Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, rivers are flowing, and our local wildlife is making appearances around town! Moose are among the most majestic and fascinating creatures we share our mountain town with. Seeing a moose in the wild is a magical moment, but it is important to take some precautions to keep yourself and the moose safe.

Moose are the largest mammals in Colorado- over six feet tall at the shoulder, coming in at up to 1200 pounds! Transplanted to the state in 1978 and 1979, moose breeding populations can now be seen in most higher-elevation habitats. Their diet consists of grazing on willows, grasses, bushes, leaves, needles, and underwater vegetation. Moose prefer to live in riparian and forested areas near lakes or marshes.

Moose are commonly found in Breckenridge and can occasionally be seen near our resorts or downtown! Follow these precautions to stay safe in moose country.

Preventing Moose Incidents

  • Know Moose Behavior

    Before you recreate in the Colorado mountains and valleys, ensure you are prepared and knowledgeable of moose territory and behavior!

    • Moose are very territorial and will aggressively defend themselves and their young.
    • Moose are particularly aggressive during calving season (May-June) and rutting season (September-October)
    • Moose love riparian environments (along rivers, streams, and lakes), and can be found in brushy areas with plenty of willows, sagebrush, and beaver pond habitat.
    • Dogs resemble the moose’s natural predator- wolves. Keep your pet safe and keep them on a leash!
    • Moose are huge, can swim, and can run very quickly- up to 35 mph!
  • Keep Your Distance

    • If a moose hasn’t seen you yet- keep it that way!
    • Never attempt to approach a moose.
    • Follow the rule of thumb: you should be far enough away to completely cover the animal in your line of vision by holding out your thumb.
  • Watch For Signs of Stress

    Watch for these signs of agitation if you encounter a moose. If you see these behaviors- it’s time to leave!

    • Laid back ears
    • Raised hairs on the neck
    • Licking the snout
    • Lowering their head
  • Appear Non-Threatening

    If you encounter a moose, follow these steps to appear as nonthreatening as possible.

    • Stay calm, do not run away
    • Speak softly and calmly. Make your presence known and avoid surprising the moose
    • Slowly back away in the direction you came
    • Take cover behind something solid if necessary
  • If a Moose Charges

    If you are charged by a moose:

    • Run away as fast as possible
    • Put a large object (tree, boulder, car, etc.) between you

Related Articles