ENNIS — A surprise close encounter with a bull moose east of Ennis on Wednesday, Jan. 27 left a hiker injured.
According to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release, two men in their 70s were hiking on U.S. Forest Service Trail 6317, commonly called the Jack Creek Trail, about 10 miles east of Ennis. Two miles up the trail, the men encountered a bull moose standing about 10 yards off one side of the trail.
The moose charged at the hikers. One of the men stood behind a standing tree while the other took cover under a fallen tree. The moose continued its approach and kicked at the man under the fallen tree until the other hiker was successful in driving the moose away.
The man who was kicked while under the tree was treated at Madison Valley Medical Center for injuries that were not life-threatening. The other man did not require medical treatment.
Moose can be defensive and dangerous in surprise close encounters with people. FWP staff have posted signs at the entrance to this trail advising recreationists of the encounter. No further management action is planned at this time.
Moose can be found throughout most of Montana. Keep these precautions in mind to avoid negative encounters with moose:
- Be aware of your surroundings and be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
- Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise to alert animals to your presence.
- If you encounter a moose, give it lots of space and don’t approach it. Keep dogs under control at all times.
- If a moose charges or chases you, take cover behind something solid, such as a tree.
Photo: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks stock photo