ADF&G warns long winter is making moose irritable

Mar 15, 2017

As moose cope with the rigors of winter,  Alaska Department of Fish and Game warns that the animals are more likely to be aggressive.

Credit KDLG

As this winter continues, longer and snowier than those in the recent past, moose are getting cantankerous warns the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in a Monday press release. Neil Barten is the ADF&G wildlife biologist in Dillingham. He says that no aggressive moose have been reported in the area, but that potential is there, so it’s important not to pester them.

“This winter’s been getting kind of long, and in places where the snow has piled up, the moose are kind of having to work harder to get food," says Barten. "They’re burning up their energy reserves that they have to hopefully make it through the winter with, so as some people have kind of noted, they can get kind of ornery around this time of year because they are already stressed out.”

Come late spring, Barten says people should be especially mindful of giving moose appropriate space.

“When we get into late May, when the moose start dropping calves, moose are very good mothers. They’re very defensive, and that’s the time of year that they can be very aggressive toward a dog, a person or whatever that happens to get close to them or their calves.”

ADF&G says that Alaskans have reported encounters with aggressive moose from Homer to Anchorage, Palmer and beyond in recent weeks.

Contact the author at or 907-842-2200.