BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A 58-year-old man is recovering after he was trampled by a moose while out on a trail in Boulder County.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said Robert Standerwick surprised the cow and her calf on a hairpin turn on a trail in Coal Creek Canyon.
“The moose are definitely the most deadliest animals up here for sure,” Collin Howe, who helped Standerwick after he was trampled, said.
Standerwick shot a gun he was carrying into the ground twice to scare off the cow and calf, which then both left without injury.
“He wasn’t trying to injure it. He made that clear to me. He was just trying to scare it off,” Howe said.
Howe, who also lives in the area, said he had just gotten out of the shower when he heard a gunshot and then heard someone in distress about a quarter of a mile away.
“I heard a gunshot. I thought someone was scaring the bear we are dealing with in the neighborhood,” Howe said. “Then I listened and heard our neighbor in distress and realized it was serious.”
Howe said he went outside and found Standerwick’s two dogs.
“I didn’t get off my property, his dogs were looking for help,” Howe said.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the two dogs were off-leash at the time of the attack and neither were harmed when Standerwick was trampled.
“He walks down several times a day in a greenbelt area and he stirred up a momma moose he didn’t know was there,” Howe said.
Howe said his wife back at home called 911 and he stayed with his neighbor until first responders arrived.
“He got hit in the head, he had a hoof print on his chest and his hand was in bad shape,” Howe said.
According to Howe, Standerwick said he didn’t see the moose coming at first and she was 5 feet from him at a full run and ran him right over.
According to CPW, Standerwick suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the sheriff’s office said he has already been from the hospital.
“Where he was at, no one goes down there. He could have laid down there for days,” Howe said. “Honestly, it was good he had the gun he wouldn’t have alerted us or been able to scare it away.”
Howe said moose just started showing up in the area in the past few years and they make it known they are there.
“We now see them frequently and they are by far the most dangerous animal up here,” Howe said.
Other neighbors agreed, saying they know the risks and reality of living amongst wild animals and many said they know the mom was just protecting her baby.
“I can deal with bears, mountain lions and bobcats, but not moose. They are too mean,” Jennifer Macoskey, another neighbor, said.
CPW said officers searched Coal Creek Canyon for the moose and calf, but they were not found.
CPW also passed along information about moose that people should know before hitting the trails in moose territory:
“During late spring and early summer, cow moose can be aggressive while their calves are young, and they can view dogs as predators or threats. Calves are born in a 3-4 week period from the end of May to mid-June.
“Colorado’s moose population is healthy and thriving, with an estimated 3,000 statewide. CPW encourages hikers to avoid thick willow habitat in riparian areas, where moose like to eat and rest, to decrease chances of moose interactions. CPW urges dog owners to keep their dogs leashed while hiking, and give moose extra space on trails.”
This large moose population comes about 45 years after moose, a non-native species, were introduced to the state permanently.