According to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, a woman was injured Friday evening in a surprise close encounter with a cow moose and young calf in Virginia City.

The 66-year-old woman was walking her dogs along Cover Street in Virginia City on Friday evening when a cow moose charged at her from a patch of willow trees nearby. The woman suffered a fractured wrist during the encounter.

A game warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks assessed the area and spoke with the woman, who said the cow moose was accompanied by a yearling calf. FWP staff will monitor moose activity in this area, but no further management action is planned at this time.

Moose are common in southwest Montana and can be defensive and dangerous in surprise close encounters with people. This is especially true of cow moose with calves.

Keep the following precautions in mind to make sure your next encounter with a moose is a positive one:

    • Be aware of your surroundings and be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
    • Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise to alert animals to your presence.
    • If you encounter a moose, give it lots of space and don’t approach it. Always keep dogs under control.
    • If a moose charges or chases you, take cover behind something solid, such as a tree.
    • In some situations, bear spray has been known to be an effective defense tool in moose encounters.

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