WATCH: Moose Battles Golf Course Flag, Golfer Putts Feet in Front of the Giant Animal

by Lauren Boisvert

Imagine trying to golf and there’s a moose hanging out right in front of you (or a couple of elk, like in this story). That was the reality for a few golfers who were trying to have a peaceful round. In a video on Instagram, a moose has a fight with a flag, and then a man putts right in front of it. He runs off before the huge animal gets close, but in the background, another moose can be seen running at top speed in the other direction. Safe to say, these golfers narrowly avoided what could have been a disaster.

One comment on the video said, “Mark a 3 on the card and move on,” and I’m inclined to agree. No one is going to fault you if you forge your score to avoid a moose on the course. These animals are incredibly fast and dangerous, and it’s not in anyone’s best interest to run away from one so suddenly as that golfer did.

In Alaska, moose injure more people than bears do, about 5 to 10 attacks annually. Moose outnumber bears 3 to 1 as well. Additionally, the state reports nearly 800 traffic accidents yearly due to moose encounters. Bulls are more aggressive during September and October, in the mating season. Additionally, once their calves are born, females become extremely protective. Just as you shouldn’t get between a bear and her cub, it’s equally as dangerous to get between a moose and her calf.

Moose run up to 35 mph, and can definitely chase you down if it feels significantly threatened. In most cases, moose will run away when they are spooked, but sometimes they charge instead. As for moose safety, the National Park Service first recommends giving moose plenty of room. So, people golfing, maybe just sit that hole out, okay?

How to Stay Safe When Around Moose

In addition to giving these huge animals plenty of room, be aware of your surroundings when hiking or in National Parks. Staying on designated trails will keep you safest. The NPS states that moose will likely stand their ground even if they hear people approaching. Because of this, it’s best to keep a close eye on your environment.

If a moose hasn’t seen you, but you see it, leave the area slowly and calmly, making sure the animal doesn’t notice you. If it has seen you, back away slowly, talking to the animal in a soft, low tone so it knows you’re not a threat. Same as with bears, don’t run and don’t turn your back. It’s important that you don’t make any sudden movements or noises to alarm the animal. If you think it’s going to charge, the NPS recommends getting out of its path and taking cover immediately.

How do you spot an aggravated moose, though? According to the NPS, a moose with its ears back and hackles raised is about to charge you. They will also do something called a bluff charge, which is a very serious warning. They will begin a charge, then stop short. This is to let you know that you should back off. If you see a moose do a bluff charge, it’s time to go; get behind a tree or a car, something solid that will protect you.