Game Wardens Kill Troublesome Moose in Whitefish Area

By Beacon Staff

WHITEFISH (AP) – State wildlife officials on Sunday shot and killed a moose with vision problems that had acted aggressively toward snowmobilers and skiers in the Whitefish area in recent weeks.

In late December, snowmobilers in the Canyon Creek area reported an aggressive moose on a groomed trail that kicked at two sleds. It is believed the same animal refused to budge for a trail grooming machine.

Last Thursday, David Marx said the moose stood him down on the back side of the Whitefish Mountain Resort after he startled it out of its day bed.

The moose killed Sunday was identified as the animal that had displayed the erratic behavior. FWP wardens approached the moose to within 20 yards and examined both eyes and other characteristics with binoculars before it was shot.

“We dispatch an animal only as a last resort,” FWP Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield said. “In this case, this was the only responsible course of action, given the incident with the skiers and the condition of the moose.”

Upon examination, it was found that the moose was a 7-to-9-year-old bull that had already lost its antlers. Both eyes were abnormal and appeared to be affected by a corneal disease. State game wardens say it is likely the moose had very limited vision, which could explain its erratic and aggressive behavior.

The animal was in poor condition and had virtually no body fat.

“This was a very clear case of a significant threat to public safety,” said FWP Region One Warden Captain Lee Anderson. “With this kind of abnormality, the animal was definitely dangerous.”