A moose that kicked a woman trying to save her dogs on Blue Mountain on Thursday night will not be put down, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Friday.

The moose was simply trying to protect her calf when the dogs attacked – and the woman was also trying to protect the moose by getting the dogs away from it, said FWP Sgt. Joe Jaquith.

The incident serves as a good reminder for people walking their dogs in wild areas this time of year, when animals are having their young, and are very protective as a result, Jaquith said. It’s best to either keep dogs leashed or under very close control, he said.

The woman, who was not named, was walking four or five dogs between 5 and 5:30 p.m. off the motorcycle trail on Blue Mountain, he said.

“They stumbled into a moose cow and calf ... and the dogs got after the moose. She tried to wade in and get the dogs and ended up getting knocked down and kicked by the moose,” Jaquith said.

The woman was treated at a hospital, he said. “We’re glad she’s going to be all right,” he said.

The moose and her calf also appeared to be unharmed, he said. FWP workers went back to the area Thursday evening to check on them, and found the calf nursing.

“We got within 30 feet, cautiously, just to check. She showed no signs of aggression,” he said.

Both the moose and the dogs were doing what they normally do in such situations, he said.

“It’s a natural predator-prey relationship between moose and canines. But moose can be particularly nasty when defending their calves. A moose cow is perfectly capable of killing a dog,” Jaquith said.

Typically, a wild animal that attacks a person is killed. But in a situation like this one, “we can’t put an animal down in good conscience,” he said.

People on Blue Mountain are likely to encounter all manner of animals, he said – “a sow (bear) with cubs, elk, deer. ... Anytime somebody’s recreating in a national forest, they need to be a little bit heads-up,” he said.

He advises leashing dogs, or keeping them close, with a leash at hand. “Once you get your dog on a leash, the problem is solved that fast,” he said.

Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com, or @CopsAndCourts.

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(41) comments

gomer13
gomer13

I once knew of a person who's dogs harassed and even killed a baby deer. FWP was unwilling to do anything so 'someone' down the road warned this neighbor what would become of their dogs if it happened again. Not even two weeks later both dogs were nearly split in half by a .300 weatherby mag as they were running down a spotted fawn. The deer grazed peacefully for the remainder of the summer.

Stillmike Miller
Stillmike Miller

This "someone" was completely within the law, too!

us citizen
us citizen

it's legal to carry a side arm arm yourselves and if your on blue mountain and you are attacked buy someones dog use it then maybe just maybe the will leash there dogs you have a right to protect yourself

GracelessAge
GracelessAge

I don't go to the city parks very often. People have their kids off leash. Kids scream and yell while playing and run in front of me while I am trying to walk. Then the parents expect me to coo over the gross, loud parisites that infect our city's lovely parks. As one person in these comments said, "just kick'em in the head and they go away", boy do I wish I could. In resturants and stores, the screaming, ill mannered childeren and parents (sometimes louder then the kids), distrupt my meal or shopping experience. So all you dog haters, keep your kids and your self out of the off leash areas. I will stay away from your parks and on-leash sections. You control your kids. If you are jogging or running your kids in off leash areas, by being there, you will just have to take your chances just like every other part of the woods.

Roger
Roger

Ever hear of "voice restraint"? Control your dog, or it may get hurt. Regardless of what you think, people don't have to tolerate your unruly dogs - they are your responsibility - period.

Gomez
Gomez

So are so out of bounds you have no grip on reality. 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Close to 30 people a year die from dog attacks. Could you please give us the number of people sent to the hospital from being bitten by toddlers in parks or are killed by runaway 8 year old kids in restaurants?

Here a little heads up. If you lay one finger on any one of my kids you will find out what the words "swift justice" mean. I think I speak for all parents when I say this.

huckleberryhaven
huckleberryhaven

What's funny with comments like 'GracelessAge' is that at some point, he/she too were the same 'gross, loud parasites' they speak of in their comment. Looks like he/she never outgrew it either. How about you dog owners, keep your dog from jumping on other people and knocking people down with their unwanted paws up on peoples chests. Or you will just see that boot in places where the sun don't shine. What about dogs barking at all hours of the night... it's called having control of your dog which as commented frequently through out this article, a lot of people do not have.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Those who study moose will tell you the most dangerous thing you can do in moose country is walk with a dog. It is the natural instinct, especially a cow with a calf, to attack any canine-their natural predator. This is moose country. That woman is lucky to be alive. I love dogs, but why are so many dog owners completely obtuse?

70seebs
70seebs

Feral horses behave in the same way - if there is a foal in the herd, and the herd spots a dog or dogs with people, they will respond aggressively, even over a distance large enough that you'd feel safe at first. An angry stallion is scary. Feral horses are closer to Missoula than most would think - in the northern Sapphire Mountains and Upper Miller Creek area. Leashing dogs and paying close attention to your surroundings is important when you recreate on public wildlands.

Amanda
Amanda

Because no one leashes their dogs is the only reason why I quit going there... Its sucks fighting off other people unleashed dogs while I have mine leashed and they look at me like I've done something wrong... It's not the dogs fault, there just being dogs.. Blame the self centred woman... I would also love to enjoy all Missoula has to offer also but unleashed dogs and stupid people take the joy out of it... Leash your dogs!!

GracelessAge
GracelessAge

It's an "off leash" area. Please go somewhere else if you don't like dogs. Do you hang out at the kiddy swimming pools in the parks to be close to the water and expect no kids to be there? There are a ton of on leash and no dog areas around missoula. Please use them. I am paying for them in my taxes and give you full permission. I dislike small childeren so I don't get to use the parks. See how that works.

Roger
Roger

You're out of line - dog owners must be able to control their dogs in public, and if they don't, your dog may pay the price. You can't keep hikers out of areas open to the the public, so control your dog, or else. We're getting tired of people like you and your dogs.

huckleberryhaven
huckleberryhaven

Off leash area for dogs does not mean they have the right to jump up on people, with the fullforce knocking people down and scratching at peoples legs, etc. Have control of your dogs, period.

troutcreek
troutcreek

Since when is it Ok for domestic dogs to harass wildlife? MFWPs needs to get their priorities in order. There was a time in the not so distant past in Montana when the dogs would have been shot now in 2013 it is not a problem for dogs to chase moose, elk, and deer. At the very least the women should have been fined for not having her dogs under control.

mountaincycle
mountaincycle

Fine the lady and put the dogs down. If they attacked once, they'll do it again if given the chance. I assume this brilliant lady will be walking her attack dogs at Blue again, mostly likely without leashes. I'm sick of unleashed dogs any where around this town. Wish I could give citizen tickets for unleashed dogs. Especially along the river front

logic
logic

If you think about all the dog owners you know, MOST of them cannot control their dogs. Poor training. Walking one dog is O.K. but 5 dogs together turns into a pack. If a whitetail fawn jumps up in front of them, the pack eggs each other on and the fawn would be history. Don't even think that your cute "trained" dog wouldn't do it - they will. It just takes seconds. In that situation, most cases you wouldn't even be able to call them off. We all like to see our dogs get exercise and off leash is better for that but running a pack is irresponsible. I'm sure she knows that now. That momma moose will most likely stay low around Blue Mountain because if she takes her calf up the mountain too far from civilization, her calf and probably her will be killed by wolves.

MT_Mama
MT_Mama

Four or five dogs? Doesn't the woman know how many she had in this uncontrolled pack? She should be cited for allowing them to harass wildlife. I'm so sick of people taking dogs out and not controlling them.

Abonides
Abonides

Moose - 1
Stupid human - 0
Go Moose!
She got what she deserved, letting her dogs run loose. There should be a bunch of broken bodies and a very satisfied moose.

Roger
Roger

Too bad the moose didn't kill a couple of her dogs - I've been attacked by dogs several times on Blue Mtn, but a good swift kick in the head usually stops them. Of course the owners of aggressive dogs always find a way to blame the victim for somehow making their dog attack, because they're just plain stupid. One moronic female up Pattee Canyon tried to tell me her aggressive dog was set off by the fact that I had skis on my feet!

frazzle
frazzle

I have found that bear spray stops a dog dead in its tracks.

Re-Made in Montana
Re-Made in Montana

In other news, the moose council agreed that, likewise, the human did not need to be put down. It was all just a big misunderstanding.

pl
pl

I have two dogs and I ALWAYS leash them whenever they are out of my fenced yard. I do this because I love my dogs, not because they are vicious. I don't want any human or animal to hurt them. A leashed dog is NO nuisance to wildlife or other people. A leashed dog is a controlled dog. I have been in the emergency vet hospital with a sick dog and seen dogs brought in that have DIED because they were running loose on Blue Mountain and were attacked by other loose running dogs.
It's a disaster waiting to happen in one form or another. NO ONE has such great control over their dog that the dog will come 100% of the time. Love and protect your dog and others. Leash them!
Thank God FWP didn't put down the moose because of a stupid woman with 5 dogs running loose!

wildmtn
wildmtn

Agreed. Most dogs cannot be controlled by voice once they spot another animal. I use a leash because I love my dogs as well as respect for other hikers. Bear. mountain lion and moose are not the only animals that can and will kill a barking dog. Elk, deer, bobcats, porcupines and even free range cattle can cause severe damage or death to a dog. If you don't care enough to leash your dogs for the humans you encounter, do it for your beloved dogs.

Stillmike Miller
Stillmike Miller

What's up with the Missoulian being sexist and not printing women's names in the stories?! This one, the Mullan Sidewalk Murderer, and the Old lady Deer Keeper on Bass Creek Road. Such a modern Liberal paper being so sexist; whoda thunk??

Meanwhile, as to the lady this story is about: Stupid is as Stupid does. Wait till the wolves get her and her dogs.

Roger
Roger

You'll never get honest, objective reporting from the clowns at the Moozoolian - they're biased to the left, and generally very poorly educated.

huntskifish
huntskifish

That must be why you spend so much of your time on the Missoulian website. Guess you're just a sucker for punishment.

Stillmike Miller
Stillmike Miller

huntskifish, how would you know how much time people spend on the Missoulian website?

Kokanee
Kokanee

My dogs are always under my voice command,My dogs never chase animals,My dogs would never hurt anything this and other drivel is what is spewed. When these people allow there dogs to run sure as the sun rises in the east there will be trouble.How many times have they caught and killed fawns?

They should be on a leash at all times my dogs are!!!!

Everyday person
Everyday person

This person deserved exactly what she got. Dogs off-leash in public areas are fair targets, and Montanans usually shoot dogs caught chasing wildlife in the woods. Why didn't FWP fine her? People should either adjust their habitats to be appropriate for the woods or they should stay in the suburbs from which they emerged.

Barkinlounger
Barkinlounger

" we can't put an animal down in good conscience" he said.

We need to find a perp first.

Mr C
Mr C

5 dogs? The Moose probably thought it had a pack of Wolves attacking. Why would you want to put the Moose down? The dogs were the attackers....put them down!

workingtaxpayer
workingtaxpayer

If you can't control your dogs you need to be kicked in the head by a moose... Buy a leash and use it. I am so sick of dog owners saying "Sorry or It wasn't my dog"

trad man
trad man

it is illegal for dogs to attach any hoofed animal in MT, can be shot on sight, moose in AK will do a dance on you with their 2 toed feet and most folks if they survive are darn lucky. Why hasn't this idiot been at least fined, and how dare anyone to think the moose should be put down , let us all sterilize all that is left of MT so these creeps from where ever can run their dog packs unchecked. I myself would of unloaded on them if I saw it happen, and I don't miss!

BSUjack
BSUjack

You sir are one brick short of a load !! "It's Illegal for dogs to attack any hoofed animal in MT."??? What are you smok'in ?? If so, do the Wolves know this ?? Maybe i am confused, but when you go into the woods with one or more domestic pets or dogs they are your problem. I doubt that Mrs. pet owner ,who jumped into save her pet from mama Moose would do so if it was Mama Grizzly bear working her pet over, regardless of death or health outcome. No one is put down !! The only question for FWP would be if Mrs.. pet owner was killed, then what FWP ???? I love my dogs and want them to enjoy the outdoors too, but they are on a leash at all tlmes !!

Snowcrest
Snowcrest

There is no doubt that this woman was destined for reality check. Who in their right mind would "wade in" to a moose/dog altercation?
Let the physics of natural selection take it's course.
Move on folks, nothing to see here.

Comment deleted.
RobertR
RobertR

Richturd you are the problem. Your pathetic!!!????

MiddleFinger
MiddleFinger

4 or 5 dogs?

Doesn't one need a permit to operate a business on Blue Mountain?

Do you just love it when a dog packing service lets there clientele roam like a pack of dogs?

Don't want to stifle business, but there oughta be a law....

Good on the moose!

us citizen
us citizen

good job fwp by not putting her down she was just protecting her young just like we as parents would do for ours

Josh
Josh

I'm glad the woman and the moose are okay.
Off leash dogs, the wildlife they harass and kill, the poop their owners leave behind, and the weeds they spread across our public lands will continue to be a problem until we get serious about enforcement.

johnny Dollar
johnny Dollar

I love it when some nut has their uncontrollable dogs on the same trail as me........most people I run into act as if I should step aside and let their mutt lick me down. Nope.......

tired of spin
tired of spin

Rich you are an idiot with such remarks but good chance the more simple minded think it is cute. Note still waiting to see when the manly-men and legislators who find it cute to trap and bait the wolves will post ads boards across nation and at MT border inviting tourists to "Come to MT and see a wolf shot in trap by manly man etc".

But as to moose, worked with a guide in AK, he and others regarded Moose with calf one of most dangerous animal in North America. There are records of them attacking train when with calves. They are fierce mom's and very few predators will take them on, good idea to wear something like bell or such when walking about this time of year as critters will hear you and wander off. If you want picture of moose, use very long lenses

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