An Uneasy Peace in the Moose Wars

By , January 27, 2010

They’re gone for now, but they may be back! If so, we’ve vowed to be ready for them.

The moose came back late Monday night. Michelle and I were still up. She was knitting, I watched a movie on the Internet, a thriller that just began to reach its climax when Michelle looked out the window and said, “There they are again.” All of a sudden, real life became far more interesting than the story I followed on the film.

I grabbed our million candlepower flashlight and headed outside. Luckily, we seem to have reached the time in the cow/calf relationship when mama isn’t quite as worried about her “little one.” They both just stared at me as I popped out of the porch, yelling threats and waving my light. I finally convinced them I meant business. They lumbered casually out of reach. I chased them up the slope again, where they stood a few yards away with their backs to me. I searched, but didn’t find anything to throw up that way–not even a snowball–I was impotent, and they seemed to know it.

Yesterday morning, we took inventory. They found one of our cherry saplings, a sucker we’d transplanted a couple of years ago. It’s probably toast. Other than that and the birch in the dooryard, they didn’t do any other damage, except to decimate our wild currant bushes. No currant jelly this summer, unless we hike out to other patches. Michelle covered everything they might find tasty, the raspberries, our smaller lilacs, the new cherry trees.

We’ve been brainstorming moose chasing strategies, and haven’t reached any earthshaking conclusions, except to bemoan the fact that we can’t cook them and eat them. Unfortunately, we run the risk of harassing wildlife, even though we’re defending our property. We finally settled on the Coast Guard whistles we keep handy for emergencies.

About six inches of snow fell last night (ice cream snow, incidentally) which gives us an advantage. I can now do “coffee cup reconnaissance,” scanning for hoof prints in the yard and gardens from the comfort of the cabin.

No sign of them so far. They may have taken what they wanted, and moved on. We can only hope that’s true. After all, there’s really not much we can do except shoo them away and try to make our plants inconvenient to eat. To add insult to injury, our hunting/fishing licenses arrived in the mail yesterday.

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