Dog versus moose clash filmed at Crested Butte

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (KDVR) – A video of a dog barking and harassing a moose in Gunnison County has raised eyebrows and reminded pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash.

“The dog was five feet from the moose and barked at it nonstop,” said Susan Little, who took the video.

Little said she and her husband were cross-country skiing when they came across a dog a few feet from a moose, which obviously irritated the moose. According to people on the trail, Little said the dog tended to the moose for almost two hours.

“The moose charged the dog. The dog would run away but he would come right back,” Little said.

She said they looked on uncomfortably, unsure if the moose would trample the dog. She said they were worried about the two animals. But she said the frustrating part is the owner of the remaining dog.

“She just left the dog and then we were there worried. I wasn’t just worried about the moose, I was also worried about the dog,” Little said.

Few said that at one point the moose chased the dog down the trail and they couldn’t pass for almost half an hour.

“We couldn’t pass because the snow off the trail was too deep, so we were stuck for half an hour because we couldn’t pass them,” Little said.

Gunnison District Wildlife Officer Philip Gurlue said Colorado Parks and Wildlife had not heard of the incident until FOX31 and Channel 2 called a media request. Gurlue said about an hour after the dog’s owner called and came over explaining the situation.

“It looks like she couldn’t control the dog and was freaked out,” Gurlue said.

He said the dog’s owner went to call her husband, who was about 15 minutes away, for help. Once they got back, they were finally able to subdue the dog.

“I think if the dog was on a leash, he wouldn’t have taken the path he took,” Gurlue said.

He said Gunnison County, Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte all have leash laws that say you must have your dog on a leash and under control. After reviewing the video, he said they could tell the dog was actively pursuing the moose.

“The moose found out the dog wouldn’t go in the water. The dog was staying down, so the moose was trying to conserve energy,” Gurlue said.

Little said she called the non-emergency number for help, but was unsure if anyone answered. CPW plans to put up signs warning of the presence of moose in the area and the CPW office number in Gunnison County.

The fine that a person can incur for this type of situation is approximately $275.00. It is considered a wildlife harassment quote. At this time, CPW said the owner of the dog in the video has not received a citation, but the situation is still under investigation.