I stepped out into the porch Wednesday morning, headed for the outhouse, and saw The Wall of Moose. A young bull moose stood in the dooryard, munching berry bushes.
I made a racket, summoning my inner cowboy to bellow cattle drive cliches, and he took off. But, he returned an hour later . . . .
He didn’t like the Critter Gitters (see The Critter Gitter Gits its Critter) we’ve mounted on the cabin wall to protect the cherry trees, but they didn’t make him go away. I honked a fog horn from open windows around the house, which gave him pause for a while, and raised his hackles. He stood around thinking about that for a bit, then stepped over the fence into the garden.
I grabbed the horn and my ice ax, and ran around the house and the chicken coop to outflank it, hoping to drive it out of the compound and back up the main trail. I convinced him to leave the garden, but I couldn’t get him out of the windbreak in front of the cabin. I threw rocks and chunks of wood, but they just bounced off trees.
Finally, I went into the break and almost chased him out. He started to charge me, but I held my ground with the sharp end of the ice ax in front of me, yelling my head off, and he shied. I noticed he looked a whole lot bigger coming at me than he had from the cabin windows!
Finally, I got him moving toward the trail, and flung a piece of rebar stuck into a fishing float at him (I don’t know what that thing’s about, we found it on the beach once, and it’s been sitting around until it was really needed!) That decided it. He hasn’t returned. Yet.
Some may see this as harassing wildlife, but I believe this falls under “protecting life and property.” A moose that feels comfortable hanging around our “homestead” would destroy our garden. They routinely damage our fruit trees. Also, if we were to step outside unwarily and startle a moose, we could easily end up dead. This, like many of our moose encounters, seemed like a comical situation, hopefully recounted in humorous fashion. The stakes involved are not a laughing matter.