Moose attacks dog walker in popular Soldotna trail area

A man was injured this week when a moose charged him in a popular Soldotna trail system, Alaska State Troopers said.

On Monday afternoon, the man was walking with his dog on the northern end of the Tsalteshi Trails system — near where the Mosquito singletrack and Bear trail intersect — when he was charged, according to a social media post from the trail organization. The trails are used for skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and walking or running.

“Without notice the moose charged and knocked him to the ground,” troopers wrote in an online report. “The moose then kicked the male multiple times.”

With four moose in the area at that time, the man was able to get to a tree and snowbank and his dog scared the moose away, troopers said. The man was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, they said.

“He’s bruised but it sounds like he’s OK,” the Tsalteshi Trails organization wrote online.

The organization asked recreators to report moose sightings so reports can be shared with other trail users. Anyone who encounters an aggressive moose is also encouraged to report it to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Moose are generally not aggressive but may charge if harassed or when they’re hungry and tired, which happens more often in winter because they’re walking through deep snow, according to a guide published by Fish and Game on dealing with aggressive moose. Moose will sometimes go after dogs, even when the dog is leashed, because they view them as enemies, the agency said.

It’s important to give moose space and take action if they do charge, the guide said. “Fortunately most moose charges are bluffs — warning you to stay back. But if a moose does charge, don’t wait to find out if it’s bluffing. Run and get behind something solid, like a tree, or retreat to a safe place, like inside a building or car.”

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.