While on a snowmobile ride on Friday near Jackson, Maine, a pair of Powells from New Hampshire had a momentary mix-up with a ticked-off, tick-ridden, maddened moose that charged them. Bob and Janis Powell decided to follow a moose they’d spotted on a trail, but then, the moose halted, and faced them down, leaving the Powells a few panicky moments to ponder what to do.
Janis Powell has stated that they had often ridden behind moose, and they would slow down and watch the animals, until usually, the moose will head off the trail. But, that didn’t happen this time around.
The husband and wife snowmobilers had been going to the same camp and snowmobiling for 11 years without having ever had a run-in with any of the wildlife in the area. The Powells ride an estimated 3,000-5,000 miles on their snowmobiles every year. They hope that their first encounter with a maddened moose will also be their last.
Janis Powell told Good Morning America about their encounter with the irate moose, whose “fur was standing up” and whose “ears were laid back.” The enraged moose, which apparently felt it was being followed a bit too closely, headed towards Janis’ husband, Bob, who tried to shield himself behind the snowmobile.
The moose did not back off, but instead charged at the snowmobile. Bob, concerned for life and limb, ran towards his wife’s snowmobile.
Janis happened to have her .380 pistol with her, which she shot into the air. She realized that it was of too small a caliber to do much damage to the moose if it had persisted in attacking them, but, fortunately for the Powells, the sound of the gun going off was enough to make the moose end its attack and trot off, according to a report by WMUR.
The Powells took a video of the incident, which shows them following the moose for about 18 seconds before it turns and starts to act aggressively.
This preliminary segment wasn’t included in an edited version the Powells posted on YouTube, which has led them to receive comments from some people who believe that the couple were deliberately trying to chase the moose down and harass it. This is something that Janis Powell vehemently denies, stating “we have nothing to hide.” She added that if they did have something to hide, “would we have called the wardens right away and posted this on the Internet?”
After the incident, the Powells examined the trail and saw spots of blood and several engorged ticks that had apparently dropped off of the moose. This has led Janis to believe the moose was mangy and perhaps sickly.
Janis Powell stated that the pair “have a new appreciation for moose and wildlife in general” and that they would “definitely be keeping more of a distance,” from any wildlife they see while snowmobiling in the future. One run-in with an angry moose is all they Powells care to have experienced, though they do intend to come back and snowmobile again next year.
Written by: Douglas Cobb