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Park City Hikers Injured By Charging Moose

Linda Eisenbarth

A group of friends hiking in Round Valley under a full moon encountered a moose on the trail.  Despite their efforts to give the animal space, it still charged them and seriously bruised two of the hikers. 

Linda Eisenbarth has a lot of hiking experience.  Like most people in Park City, she’s had a few encounters with moose on the trails.  On a recent evening, the moonlight was bright enough for her to see the shadow of a large animal run across the Tin Man Trail, which is on the north side of Round Valley.

“I went up by myself. I didn’t see the animal. I just figured it ran on, so I motioned for the group to come ahead. And we hiked a little bit further and then there was a bend in the trail and so we went around that bend and then that's when we saw a moose standing there about 50 yards up the trail I would estimate. That's approximate. Immediately we turned around. There was no threatening behavior on our part. We didn't approach the moose.  We had three dogs with us. We just immediately turned around on the trail and I don't know if it was our conversation or that he heard us, but within seconds he was charging toward us.”

Eisenbarth says there were no trees to hide behind, which is what she’s heard is the best way to protect yourself from a charging moose. Everyone in the group scrambled up the bank above the trail. She says it all happened fast and she was post holing through the soft snow while trying to get off the trail.

“They can run—you hear 35 miles an hour. And I don't doubt that for a minute. So anyway, he ran so fast and within seconds he was right by us and I have no idea how he contacted me, but I ended up with a pretty colorful bruise on my thigh and a swollen foot.” 
Eisenbarth’s dog Lola is very afraid of moose and she took off as soon as it charged the group.

“So, what happened was, Lola outran the moose because he then decided to turn around an run at full speed back. So, he actually went by us twice in both directions and that is when he clipped the other girl. She ended up with a bruised calf, pretty severe bruise. But overall, we were so lucky. It could have been so much worse.”

Eisenbarth says the lesson is simple.

“No matter if they are, you know, I think if they're in your yard, if they're in your street or if they’re on the trail they're always unpredictable.

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