Moose That Attacked Colorado Bowhunter Won’t Be Euthanized: Here’s Why

by Taylor Cunningham

A bull moose that attacked and nearly killed a hunter in Larimer County, Colorado on Tuesday will not be euthanized.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the moose reacted after the unnamed man attempted to shoot the animal with a bow. When he missed, the moose charged. While a moose attack is rare, the reaction is common behavior.

“CPW will not be taking management action on the moose,” CPW announced. “Big game animals, especially moose, can be aggressive and unpredictable.”

The attack happened on Sept.13 in the Trap Creek area of the county. When the animal charged, it gored and then trampled the shooter. Adult moose can weigh up to 1,800 pounds. And they stand around 6 feet tall. Bow hunters typically get within 20 to 30 yards of the animal when they take shots.

A GPS Device Saved A Hunter’s Life After a Bull Moose Nearly Gored Him to Death

Despite suffering life-threatening injuries, the man was able to send an emergency single to local authorities from a GPS device he was carrying. He then found more hunters who helped carry him out of the area.

“His ability to stay cool after being mangled by a moose, to have that presence of mind, is pretty impressive,” wildlife manager Jason Surface said. “Having an emergency beacon device contributed to this hunter’s rescue. And it is always good to have a plan when in the woods by yourself.”

Once the hunter was out of the woods, a deputy found him and gave him life-saving first aid. Jenevieve Kramer, a spokesperson with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, said the man was transported to a local hospital by air. His condition is currently unknown.

“The hunter had hiked about a mile and a half to Long Draw Road and was being assisted by other passers-by when our deputy arrived. Our deputy immediately rendered first aid to the hunter, placing a tourniquet on his arm and keeping him comfortable until paramedics from Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District arrived,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

CPW spokesperson Travis Duncan shared that the incident is the fourth moose attack of the year. But since 2013, all but two moose attacks have been caused by dogs. The animal can’t differentiate a pet dog from a wolf, which is one of its main predators. And they instinctively attempt to crush them with their hooves. Officials ask hunters to consider keeping their dogs at home for that reason.

In this case, there were no dogs involved.