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iceman

When will it stop?

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I’m surprised more people haven’t had these encounters given all the high mile riders here. It is surprising that more of these encounters happen here in the US, specifically NH & VT, I have no experience in ME, but presumably it’s because in Quebec  the wilderness to civilization ratio is so large compared to the states. For sure the Quebec gold mine for moose on snowmobile trails is the 595 on the Gaspe, North of La Cache, the moose crap on the trail is evidence enough. Everywhere else I’ve been in Quebec, it seems more like a random encounter.

Here’s what I do and recommend, but will appreciate other thoughts.  Most of the time when u first see the moose, stop as soon as possible, and most of the time he will start running away from you, down the trail. The one time this didn’t happen for me was in VT on a small trail to a mountain lookout, it was a beautiful warm blue sky day and a young moose was sleeping in the trail. Once he got up, I nudged him along the trail, starting and stopping several times until we got to the top and it was easy to wonder off, maybe 15 minutes for a mile.

For most cases, when the moose starts running away, maybe 75% of the time, they will dart left/right into the woods in a 1/4 mile or so, great for everyone. The other 25% or so is the problem, and is usually an issue when the snow is very deep. In this case, there are four options, first is the topic in this post, chase it till it dies, second encourage it to get off trail, third drive by it, or fourth turn around.

Encouraging the moose off the trail seems to work well for me. Once he starts running away from you, stop and wait, preferably when he gets over a hill or around a corner where he can’t see you. After a couple minutes at least, start up the sled and ride up on him again, he will likely just continue down the trail. Keep repeating this until he gives up and goes in the woods or you give up and resort to the other options. Only twice did I need another option, once was on the 595 on the Gaspe, I believe that trip was with smclelan (?) and it wasn’t a long encounter till an open field where it was somewhat safe to pass. The worst was by club scott where starting and stopping went on for well over a half hour with no end in sight, at that point you know the moose a little and take a chance at passing him on the trail in full stride, not knowing if he will dart right into u as u approach when he gets startled. It’s scary, but at least it’s almost a fair battle between man and moose, we would either both get very injured or both walk away. I can’t recommend that technique, it’s just what I chose.

The other cases I can’t speak to are, during the encounter the moose charges you, this seems to happen to groomer often, lol, or a sled arrives from the other direction.

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We have seen moose in all of Quebec. Very large one on trail 63 near Belleterre, on 83 near Clova, several in Gaspi.

  This is my thinking from deer hunting, fox hunting, coyote hunting with dogs. All animals have their crossing points. I believe that a animal  will continue on the trail until he gets to one of these crossing points. It's the same with a fox, rabbit, and even a wolf. When deer hunting watchers are put out on certain spots. Where the deer are known to cross. 

  As for the moose i would like to think they are only looking for one of their crossing points. Think of their size and a walking moose can cover miles of trail and when you meet them it may take an hour to get back to where they feel comfortable to get off the trail. So I believe even tho it may take a while, give them time to get back to where they want to be. An hour of our time is not worth the life of one of these wonderful animals. I truely believe what I just wrote. Please give them time. 

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30 minutes ago, Shore1066 said:

We have seen moose in all of Quebec. Very large one on trail 63 near Belleterre, on 83 near Clova, several in Gaspi.

  This is my thinking from deer hunting, fox hunting, coyote hunting with dogs. All animals have their crossing points. I believe that a animal  will continue on the trail until he gets to one of these crossing points. It's the same with a fox, rabbit, and even a wolf. When deer hunting watchers are put out on certain spots. Where the deer are known to cross. 

  As for the moose i would like to think they are only looking for one of their crossing points. Think of their size and a walking moose can cover miles of trail and when you meet them it may take an hour to get back to where they feel comfortable to get off the trail. So I believe even tho it may take a while, give them time to get back to where they want to be. An hour of our time is not worth the life of one of these wonderful animals. I truely believe what I just wrote. Please give them time. 

Some years ago on the railbed just north of Temiscamingue we came around a curve and saw what we thought was a deer loping along about a 1/4 mi. ahead. As we gradually got closer it turned sideways to look back @ us and with it's furry tail we realized it was a wolf. When we got within about 50 m. he jumped off and as we got up beside where he'd disappeared he was just down to the side baring his fangs as we rode past. As the last rider past he jumped back on the trail and started loping along behind us! We took off a few mi. up the trail and stopped and wondered what would happen if you broke down/ran out of gas and he came along?

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10 hours ago, Muskoka2 said:

Some years ago on the railbed just north of Temiscamingue we came around a curve and saw what we thought was a deer loping along about a 1/4 mi. ahead. As we gradually got closer it turned sideways to look back @ us and with it's furry tail we realized it was a wolf. When we got within about 50 m. he jumped off and as we got up beside where he'd disappeared he was just down to the side baring his fangs as we rode past. As the last rider past he jumped back on the trail and started loping along behind us! We took off a few mi. up the trail and stopped and wondered what would happen if you broke down/ran out of gas and he came along?

1.)That's why you always need to ride with at least one buddy who is slower than you.

2.)Chances  are a single wolf is not going to take on a pack of helmet wearing aliens unless it is rabid.

3.)If it is,refer back to #1😉

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40 minutes ago, NSHM said:

1.)That's why you always need to ride with at least one buddy who is slower than you.

2.)Chances  are a single wolf is not going to take on a pack of helmet wearing aliens unless it is rabid.

3.)If it is,refer back to #1😉

Yes #1 is always a good thing to have!

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.....or as an old wise man told me once, "if out playing in bear country with friends always carry a .22".   So I ask him "why a .22 as that won't kill a bear".  He says "It is not for the bear, it is to shoot one of your friends in the leg"....  Wise old man.  :)

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14 hours ago, wulsock1 said:

It seems to be there are people who are not aware that this can happen. With that said it think it's unfair to call everyone who runs a moose to death bad names. I'm sure some people do know but not everyone.Until the issue hit QR last year I did't know either.  So maybe someone on here can educate us.

What is a safe ( for the moose ) distance to follow them.Is it  100 feet, one mile, two miles, ten ? I don't know and I'm sure most others don't either.

I know Vermont and NH state in the OHRV regulations that chasing/harassing any wildlife is a fineable offense. I would guess it also is in Quebec and anywhere else.

My encounters have always been resolved by stopping completely, shutting the machine off and staying seated until they are out of sight. Following them slowly on the trail can sometimes have a bad outcome if they decide to turn back so I don't recommend it. Just be alert to the surroundings as there can always be another animal in the area that you DON'T see!

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3 hours ago, Triggerhappy said:

.....or as an old wise man told me once, "if out playing in bear country with friends always carry a .22".   So I ask him "why a .22 as that won't kill a bear".  He says "It is not for the bear, it is to shoot one of your friends in the leg"....  Wise old man.  🙂

Similar to “I don’t have to out run the bear I just have to out run you”. 

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