It is very exciting to see a moose, especially a nice bull or a momma with a calf or two. I know I like to stop and watch moose and sometimes even take a picture or two. It’s fun to watch moose but everyone should be careful when doing so.
Some people get way too excited when they see a moose and put themselves as well as others in danger. They stop their vehicle in the middle of the road sometimes just over a hill or around a corner creating a hazard. Some people get out of their vehicles and stand in the middle of the road or walk down the center line taking photos. While these people may be absorbed in watching the moose other travelers may not be watching at all. These moose moments can turn ugly in a hurry.
Here is what to do to enjoy a safe moose moment on the Gunflint Trail.
- First of all, drive as slow as you want so you don’t miss seeing one. If a car comes up behind you and acts like they are impatient then they probably are. It may be OK in the city to disregard the presence of this vehicle but it isn’t OK on the Trail. As soon as you can you need to pull over and let them drive by you. It’s OK, we don’t consider it a win or lose issue if you let someone by you on the Gunflint Trail.
- When you see a moose chances are it is going to stay right where it is for the next 10-20 minutes so do not put the vehicle in park until your vehicle has come to a complete stop.
- Take a moment and look around. Find a section of the road where you can pull off of the road, perhaps onto a side road or at least as far over onto the shoulder or ditch as you can.
- Once you have found a safe parking spot then put the car in park, get out of your car(don’t lock your keys in it), and close your doors. This is an important step, do not skip it.
- Look both ways before crossing the road and then get off of the road. Do not stand in the middle of the road or in either of the driving lanes.
- Once you have had enough of your moose moment then carefully get back into your vehicle, look both ways and drive away with your eyes on the road. Not on the moose.
If you want to read some interesting information about moose on the Gunflint Trail then check out this month’s Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. There’s the online version of the article as well as a great moose photo gallery.