If you and the family are planning on heading up north this summer to explore the Utah wilds there is one creature, you’ll want to especially watch out for; a moose. 

Though the huge non-predatory creatures may seem harmless, they are quite aggressive when they feel threatened. I’m not sure about you but getting chased by a moose is pure nightmare fuel for me. Which is why the Utah Department of Natural Resources is warning adventurous Utahn’s to steer clear of these guys.  

Utah has somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 moose which feels like A LOT. The Utah DNR said these “gentle” giants are the largest member of the deer family. They stick to aquatic vegetation in the summer and spring and move to bark and twigs.  

So, for all those shore fishers out there...WATCH OUT! 

"In my years of working with wildlife, I have dealt with bears, rattlesnakes, cougars and moose, and the only species that I've had turn and come back at me was a moose," DWR Wildlife Section Chief Covy Jones said. "People often underestimate how aggressive they can be." 

Utah’s adult moose can be anywhere from 600 to 1,000 pounds and have a height of 6 ft! They are BIG BOYS. In some places, moose injure more people than bears some wildlife agencies have reported.  

Moose Behavior to Watch For: 

  • Lowering their head 
  • Hair standing up on the neck 
  • Licking their snout 
  • Pinning their ears back 

During the breeding season, moose can become extra aggressive and territorial.  

DNR Safety Tips: 

  • Always give the moose a lot of space and watch its behavior. 
  • Never try to approach or feed a moose. 
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass protected hoofed wildlife, like moose. 
  • Stay calm and do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back away in the direction you came. 
  • If a moose charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid (like a tree) or try to get inside a vehicle or building. 
  • If a moose knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until the moose retreats. 

"Like with most wildlife, if you give moose plenty of space and don't try to get too close, it will help keep you and them safe," Jones said. "Our biologists relocate numerous moose in urban areas every year, and we really want people to admire these amazing animals from a distance and stay safe." 

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Gallery Credit: Emily Mashak

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