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Bull Moose Drug by Antlers-‘It’s a Jungle Out There’
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A couple moose cavorted near a home in Glassford last spring.
   
Sunday, January 15, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A young bull moose has died in Lane Ranch south of Ketchum, apparently after being struck by a vehicle and dragged by its antlers.

Idaho Fish and Game officers determined that the young bull died of the vehicle strike. Its antlers appeared to have been torn off and were found a distance from the moose.A Fish and GAme officer speculated the animal might have been hit on the highway or Elkhorn Road and walked into Lane Ranch where it succumbed to internal bleeding.

One woman said its brethren held vigil for a while in the yard where the moose ended up before he was carted away.

This is the time of year that moose, elk and deer drop their antlers, according to Terry Thompson, communications manager for Idaho Fish and Game in the Magic Valley. But these antlers appeared to be broken off due to the trauma of the accident, according to those who saw them.

This is one of several tragic wildlife encounters that have stacked up in the past week as the snows deepen in the Wood River Valley and wildlife congregate in the valley right alongside the two-legged residents.

One motorist hit two elk on Highway 75 near the bridge crossing near Greenhorn on Saturday evening.

And Warm Springs residents report a mountain lion that has taken at least two deer in Warm Springs. Warm Springs resident John Lundin called it the Sage Road Cougar.

“A herd of seven deer have been wandering up and down Sage Road during the past week,” he said. “Finally, the expected happened—a neighbor saw a cougar track on the road and the severed leg of a deer on the road.”

A day later Lundin took a picture of fresh blood on the road, which he called evidence of another kill.

“Cougars are in the valley this winter because the heavy snow has driven the deer and elk down here,” said Lundin. “We have not had any dogs attacked yet here in Warm Springs. But that may happen yet if people are not careful—we do live in the mountains. And life in the mountain—it’s a jungle out there.”

Lundin has been watching 17 elk hang out high on Sage Hill in Warm Springs. He’s never seen the elk spend the night on the hillside during winter in the dozens of winters he’s spent in the valley.

“They have been there for over a week. They eat there, bask in the sun and sleep there. It’s an indication of the snow depth in the mountains,” he said.

Thompson said it’s important for people to report mountain lion activity to Idaho Fish and Game at 208-324-4359 in a timely manner.

“We often hear second- or even third-hand about lion reports. Or, someone calls a week or more after the fact,” he said. “Knowing where we have sightings will help inform our officers and biologists where we have lions in close proximity to homes, neighborhoods or even schools so that we can take proactive measures to alert residents. Having these reports also allows us to try to understand lion distribution in the Wood River Valley.”

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