Moose Attacks and Safety Tips

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.
Video: Dangerous conflicts between people and moose are increasing. This video provides some simple precautions to help avoid and minimize dangerous encounters.

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.

The victim was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital with minor injuries and released later Wednesday. The dogs were unharmed.

The man was running on Sundog Trail around 7:30 a.m. with his two dogs off-leash when the attack occurred.

“The dogs were 40 to 50 feet in front of him and came running back toward him,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Serena Rocksund. “He stopped and saw the moose at 50 feet. At that point, the dogs ran past him and left the scene.”

Rocksund said the man reported he took two steps forward to get a better look at the moose and “those two steps caused the moose to charge. He’s very lucky that his only injury is a hoof print-shaped laceration on the back of his head.”

moose attack evidence
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hot Sulphur Springs District Wildlife Manager Jeff Behncke examines moose tracks on Sundog Trail on the west side of Winter Park. 

Rocksund said wildlife officers did not find the moose after walking the trail system around Sundog Trail.

“This is a good reminder for folks to keep their dogs on leash and give moose plenty of space when recreating outdoors,” Rocksund said. “It’s hard to see around these corners with the thick vegetation on these trails, so having a dog on a short leash here is key.”

Other Moose Incidents this Year

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 gentleman 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. That man later died from his injuries on April 6.


Travis Duncan is a public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Denver. Travis has lived in Colorado nearly 20 years and loves the outdoors. If you have a question, please email him at travis.duncan@state.co.us. All Photos courtesy of Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

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