Man and Dog Chased, Stomped on by Moose During Hike

A man and his dog received the surprise of their lives when they saw a moose charging at them during a hike through Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho.

On Wednesday, an unnamed individual was hiking with his dog when the moose started charging at them from behind, according to a press release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).

The hiker, who was on the 7.5-mile Gibson Jack trail said he was not aware of the moose until it was too late.

Once the man noticed the moose charging toward him and his dog, he said he escaped by jumping off the hiking trail and into an area with more snow.

He was able to quickly cover his head with his arms before the moose approached and stomped on him two or three times before charging off. The hiker remained hidden in the snow and kept quiet until he was sure the moose was far enough away.

While it is estimated that nearly 300,000 moose live throughout the U.S.–with an estimated 12,000 in Idaho alone–conflict with the large animals is fairly rare. But experts warn that moose can become defensive if startled and are notorious for running at high speeds.

"This is particularly true during the fall when bulls are rutting and in the spring when females have calves," the IDFG said.

Although the man was injured by the moose, he was able to stand up. He said that although the moose moved further down the creek, it did not take its eyes off of him or his dog.

The hiker and his dog were able to slowly and calmly pass by the moose and returned to safety at the trailhead parking lot. The man suffered "a few" injuries from the encounter, IDFG added.

"This encounter serves as an important reminder to all trail users to be aware of your surroundings when recreating in the great outdoors, and to know the proper course of action when encountering wildlife like moose," the IDFG said.

The IDFG recommends that people keep at least a three-car distance between themselves and moose. This is especially important if one encounters a female moose with her young.

It is also important to know the warning signs of a defensive moose including licking its lips, pawing the ground or lowers its ears.

Moose can run up to 35 mph, while the average man has trouble running faster than 8 mph. This is why experts recommend that in addition to trying to outrun a moose, one should seek out a tree to climb if necessary.

"If you find yourself on the ground, curl in a ball and do your best to protect your face and head," the IDFG said. "Try not to make noise. Moose charge because they perceive you as a threat. If you are curled up on the ground quietly, you will likely appear less threatening."

If all else fails, discharging a can of bear spray may help deter a charging moose.

Newsweek reached out to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Communications Manager but did not receive comment in time for publication.

Moose Chases Man Dog
A man and his dog were chased and stomped on by a moose during a hike through Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. The above stock image shows a moose calling out. Charles Krebs/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images