous critter in the woods. It also sounds like the hip is doing well?
Want to be on our Tough Mudder team? Sounds like you're ready!
Lmao great story
Glad you made it out!
I remember when we first moved west and, while riding, we ran into a cow and her calf at 50 yards.
I was reaching for my camera and the experienced westerner I was with was backing his horse up and unholstering his sidearm. "What's the big deal?" I asked. I just wanted to get some photos.
Some people don't have to be told twice, and he was one of them.
That's funny! Maybe she was trying to make you run so you'd get in better shape ha ha!
Technically, hunting isn't allowed in there, but... I've pecked a couple coyotes in the past. A cougar grabbed our dog in the driveway. And since I manage the volunteer security patrol I'd be the one to write myself a citation. Ha! Yesterday I took off my jacket before I started out because it had warmed up a little, and just forgot to grab the M&P.
My CPW WCO friend advised me on what to do next time. I can't publish that here but I think you get the drift. He trusts me. When I ventured back later to look for my phone I had the .357 and a 12 gauge loaded with rubber slugs. He told me last night that the CPW folks have learned that shooting them with rubber slugs causes them to charge the shooter, so they don't do it anymore. Glad I didn't have to find out!
As for when I would have shot if I'd been carrying. If she had circled back and started coming up the creek, I'd have shot, because she'd have been on top of me. Ditto if she'd circled around the big deadfall between where I was hiding and where she was pacing around. There was plenty of time to think about it while I was lying there.
I am still pretty freaked-out, thinking about what those hooves would have done to me if I'd slipped, tripped, twisted me ankle or hip, or if she'd have found me lying behind that log.
Dang it, Jaq, I'm going to be hunting elk in great moose country this fall and now I'm going to be all paranoid! I've had a few close encounters with cows and calves....surprising them in the willows and, luckily, so far no charges.
Lou, do you think if you had dropped your pack when you headed downhill and left it behind she may have focused on it due to the smell and let you beat a retreat? Might have been a good test of the Badlands warranty! Ha! Glad you made it out safely with a heck of a story!
I'm imagining Lou running through the woods and leaping down to the creek and hiding, mud covered under the deadfall like a skinnier, Colorado version of Schwarzenegger in "Predator". I probably looked more like one of the fleeing extras from the old Godzilla movies.
Midwest, since I live amongst them, I have encounters all the time. Except for one other time, they always go the other way or ignore me if I give them a wide berth. The one other time happened last fall about 300 yards from this spot, and I'm pretty sure it was the same cow. But I had my dog with me that time, and she stopped at the edge of the cliff instead of chasing us down the hill. I attributed that event to her concern about the dog, and to the fact that she had a current year calf.
Now my entire perspective has changed, which bums me out since I love fishing my stream as it winds through the big willow and spruce bottom.
You handsome rascal we all "know" what she would have done you! Mike
Brotsky, the CPW is weighing the options.
The WCO is headed up there, may be there now. I'm not there today - wanted to put 50 miles between me and her (and needed to deal with some stuff at home today. If she shows aggressive behavior again she'll be eliminated and give the meat to someone on the list. In the meantime I believe they plan to try to tase her early next week if we can find her.
If anyone but me in that area had been pursued yesterday, bad things very likely could have happened. Most of the folks in the valley are either retired (me too, but I'm in elk shape) or elderly, out of shape or overweight. Me being in shape and long-legged at 6' 3" allowed me to get out of there and run down the hill, manage the snow and deadfalls in the creek bottom, and run up the creek. Most people would have been caught at some point.
Here's a photo I took earlier of the view from the rear of the neighbor's cabin where it started. About the same amount of snow as yesterday. I went down the hill behind me, where it's much steeper. She chased me through the spruces and willows and across the creek, which is out of the photo to the right.
Glad you're okay. Would like to get an autographed copy of that post-retirement memoir. :)
I would be a little nervous fishing that stream with my back to the willows too.
I'd guess you stepped into a situation where another predator had just gotten her amped up.
Heck of a story, Lou!
Is it man season? Did she have a tag? Turn that poacher in!
They sure can be unpredictable.....
Kind of reminds me of the other thread going where bucks are attracted to women in their menstrual cycle - maybe she caught you at your "time of the month!"
My friend the CPW WCO theorized she just has it in for me for some reason. She might be the one I almost accidentally peed on off my deck last fall. I suspect since there was a small group of folks today, she didn't feel compelled to take them all on.
Jake, if I hadn't been paying attention it would have been a big problem. Like you, I'm always aware of my surroundings when outside. Always. Because you never know what may be hunkered behind that bush or sitting in that tree. I don't want to be the star of the 5 o'clock news.
I know I'm going to be REALLY careful now, and may do my day hikes elsewhere. I probably won't fish that section of the stream this summer. Not happy about that because it's one of my favorite places to fish on the planet.
But I really don't want to get dead, either, and killing a pregnant cow moose out of season would likely bring more headaches than it's worth.
Or maybe not. We'll see.
I'd feel really bad if she stomped you into "Lou Jelly" after my previous smart azz posts and making comments like "Lou Jelly".
That moose had no business nosing around under my deck in the first place.
I got here late to the party.... all the good jokes used up already....
Glad the hip held up well. Scary stuff. Unreal what would flip her switch like that. How old was she??? I'm thinkin' maybe that which gives men-pause.... that's a killer for sure, vicious, relentless...
Only guaranteed safety with something like that is to have a cow tag in your pocket....
Seriously though, be careful.
What happened here is pretty clear to me. The big game animals in CO got together and put a price on your head. There is a contract out on you.
The entire effort was probably led by the elk, but I'm sure the moose, deer, and the bears all pitched in. I bet if you look real close you can even find a crude drawing of yourself on wanted posters hanging on trees in the woods.
"Wanted Dead not Alive, Big Reward!"
Apparently changing your handle didn't fool anyone. I'd suggest a new haircut, a different hat and perhaps dark sunglasses.
"I am still pretty freaked-out, thinking about what those hooves would have done to me if I'd slipped, tripped, twisted me ankle or hip, or if she'd have found me lying behind that log."
It's a good thing you twisted your ankle only seconds before you found a decent hiding spot or she would have ran you down.
How bad was the hike back on a twisted ankle? Did you hurt it badly?
Glad to hear you made it out alive and without any serious injury at least.
Hammer, my ankle actually became numb while lying there hiding while she was hunting me. The water temp from snowmelt runoff was probably about 36 degrees, and that side was lying in snow during the adventure. Hiking back was no problem since I had very little feeling below the knees, and plenty of adrenalin pumping.
Update - the cow and yearling calf are right back where they were when she came after me. My neighbor (whose cabin I tried to hide behind) walked around but all she did was stare at him, then went back to eating. She does have a serious winter tick infestation which is likely to make her irritable at times. But everyone has concluded that she just has it in for me, alone, for some reason. Good to know....
Next time she gets that close, hang a Thermacell around her neck, and be sure to give her a supply of replacement fuel and pads. Or maybe just go with the supersize Frontline. She'll thank you for it I'm sure, she might even cancel the contract on your life.
Steer clear of the ole hag.
It's good to be hunted once in a while. It makes you respect the game and gives you an insight into the mind of the prey.
Cudos to you Lou...livin' the dream.