Moose Tangled In Net Freed Along Bitterroot Lake

By Beacon Staff

A young bull moose which had become tangled in a volleyball net was freed and released along the Bitterroot Lake shoreline on Tuesday.

FWP received a call early Tuesday morning from a Bitterroot Lakeshore resident reporting that a moose was tangled in volleyball net along the south shore of the lake.
FWP biologists responded and found the moose, which had the net wrapped around its small antlers. Biologists considered options of roping, physically restraining, or tranquilizing the moose, recognizing that using tranquilizing drugs on moose can be risky for the animal. Because of the strength and attitude of the young bull, they decided to tranquilize him before attempting any cutting of the net to free him.

After working remotely with FWP’s veterinarian in Bozeman to get the proper mix of drugs, the tranquilizer was administered through a dart gun. Within 15 minutes, the moose was relaxed and biologists cut the net material from the antlers, freeing the moose. According to FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams, once the moose’s vital signs were stable a reversal drug was administered and the moose was up and walking within 5 minutes.

“It can be dangerous for the moose and biologists in situations such as this,” said Williams. “In this case things went well, in part because the landowners notified us immediately of the problem and we were able to respond promptly.”

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