Until the late 1970′s, only a few stray moose from Wyoming would wander into Northern Colorado. Now, state wildlife managers estimate that nearly 2500 moose are roaming across the western part of the state.
The boom in moose population is generally a good thing: rising population means a healthy, thriving, reproducing community of happy moose. However, the moose’s natural predators, wolves and grizzlies, are not established in Colorado, and so the moose are running a little wild… right into the ski resorts.
These 800-pound behemoths are taking advantage of packed snow on ski slopes to migrate.
“During winter, moose are often seen on trails, as it is easier to travel on packed snow compared to walking in deep snow,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife district manager Jeromy Huntington said after inspecting the moose at Winter Park. They’ve been seen at Steamboat, Nederland, and at the Winter Park resort, where a bull was dubbed Bullwinkle by patrollers.
Signs have been installed recently urging skiers and snowboarders to avoid contact with moose: ”May Charge,” “Seek Escape Route” and “Moose Don’t Shoo!” Last winter, a patroller who tried to wrangle a moose off a halfpipe provoked a charge. Staffers now advise skiers to stop and wait if moose take to a trail. This is good advice.
“We certainly prefer that the moose remains far away from winter recreationists, but that is often up to the moose,” Huntington said.
Happy Humpday (^_^)