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Ard 02-05-2012 12:23 PM

Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
Some of you may have read my entry on the blog page here titled 'A Survivor'. Friday's Anchorage Daily News had a little column in it that mentioned that on or about February first there had been 15 moose hit by automobiles in a 19 hour period of time between Anchorage & Willow Alaska. I know that we lost 5 of our local big Ol' Bullwinkle buds in a 4 day period just a week ago.

Call me a weenie but I feel real bad for the poor giant critters. Usually getting hit by a car is much different than being taken in hunting season. Two years ago I posted pictures on a thread I called 'Alaskan Weed Whacker', this young bull was trimming my lawn before I had a chance to finish the job myself.

The next morning I left home at 10:00 AM. for Deshka Landing, I was to go launch the boat for the 80 mile trip to our cabin that day. When I left the road we live on and turned left onto Knik Goose Bay Road I drove only a couple hundred yards before I came to a big black Dodge pickup (very nice rig) with the driver standing in front examining his vehicle for damages and talking on his cell phone.

Let me set the stage here: this area has the land on both sides of the road clear cut about 60 yards both ways. Besides the clear cut shoulders you have the width of the 2 lanes of asphalt and the gravel berms. The day was brilliant with crystal blue sky and vivid sunshine making it rare for Alaska. It was early June, I looked to the left side of the road and there in the grass lay my little bull. It was warm and beautiful so my drivers window was down and because of the stopped vehicle and the man on the road I had slowed down for safety sake. I looked at the little moose (about 6.5 foot tall at the shoulder and maybe 7 foot long or so, dark fur) and he was banged up bad. The worst part of this was that he had his head cocked up and was letting go with the most mournful bellow I had ever heard from an animal. It was dam near enough to bring a tear to your eyes. I've never forgot that sound or the guy looking at his grill.

So what's my problem? Broad daylight; middle of the road, brilliant sun from above not in your eyes, a clearing of at least 120 yards on level ground with cut grass, a big dark animal almost 6 feet tall X 8 or so foot long! I have always wondered 'How in the name of God did that guy drive into that moose?

Yes, I have had moose try to commit suicide by 'Running' toward my truck and our car both. Neither Nancy or I ever hit one, we somehow see those little buggers coming, even in the dark. It's just a sad thing, that's all I'm saying. If you want to see the bull that showed up here last week you can take the alaska blog link from my signature below and find 'A Survivor' I'm hoping he makes it :)


milt spawn 02-05-2012 12:45 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill in South Central AK.
Kinda makes you wonder if that guy was on his cell phone BEFORE he hit the moose. ??? milt.

Ard 02-05-2012 01:12 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill in South Central AK.
Hi Milt,

Who knows................ Me, I grew up in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania and we had White tail Deer; couple million of em I believe and they were a constant threat especially for a guy on a motorcycle. Even when I was driving a car or truck I still never wanted to get tangled up with a deer so I kept an eye peeled. Here, these things will do more than damage your car. If you hit it just right you too will end up dead and this happens occasionally. It's almost as if everyone is involved in some personal race through life and when they sit behind the steering wheel of the car or truck they take it to the limit as if there were no such thing as moose.

I am not suggesting that there are not circumstances when it is inevitable that a vehicle will collide with a hapless moose but many of these instance are perhaps avoidable. Just last July at about 3:30 AM with the river boat in tow we were on the way to a river. It was sorta light out but I was driving at about 45 mph because there was not good visibility on the edges of the road we were on. A very large bull came crashing through the bush and was on a collision course with our truck. Because I saw him coming and was not going like a bat outta heck both the moose and us went on about our day unscathed. I've had 5 close calls but was able to contain the situation without endangering anyone or anything. Speed is the factor here I believe, speed and awareness.

Just say'en

fyshstykr 02-05-2012 02:03 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
Ard, that really sucks!:(
You can call me an ol' softy too cuz it does bring a tear to the eye.

What a beautiful animal.

Ard 02-05-2012 02:09 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
I'm tellen ya, that morning with the weather so beautiful and seeing him just laying there bellowing while waiting for a Trooper to come and put a slug in his head to end the pain was a tough thought to get out of the mind.

My little baby moose has not been back so I fear the worst for her also. It is wonderful to look out the loft window and see one or more of them browsing in the woods down back but if they head off in the direction of KGB Road it is sad as well. Remember, they have to walk across an open field here to get to the road...........................

jpbfly 02-05-2012 02:10 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
Great pics Ard...strange story...not esay to answer your question...Why?
No moose here of course but lots of wildboars that cause many accidents.People who damaged their cars in town or in the traffic tried to cheat insurance companies telling they had bumped into a wildboar...and it worked for a while ...till they sent experts to check there was blood and wildboar hair on the car...

wannafish 02-05-2012 03:11 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
It's a struggle here for moose/car collisions as well; moose fences along the highway have been put up in the areas more densely populated with moose but a young fellow (about 23yrs old) was killed recently a few miles from my house when his car struck a moose just at the spot where a moose fence ends.Small vehicles knock the long legs out from under the moose causing the animal to land right on the roof of the car; often fatal for both moose and humans.

jenkin3 02-05-2012 11:21 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
It is amazing to me the amount of animal collisions there are in the country, but in soon circumstances that are inevitable. I agree with ard that a lot of it is people in a rush or just not paying attention to their speed or their surrounding. I have not yet been privilege to see any moose (hopefully soon) but I have had run in with many whitetail deer and black bear and even a few elk and they are just majestic creatures. I was reading an article the other day about how the high amount of snow that has accumulated in certain areas was causing moose to use train tracks as their travel corridors which is a scary thought for the safety of both moose and people. There is a lot of research being done how to deal with the problem. I have read some about the placement of fences, but you cant fence every piece of highway across alaska, it isnt financially plausible nor is it aesthetically pleasing. I watch a show about how some places are plowing snow away from highways to provide an alternative route for moose to travel. It is such a sad thing to see an animal injured from human impact, but human animal conflict are only going to get more prevalent in the future, maybe not as much in alaska but across the world. How we deal with it in the future is an interesting topic that was discussed in many of my classes. They would always tell us that we are going to have to make some of the most crucial environmental choices in the nations history. just my 2 cents.

hope everyone has a great week!

caseywise 02-06-2012 12:51 AM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
hey ard,

i've been witness to hundreds of road kills in my 25 years growing up in ak.
luckily, i nor my family has ever been involved in these messes.

the fact is imo, that ak is getting so much snow that it drives the moose out of their natural trails and on to easily walkable asphalt or graded road.

this plus driver/idiot error equals dead moos3:(

go moose:punk:

Ard 02-06-2012 01:45 PM

Re: Record Moose Kill's in South Central AK.
I hear you Casey,

Out here they stay off the roads except for crossing them. We have about 3' of ground cover and they are running out of browse so they are on the move constantly looking for food. You know what these things are, they are eating & pooping machines, big ones.

We are going to drop timber this afternoon for next years fire wood, that will make our land a gathering place for survivors once the tree tops are discovered. They love tops :)

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