WINTER PARK, Colo. – On Sunday, Aug. 29, Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to a call of a woman injured in an attack by an aggressive moose near Winter Park.
Wildlife officers learned the victim, a woman from Boulder, was injured between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. that morning while walking in the dark on the Little Vasquez Road (USFS Road 156) just west of Winter Park.
The woman said the moose knocked her down twice. After the second attack, the woman told officers she played dead and the moose left. She hiked out on her own and went to the medical center in Granby where she was treated for injuries to her back, leg and wrist.
“She was walking in good moose habitat without a light in the dark, so we suspect she walked right into the moose,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Trails next to water often make for a great hiking experience, but they’re also often near great moose habitat. Hikers should choose routes with good visibility and be extra cautious when walking in close proximity to willows and thick habitat.”
“This is the second moose conflict we’ve had near Winter Park in less than a week,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Jacob Kay. “This incident is a good reminder for folks to give moose plenty of space when recreating outdoors.”
Hikers can help minimize moose conflicts by being wise about where they recreate and practice the Leave No Trace Principle to Plan Ahead and Prepare by looking up trail information and conditions ahead of time. Please report any moose conflicts to your local CPW office location.
Other moose incidents this year
On Aug. 25, a 62-year-old New Mexico man was attacked by a bull moose while running with his two dogs on a trail on the west side of Winter Park.
A 79-year-old woman was attacked by a cow moose and severely injured on Friday, Aug. 13, around 9 p.m. in a rural area outside a home south of Glenwood Springs.
On Saturday, Aug. 7, a man walking along a willow bottom heading towards a lake in Clear Creek County was charged by a bull moose he just happened to come across. The viral video shows just how quickly a moose can decide to charge on a person. That man came away uninjured as he dived behind a tree, which the bull moose hit.
On May 29 in Steamboat Springs, a man was knocked over on his back and stomped by a cow moose with two calves. The victim stated that his small dog was outside unleashed when he heard it start barking and realized there was a moose in the area. He stepped forward to grab the dog and that is when the moose charged at him. That man was examined for minor injuries on site.
Fifteen years ago on March 26, 2006, a man from Grand Lake was attacked and critically injured by a bull moose as he walked to church. Days late, on April 6, 2006, the man died from his injuries.
CPW produced a video illustrating how people can be safe and responsible around moose. The video is available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6Qj9K_eJJE&t=2s.