A snowmobiling couple had quite the shock when they were charged by a moose while riding in Maine.
Rolling a helmet cam on a trail near their camp in the northern community of Jackman, the clip posted on YouTube shows the confrontation between a mangy moose and Bob and Janis Powell of Belmont, New Hampshire.
The two were riding down a trail behind the moose. The moose stops and turns around. The Powells stop. There’s a short standoff before the moose approaches Bob in his sled.
Bob dismounts, the rig between the two. Another face-off ensues before the moose charges and seems to try to trample him.
Bob then runs and sits in his wife’s sled. She is standing and is soon able to find the handgun she rides with, fires a warning shot, and the moose eventually scampers away.
The encounter lasted about two minutes. No one was hurt.
A video of the encounter is embedded below.
“We could see he had his hair up, his ears back, head down and was stomping his feet,” Janis Powell told the Bangor Daily News. “We knew something was up.”
She said they knew it was a bull moose. They could see where his antlers had been when he got up close and personal.
During the encounter, she reached for the handgun she carries while sledding in the backcountry.
“I had to take off my gloves, unzip my jacket and then unzip the inside pocket of my jacket to get to the pistol,” she said. “All I could think was, ‘Oh my God, we are dead meat.’”
Between the YouTube video and Facebook, the couple has been fielding comments, some unsavory, as an edited version of the incident was posted after the original.
“Now people think we have something to hide,” she said. “We have nothing to hide — if we did, would we have called the wardens right away and posted this on the Internet?”
The Powells reported the April 18 incident to wardens with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
“We just want to remind people that any wild animal is unpredictable. If they do act aggressive, we should suggest that people just back away,” Sargent Scott Thrasher told WCSH-TV in Portland. “Just let the animal have its space. If it’s aggressive, their ears may lay back, the hair on the back of their neck may be standing up, simply not acting normal. Stomping its hooves, not acting normal. We just suggest people back away.”
The couple snowmobiles a few thousand miles every year and won’t let the close encounter stop them from sledding.
“This will certainly not keep us from riding,” Janis Powell said. “We always kept our distance from wildlife. But one thing is for sure, from now on we will be putting more distance between us.”
Image is a screenshot of video by snowboatatv on YouTube