A bull moose is wandering around the woods in the Fernie area with an arrow in its back hump.
Patricia Burley, Conservation Officer for Fernie and the Elk Valley, explained that they recently received a call about this moose.
She said it’s an unfortunate and complicated situation, and that the missed shot was not fatal.
“There is an obligation for hunters to track the animal and find it. It’s a tricky situation because we don’t know how long they would have tracked that animal for,” Burley said. “This moose was shot with a bow, with the arrow in the hump on its back. There would likely be very little blood trail from that.”
The large hump on a moose’s back is formed by their muscles, necessary to support their large heads and often giant antlers.
Burley says that the best case scenario in this situation would be for the Conservation Officer Service (COS) to find the animal, dart it and remove the arrow. The worst case scenario, if the animal’s heath was in jeopardy, would be euthanasia.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, moose tend to stick to colder climates, as well as forested areas with streams and ponds. Moose can be quite elusive creatures, so tracking one if it runs off can be a challenge.
Burley said that the hunters who were involved are, by regulation, allowed to go back for the animal and hunt it, so long as they are licensed, within regulations and within the lawful hunting area.
“The expectation is that hunters try to track that animal for as long as they can. Is one hour enough? I would say no. I would track until nightfall, and then again in the morning.”
Current regulations state that moose are bow-only for spike-fork bulls and there is a draw. The bag limit is one.
Burley adds that if members of the public see this moose they can call the RAPP line (1-877-952-7277) to report the sighting. The COS can track the sightings and try to locate the moose.
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