Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Moose and the Outhouse

This is where Rocky was when I woke up in the morning. 

Now... As much as I love the wildlife around here there are some places they really shouldn't go.  I mean I love watching Rocky and Bullwinkle and even that fight we saw the other night didn't concern me too much, but of course I was on the inside of the house and they were on the outside.

This morning as I was coming down from the loft to make coffee I glanced out the window to behold Rocky (he is the one with the white hind legs) all by himself munching on some trees for breakfast. Kinda cool, I wondered where Bullwinkle was but figured maybe they decided to split up after their little fight. Mountain Man was kind enough to go out and take a few pictures for me and after a bit he moved off.  I thought nothing more of it but went about getting my coffee and breakfast. Now that I think about it, how nonchalant was that to go, "Oh, cool" and go about my day when I have a moose in my back yard!

About 10 am I realized the light snow had stopped so the solar panels needed to be dusted off. On went my winter gear and off I went. No big deal really, a few swipes of the broom and they were all clear and look at that! The clouds were leaving and the sun was peeking through. This was shaping up to be a terrific day... and then I made a mistake. I decided to use the outhouse. (If you remember in one of my earlier blogs I wrote about our compost toilet and how we really don't like to use it much due to its not composting correctly.)

I was about half way from the house to the outhouse, close to Mountain Man's truck when I saw the dark shape behind a few small trees just back of the outhouse. Why do I always forget to put my glasses on! I can see OK without them but I probably would have noticed him sooner if I had them on. Now... the outhouse was about 25 feet away and Rocky was 10 feet on the other side of it. I froze. Hmm... can't run, can go forward. I've never been in a staring contest with a moose before. What to do? I guess I could jump in the truck if he decided to take a dislike to me, but then again, I've seen what a moose can do to a truck.

If you have done any reading on these animals you will have learned that they are one of the most dangerous  in North America. Here you have an animal that can weigh close to 2000 pounds, be almost 7 ft tall and run as fast as a rabbit... and was staring straight at me from 35 feet away. Unless he moved I wasn't going to get to the john..... 

While not normally aggressive I'd seen first hand how unafraid they were and how deadly they could be. The truck was only 5 ft away, the house 25 ft. He stamped his foot, strange... I've never seen a moose do that before. 15 seconds...  I could have thrown up my hands and I'm fairly certain he would have run off, but I didn't want him to leave for good. I just wanted to get to where I was going. What you going to do big boy?  

He turned, (big sigh!) walked away, and disappeared into the trees crashing some as he picked up speed.  Wow! Now that was interesting! I will never again walk anywhere outside without looking carefully around. Ha! That's a walk to the outhouse I won't soon forget!


  1. LMAO, I'm sure you won't forget that walk to the outhouse any time soon. Yes, I would say definitely be aware of your surroundings before heading out to the outhouse or any where. Looks like you have several moose that are extremely comfortable around you and Mountain Man. Don't be surprised, if one day their at your front door.

    1. LOL! I know! I think they might be getting a little too comfortable! :)

  2. Wow!! Not having one bit of experience with those animals, I have absolutely nothing else I can say! Well, ok just this. When Tito was really little, Rocky and Bullwinkle was one of his favorite cartoons - we had very limited TV at the time. Anyway, he called it Rockeeee and BoyOinkle! LOL
    The Anonymous Homesteader

  3. Man, I wouldn't be needing to use that outhouse if I had had the experience. LOL! A bit too close to mother nature for me.

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  5. Great adventure! Usually moose aren't very aggressive. Reminds me of when I was salmon fishing quite a few years ago: it was a sunny, perfect day with not a breeze of wind. The salmon weren't taking the fly, but it was fun anyway. Then I had a feeling that I was being watched. I knew there was no one else around and it was very quiet, except for the trickling of the water over and around the rocks in the stream. I looked around and there was a young moose not more than 15 feet from me and just staring at me. I made some comment like, "what are you doing here?" or "get out of here!", but he just stared. I finally picked up a small stone and tossed at him. He got a bit of a start and turned and went into the trees. A few minutes later he showed up again, just downstream and was again staring at me. After a while he crossed the stream and ambled off. My wife told me later that as they were sitting in the truck on the side of the road, he came out and was staring at them, especially at our small dog, Mitzi, who was very excited to see him. It was the time of year when the cows have their new young and the yearlings can't understand why they are 'cast off'. I guess he was thinking that I could be a suitable replacement for his mom. Just lonely I guess.

    1. Great story David! You are right they aren't very aggressive normally but still are listed at number 1 or 3 depending where you look as the most dangerous animal in Canada. One stat I found said that on average 6 people are killed a year by moose. I am thinking that is mostly during the rut when they can be very aggressive or in the spring when protecting their young. You are mostly likely right, your moose was curious and lonely.

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