ADF&G warns long winter is making moose irritable

(KDLG Photo)

As this winter continues, longer and snowier than those in the recent past, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in a Monday press release warned moose are getting cantankerous. Neil Barten is the ADF&G wildlife biologist in Dillingham. He said that no aggressive moose have been reported in the area, but that potential is there, so it’s important not to pester them.

Listen now

“This winter’s been getting kind of long, and in places where the snow has piled up, the moose are kind of having to work harder to get food,” Barten said. “They’re burning up their energy reserves that they have to hopefully make it through the winter with, so as some people have kind of noted, they can get kind of ornery around this time of year because they are already stressed out.”

Come late spring, Barten said people should be especially mindful of giving moose appropriate space.

“When we get into late May, when the moose start dropping calves, moose are very good mothers,” Barten said. “They’re very defensive, and that’s the time of year that they can be very aggressive toward a dog, a person or whatever that happens to get close to them or their calves.”

ADF&G said that Alaskans have reported encounters with aggressive moose from Homer to Anchorage, Palmer and beyond in recent weeks.