We had a rough start to the day. Just as we left our home clearing, a mother moose charged us. She seemingly came out of nowhere and ran directly at me. My first move was to try to get behind a tree but then I realized that there was no time for that. Her hooves were churning through the snow as she came at me. When she was about 20 yards away, I raised my hands over my head, took an aggressive step toward her, and screamed as loud as I could. At that moment, she veered away and went to stand about 25 yards away from me and Shyla.
The moose then stared at us without moving.
I waited, hoping that she'd leave, but she just stared. So, I started walking away, with Shyla in a "heel". The moose moved parallel to us, keeping an unchanging distance from us. After we walked about 30 yards, I changed direction, and the moose finally gave us some space. We walked away as the moose headed back into the forest.
I feel lucky to be okay tonight. My reaction to her charge was purely instinctive. However, as I think through through my options, being aggressive was my only option because the moose was so close to us in such a short time. I'm very glad that Shyla chose to hide behind me throughout the encounter.
For obvious reasons, I have no photos of the encounter, although I did capture a view of the calf, a male, later in the day from a very long distance.
You can see his antler pedicles in the next photo. They are bulges above his eyes.
After that start to our morning, I think that Shyla and I were both on edge. We just played for a while far away from where the moose and calf were but I didn't forget that we were going to have to run the "moose gauntlet" again to get home.
Shyla let loose as she played in the snow...