Idaho: Backpacker Uses .45 to Stop Attacking Moose

Idaho: Backpacker Uses .45 to Stop Attacking Moose, iStock-1267347986
Idaho: Backpacker Uses .45 to Stop Attacking Moose, iStock-1267347986

U.S.A.-( On June 21, 2021, a bull moose repeatedly charged an Idaho backpacker and his dog, who had set up camp at Harrison Lake, a pristine wilderness site, about a 4.6 mile hike from the trailhead.  Harrison lake is a near oval mountain lake with one outlet, known as pack river.  From

The moose tore apart the campsite and charged at the camper and his dog. The camper hid behind a tree, but the moose did not stop charging. The camper discharged a firearm at the moose in self-defense from close range, according to the release. Fish and Game responded to the incident and located the deceased moose.

The Forest Service has closed the Harrison Lake trailhead to hikers to prevent possible conflicts between hikers and any bears that may feed on the carcass. The trailhead will be closed for a week.

It’s unclear whether the dog was leashed or not but it was in the man’s camp, IDFG spokeswoman Kara Campbell said. A .45 caliber handgun was used, Campbell said.

Attacks by moose are rare in the lower 48 states because moose are not common.

In Alaska, attacks by moose against humans are more common than attacks against humans by bears. However, more people are killed by attacking bears than by attacking moose. There are about six times as many moose in Alaska as grizzly bears, and about twice as many moose as black bears.

Harrison lake from Google Maps

The range of moose in the lower 48 states seems to be expanding, but the populations appear stable. Common handgun calibers seem to be effective in stopping moose attacks.  Moose have established populations in 18 states. Moose populations in Idaho and Maine are high enough the authorities have established regular hunting seasons.

Because moose attacks are rare, shooting the occasional moose that attacks humans has no significant effect on moose populations.

The authorities in Idaho investigated the shooting of the moose, verified the moose had been attacking the man and his dog in their campsite and had done considerable damage to the camp before the man felt compelled to shoot the bull in self-defense.

Other campers noted the dead bull and the risk it of attracting bears. From

Backpacked up here Thursday night 6/25/21, set up camp and called it a night. Friday morning was beautiful and we were the only ones there and started walking around the lake when we came upon the dead moose that had been shot. My fiancé and I immediately left because grizzlys are in the area. On the way down we ran into 4 Forest Service employees who told us they had closed the trail and were going up to take care of the moose. Glad we didn’t run into any bears up there.

In a more sane civilization, the camper would be enjoying moose steaks and trying to turn as much of the meat into jerky as possible before it all spoiled.

In our prosperous society, where one of the biggest problems for poor people is obesity, where people have to deliberately avoid help to suffer serious hunger, the waste of hundreds of pounds of meat is accepted as necessary to prevent poaching.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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As with any large critter the damage they can inflict to a human body fast is amazing.

Anybody that was raised on a farm or ranch knows this from a young age.

It used to be common knowledge that animals are dangerous.

Now with so many people never having contact with them.

We get the idea that they are just furry critters that would never hurt anybody.


But, that is what Uncle Walt told us. Bambi and the Lion King are our friends, only dragons are bad. I saw the movie, so know it to be true…sarcasm mode off.


Bullwinkle bites the dust. I wonder what ammo was used and where the shot placement was?


I too would like to know the ammo type used, shot placement, and number of shots. I also would like to know if this person evaluated the environmental impact of his actions e.g. the effect of the discharge of the cartridge on carbon levels and the probable discharge of methane from the mouse’s anus upon being hit?


OK…you have me confused here, are we talking moose or mouse, and are either has an anus. Ever see Mickey it Bullwinkle take a dump on TV? I did see mouse droppings on my TV once, but not the same thing.


45 acp or Colt?



Knute Knute

Or was it .454 Casull, which is also .45 caliber? My inquiring mind also wants to know. But, since its highly unlikely that I will ever know (even if the authorities know the diffence, which I find rather doubtful since most of them say ridiculous things like “I filled my clip with bullets”, instead of “magazine with cartridges”), I’m going to assume it was .45 ACP since they called it a “defensive handgun”. OFC, a .454 Casull is also a defensive handgun. All handguns are defensive in nature. But I doubt that the authorities will know that. I’m going to… Read more »


I advise social distancing, but no mask mandates. Having worked for decades in the wilderness areas of WY and MT it is common knowledge that moose are more likely to generate an aggressive encounter than black bears. I have experienced my fair share of dicey encounters with both and personally know coworkers who did not fare well after a moose encounter. To be fair, my dog(s) were instrumental in initiating some of those encounters. That is why it is very pragmatic to give moose the respect they deserve by realizing you are the intruder in their home area that they… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by OlTrailDog

when rutting the males will attack anything including a car, at over 1,000 pounds they can bring a LOT of kicka sss have seen one destroy a mid 70s bronco (guy honked his horn)


The man had no knife & fire starter ? Or his appetite just wasn’t large enough ? As for the bears & other critters, “sharing is caring”. What a world we live in. Whatever happened to, Waste not want not !


Some moose species are not known for being the brightest, sad to say.

Henry Bowman

Jesus H. Christ, I had no idea that kid’s cartoons were so graphic and disturbing. Hell, that ain’t fit for human consumption!

No wonder our society is going to hell in a handbasket. I bet the people who made that toon are all sick leftards!

Last edited 2 years ago by Henry Bowman

As you may have figured out, these are not kids’ cartoons. They are admittedly kind of sick but funny. Leftists would likely be too sensitive to put something like these together.

When a friend first turned me on to Happy Tree Friends, some years ago, I seem to recall seeing their slogan was “Cute, Cuddly, and Horribly Wrong”. To me, that about sums it up.

Henry Bowman

Seeing as 99.99% of what is on TV today offends my Christian sensibilities to the point of inducing projectile vomiting, I do not watch ANY TV at all. I do not know how old you are, but I have been around long enough to see the police go from Adam-12 to Robocop, and TV go from ‘Leave it to Beaver’ to stuff so reprehensible that I don’t even know where to start. I think the end of TV for me came when Hollywood (aka Pedowood) started pushing the sodomite LGBTQIPP+ ABCXYZ agenda. I don’t hate the moral degenerates, but I… Read more »


Same here. I am in my mid-sixties and still enjoy watching Leave It To Beaver. I am old enough to remember when the sexiest thing said on network television was, “Ward, you were kinda rough on the beaver last night”. When it came on, Adam-12 was my favorite TV show. In my adult life, I didn’t care much for TV, save for SNL (early 1980’s) and the news, most of the time. Early MTV was okay by me when it was about music videos. Then came the idiotic game shows, reality shows, and such. As you may have figured, I… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Grigori

A Møøse once bit my sister…