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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
CPW reminds residents and visitors in Grand County to be responsible when recreating with moose

Rachael Gonzales
Northwest Region Public Information Officer
970-773-8587 /
Twitter: @CPW_NW
CPW reminds residents and visitors in Grand County to be responsible when recreating with moose

Stock photo of a cow and calf moose in Grand Lake from 2022.
Photo credit CPW/R. Gonzales

FRASER, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising residents and visitors in Tabernash and the Town of Fraser to be more vigilant when recreating outdoors after reports of several defensive moose in those areas. 

Between Jan. 28 and March 7, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received six reports of incidents involving defensive moose. The first incident occurred on Jan. 28 when a male walking his two dogs on the Fraser River trail encountered a cow (female) moose with calves. The moose charged at the man, but he sustained only minor bruises and did not require medical attention. The dogs were on a leash at the time of the incident. 

The five subsequent incidents were reported to CPW between Feb. 17 and March 7. Three of these incidents occurred in Tabernash. No human injuries were reported, but in one of the Tabernash incidents, a dog was killed after being stomped by a moose.

At this time, in addition to being vigilant, CPW recommends users of the Fraser River Trail find an alternative travel route and location for walking their dog(s).

While moose encounters with people are quite common, moose cause few problems. Caution and common sense go a long way in preventing conflict with moose. Here are a few simple things to remember when living with and viewing moose.

Give them space and recreate responsibly.
If you encounter a moose do not hang around. Leave the area as quickly as possible, giving them space and time to move. Do not try to move the moose as it could be dangerous, and it is also considered harassment, which is illegal. 

It is important to remember that ski slopes in Colorado are often located in areas where moose live. If you encounter a moose while skiing, slowly leave the area if you can do so safely. Do not hang around with the hopes of getting that viral image or video. Your safety, as well as that of those around you, is not worth it!

When you are outside or taking your dogs for a walk, it is important to keep them on a leash. If dogs are let off their leash, they are at risk of being injured or killed by other animals that may perceive them as a predator. For instance, if your dog encounters a moose, the animal may become aggressive and try to stomp on your dog. If your dog runs back to you, or you attempt to catch them, you may put yourself at risk of being severely injured. Therefore, always keep your dog(s) on a leash to ensure their safety as well as your own.

If a moose begins to react to your presence you are too close. Signs of moose aggression include laid back ears, raised hairs on the neck, and licking of the snout. ​If a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins to charge, run as fast as you can and try to put a large object between you such as a boulder, car or tree. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately and inform your local CPW office as soon as possible.

Feeding wildlife is illegal.
Not only is it illegal, but it is also very harmful to their health. Wildlife has a complex digestive system that is not adapted to handle human food. When people intentionally place or distribute food that does not naturally occur in the animal's habitat, such as carrots, birdseed, hay, or salt blocks, it can lead to illness or death.

Learn more about moose in Colorado on our website.
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Highlighted area of where reported defensive moose incidents have occurred on the Fraser River Trail.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 43 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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