Tag Archives: moose attacks

Wildlife Wednesday: Moose Attacks, Black Coyotes & Conserving Africa’s Wildlife

Greetings from the Higher Calling Wildlife® headquarters!

This week we have lots to discuss from around the world beginning with a series of moose attacks.

My “The Great American Wildlife Conflict” article was published in the Houston Safari Club Foundation’s convention journal that was handed out to all guests at their 2022 convention.

Big moose are bad news when they want to be! And they will show up in your front yard. (Photo Courtesy U.S. Fish.& Wildlife Service)

In the piece I named five animals I thought would have increasing conflicts with people and one of them was moose.

People typically think of carnivores as threats but large ungulates can almost become dangerous, especially when they routinely weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

In the last 48 hours, these three headlines came across my Google alerts.

Moose Attacks Two Vehicles Never Eveleth

Maine Teen Kills Moose After It Attacks Dog Sled

Alaska Moose Attack: Drive Prayed Not To Be Killed

Human populations are growing, moose numbers are increasing in some areas and wildlife habitat is shrinking.

The bull moose charged Bridgett Watkins’ dogs and trampled on them for more than an hour before it was shot dead on the Salcha River trail system near Fairbanks on Thursday.

Ms Watkins, who was training for a race, said she “emptied her gun into” the animal, but it continued to attack before a friend arrived and killed it with one round from their rifle.

That quote from the Alaska story is quite frightening and shows the potential danger of moose. Many predators leave after they think a threat is eliminated or if they “miss” in a pass at someone. Moose apparently like to hang around and keep on pounding.

I will be covering more on moose attacks and their behavior in coming editions.

My wife and I saw moose for the first time in the wild three years ago and we both fell in love with them. They have become her favorite animal so if fuel prices come down we may take a road trip this fall to photograph them.

Oh, don’t worry. We’ll keep a safe distance.

Black Non- Coyote-Canid?

For a few years I was on an email list with a bunch of biologists and wolf researchers and frequently heard the tear “non-coyote canid” used to describe animals that were definitely part coyote but might also have some wolf DNA.

Is this the case with this beautiful animal Rusty Adams captured on this game camera in East Texas? It looks like a coyote but it has a lot of bulk. Melanism (hyper amounts of black pigment) was common in what came to be the red wolf in the Southeastern United States. Is this a melanistic coyote or is there some lingering red wolf DNA?

I guess that would make it a non-coyote canid.

No matter what, it’s awesome and we appreciate Rusty sending in these photos. If you have game camera photos of unusual canids or any interesting wildlife, please send to chester@chestermoore.com. We would love to share them here.

Photo Courtesy Rusty Adams
Photo Courtesy Rusty Adams

Conserving Southern Africa’s Wildlife

In the latest episode of Higher Calling Wildlife® we talk with Adrian Donian of Buffalo Kloof Conservancy in South Africa about their amazing conservation work involving everything from white and black rhinos to cheetahs.

Joining us is Jake Hill, a Stephen F. Austin student who did an amazing internship there last year and had experiences that might make me just a tad jealous.

Jake connected me with Buffalo Kloof after we met on a turkey capture in Nacogdoches County, TX.

It’s a can’t miss episode on the Waypoint Podcast Network. Click here to listen.

Higher Calling Wildlife, the podcast, is brought to you by Texas Fish & Game magazine.

Bringing Back the Caspian Tiger

The Caspian tiger was the subspecies found in the Middle East and into parts of southern Russia.

They were known for having a large “beard” so to speak and were deemed officially extinct in 2003.

A Caspian tiger killed in northern Iran in the 1940s. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

I recently came across a fascinating blog about Caspian tiger restoration efforts that involve everything from releasing Amur (Siberian) tigers into their range to bringing them back in the lab through cloning.

You can read about it here.

I heard intriguing reports in 2019 of Caspian tigers possibly surviving in Turkey. Wildlife of the Middle East has always intrigued me and I would love to one day go an an expedition into Turkey and Iran looking for some of its rare wildlife, including any possible leads on surviving tigers.

Eating Wild Game Is Sustainable And Healthy

We like to eat wild game at the Moore household as much as possible. I catch a lot of fish and usually kill at least a deer and a hog or two every year.

Wild game is healthy and by harvesting it and creating a demand through legal, biologically-monitored hunting, it creates a demand to keep wild species like whitetails and elk around.

Many people are turning to venison for health reasons. Check out my article at Texas Fish & Game on this topic by clicking here.

Free Wildlife of Israel E-Mag

Leading up to Passover, all of my media platforms are doing extra coverage on the wildlife of Israel.

We would like to offer our award-winning e-mag The Wildlife of Israel for free!

It’s got some top-notch stories and photos and features some work from some of the teens we are working with in our conservation project.

You can view the e-mag by clicking on the icon above or here.

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The Coming American Wildlife Conflict

America fell in love with wildlife and wild grounds again in 2020.

More people than at any point in recent history visited national parks, state wildlife management areas, purchased hunting and fishing licenses and went camping. As the coronavirus squashed indoors recreation, people sought solace outdoors.

And it continues.

This comes as human populations are growing in some of America’s top wildlife states.

Colorado added a million new residents between 2010 and 2020.

Texas’ population has grown 20 percent since 2000 alone and Montana for the first time has two Congressional seats.

Black bears deserve our respect but that means a true understanding of these complex and incredibly strong predators. (Public Domain Photo)

Skyrocketing people numbers in wildlife heavy states that are seeing increases in potentially dangerous wildlife will bring dramatically increased human-wildlife conflict.

On April 30, 2021, a Colorado Springs woman was killed by a 10-year-old black sow. Her remains were found in the sow’s stomach and in that of one of her yearlings as well.

In September a woman was nearly killed by a cow moose attack in Colorado. She played dead to survive.

And in my home region of Southeast, we’re coming upon the one year anniversary of a fatal hog attack. And four months after it, we documented a man savagely attacked by boar near Texas Lake Sam Rayburn.

More people. Less habitat. More wildlife.

Those are formulas for big problems.

But there are other factors as well

Animal rightist ideology driving policy with wildlife will make matters worse. These people never blame the animal. It’s somehow always the person’s fault.

Like, the 16-year-old girl who was attacked by a bear while sleeping on a hammock in a designated camping area was asking for a mauling.

I love wildlife.

I dedicate a huge amount of my time to its conservation.

But it has to be managed.

And yes that means bears that attack people should be killed. It also means where biologically feasible hunting should be allowed to harvest animals from burgeoning populations and to help put some fear of humans among predators.

Many of the people entering the woods for the first time last year see nature as a petting zoo.

Bison get plenty of wildlife-uneducated people to whack in the Yellowstone region where free-ranging populations exist. (Photo by Chester Moore)

I witnessed it myself in Yellowstone National Park as a woman took a selfie with a 2,000-pound bull bison. I warned her and thankfully she didn’t get attacked but people act the same way with bears, moose and any other animals they encounter.

There needs to be a huge wildlife education initative and this why we at Higher Calling Wildlife have greatly increased our Texas Bear Aware activities and outreach. Bears are coming back to Texas and almost no one here knows how to share the woods with them.

The following three species is where I see the biggest issues in most of the Lower 48. We’ll touch on Canada and Alaska as well as the Yellowstone grizzly situation in another post down the road.

Black Bears: Black bear numbers are rising, especially in the South, with Florida seeing large increases along with Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Black bears rarely attack but nearly all black bear attacks are predatory. Grizzlies will sometimes lash out because they just didn’t like the way you looked. Black bears who are fed by people, eat from their garbage and come into conflict with pets will be an increasing danger.

Feral Hogs: Feral hog populations are skyrocketing in the South, increasing in the West and Northeast and they are a real potential danger. We’ve seen it here in Texas with the aforementioned attacks. I hate to predict bad things but this is just the beginning.

Click here to listen to our podcast with the survivor.

The author got these game camera photos of a large boar on private land near a popular family fishing area. (Photo by Chester Moore)

Moose: These monstrous deer don’t play. Mess with a moose and you get smashed. They’re also not afraid to show up in someone’s yard or eat in the middle of a hiking trail. We usually don’t think of ungulates as a danger but moose are showing themselves to be one, especially in Colorado where there are a record number of issues with them in 2021.

People have to be educated.

Hunting where applicable should be used to manage burgeoning populations. And in the case of hogs, every hog needs to be targeted. Sadly, we just can’t kill enough to stop the mega rise in numbers.

And we must maintain a respect for wildlife.

It’s great that more people are enjoying the outdoors. That’s more advocates to keep mountains from becoming ski lodges and plains from turning to park lots.

But there will be a move via hidden, radical animal rights agendas to remove animals like moose which were stocked in Colorado from the landscape. Oh, it will be under the guise of public safety and restoring balance to the “natural” order but it wil come.

They’ve already done it with mountain goats in other states.

And there will be pressure to restrict access to wilderness areas for ‘safety” and for the animals’ “welfare”.

We must stand against this. And we must support sound management and educaton of our wildlife resources.

We must also realize more human-wildlife conflict is coming. We need to be sure we’re not a casualty.

And we need to ensure wildlife has plenty of wild ground and we have access to enjoy it as well, empowered by the knowledge that sometimes animals do attack.

Chester Moore

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