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8/17/2020 4:27 pm  #1

Moose in Camp

5 day trip last week (McIntosh, White trout, Burnt island)
Spent so much time in the past worrying about Bears in camp and also meeting bears or moose on portages, that I feel like I was unprepared for our visitor  Tuesday night on our island site on White trout lake....

It was about 8-8:30 and we were laying in the tent looking over the lake watching the sunset and chatting about the days travels. We heard something large approaching from not far at all..and within seconds it was right outside the left side of the tent. Its breathing and low sounding snorts sent chills down my spine. It sniffed and snorted around the back and then right side of the tent before finally walking to the front of the tent where we finally got a glimpse of our was a young male moose, maybe it was because we were laying down but DAMN that is a large animal!!! He turned and looked right into our open fly on the El capitan 4 before letting out another snort and walked a few paces away but still in plain sight. He grazed for a minute or two, that's when I finally got the courage to move just my right arm to grab my phone and snap a couple of photos ( cant figure out how to post them, If someone could teach me that would be great ).
He finally wandered out of view, but we could here him stomping around the fire pit and the rest of our gear for what seemed like an eternity. Not sure if remaining totally still and quiet was the best decision, but we all made it home uninjured so I call it a win..

Anyone have any advice for future encounters? Everything I seem to read involves what to do if you encounter a bear or moose while standing or sitting around camp ( the typical make lots of noise, make yourself seem larger etc). What about when your lying defenseless and the animal is 1-2 feet away? My only thought was- making any noise may startle the animal,  and we may be trampled as he tries to flee. Or he gets startled and stomps us in aggressive attack.


8/17/2020 6:39 pm  #2

Re: Moose in Camp

Sounds scary and exciting at the same time. I heard a very large animal behind my campsite on Welcome Lake on Wednesday that must have been a moose or bear, but it never made its way into the main area of our site. (I'm guessing it was a moose because there were fresh tracks on the beachfront of the site).

Never seen a recommendation before about what to do when lying down, seems like a one in a million type of scenario you happened to get yourself into lol

Which site were you camping at? I really like White Trout Lake... McIntosh too

Also, go to, upload the image(s), and post the "Direct Link" between image tags like this [img]directlinkhere[/img]

Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures

8/17/2020 7:40 pm  #3

Re: Moose in Camp

Not the best photo, but the best I could get on an iPhone given the      We were on the island site on the eastern side of the lake closest to the ranger cabin.       

Last edited by mikey5290 (8/17/2020 7:45 pm)

     Thread Starter

8/17/2020 8:18 pm  #4

Re: Moose in Camp

^ woops, maybe it's just the "Link" that you put in between the image tags, not the "Direct Link"

Great picture though!

That's a fabulous site. I wonder what made him swim to the island. Would have been a nice experience watching him swim away whenever he decided to leave.

Last edited by trippythings (8/17/2020 8:22 pm)

Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures

8/17/2020 9:45 pm  #5

Re: Moose in Camp

Very cool.


8/18/2020 5:42 am  #6

Re: Moose in Camp

Finding yourself that close to an unknowing animal is not great (unless you're hunting). I think you handled the situation well - trying not to startle it while within stomping range. That said, I think he must have smelled you - either he didn't care or has never smelled human before. My bet is the former.


8/18/2020 7:54 am  #7

Re: Moose in Camp

Consider yourself lucky - not for surviving the experience because there was little danger - but for having a front row seat to see a moose up close.

Advice for future encounters?  Make some noise if you want to keep wildlife away from you.  Saying out loud "hey there are people here" would have been adequate to likely motivate him to re-direct around the area.  I personally like to blend in to the area that and experience nature close-up like the encounter you had so I tend to be quiet, observant and enjoy the moment.  Even if it was a bear you most likely would have been safe staying quiet.  Problem bears are exceptionally rare.

Moose aren't stupid - they know that you're not a threat and they aren't going to intentionally stomp on you if you are laying around on the ground.  Their first line of defense is putting distance between them and any perceived threat.  The rules change with a breeding bull in the rut - they can be aggressive and dangerous though. 


8/19/2020 11:43 am  #8

Re: Moose in Camp

  Ha ha, PaPaddler! Your last sentence sums it up. I had a scare about 7 years ago on Canisbay. Last week-end in Sept. I don't know why but I woke up about 3am. About 5 min later I heard massive noise behind my tent. Maybe that`s why I woke up. I could hear the twigs and branches hit his rack as he walked thru the bush. So obviously I knew it was a bull. It just kept getting closer...and closer...and closer till he was right outside my tent. 10-12 feet away.  I too was like don`t want to make a move and scare/startle him. Being the rut and all. Same thing mikey5290, he sniffed and snorted.....He paused for a bit then walked right by and down to the bank. Never heard him after that. I don't know how I managed to fall back asleep as I thought my heart was gonna pop outta my chest lol. I followed the tracks in the morning. He came right from where my food bag was hanging about 100 yards away. Right to my tent. He walked down to the bank and walked down the shoreline. That's why I never heard him. If it were a bear, yes I'd make noise definitely get outta my tent. But in this instance?... I always wondered what to do myself. Little spooky to say the least lol....

I'm just gone Fishin!

1/15/2021 7:44 pm  #9

Re: Moose in Camp

About 10 years ago two of us were on the Western Uplands trail and had stopped for a rest. We were sitting against a tree right on the trail when I heard something and looked to my left. It was a big bull moose standing there looking at us. It was late September. My buddy lives near the park and I asked him if I should be afraid and he said no. He wasn't convincing but what could I do. I managed a few pictures. He walked by us at about 20 feet. At one point he stopped, looked directly at me, and shook like a dog does to shed water. I thought I was doomed. Thankfully, he then turned and walked off into the bush. Like trippythings said, it was both scary and exciting. Once is enough for me.

Last edited by Kevin (1/15/2021 7:45 pm)


7/08/2021 10:22 pm  #10

Re: Moose in Camp

Had a young moose walk through my site on Shirley at 6:00 AM last week.  I'd say I was a bit scared waking up to a moose 15 feet from me but he panicked and ran away before I could.


11/20/2021 5:33 pm  #11

Re: Moose in Camp

Moose can be far more dangerous on a campsite then a bear. My husband hunts so he is very good at hearing them in the bush. Anytime they have come up to our campsite he has kept them from approaching us by making noise before they get to our site (even when the site is in the middle of the runway.)


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