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Moose on the loose on the east side of Dickinson

A moose was on the loose on the east side of Dickinson on Wednesday morning. The moose was spotted near the cemetery on 10th Avenue East around 10 a.m. Wednesday and officers responded a short time later. Senior patrol officer Mike Legler said th...

The moose was spotted near the cemetery on 10th Avenue East around 10 a.m. Wednesday and officers responded a short time later. (Submitted photo)
The moose was spotted near the cemetery on 10th Avenue East around 10 a.m. Wednesday and officers responded a short time later. (Submitted photo)

A moose was on the loose on the east side of Dickinson on Wednesday morning.

The moose was spotted near the cemetery on 10th Avenue East around 10 a.m. Wednesday and officers responded a short time later.

Senior patrol officer Mike Legler said the Dickinson Police Department, along with the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish, spent about an hour trying to get the animal to move across the street and into open land nearby. He said traffic was briefly stopped when the officers attempted to get the moose across the road.

"It was quite the chore. Obviously they never go where you want them to," he said with a laugh. "But, there was five (of us) so we were able to kind of push him out."

Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor at the Dickinson division of Game and Fish, said while the number of moose sightings in southwest North Dakota has been increasing over the past five or six years, overall it is still pretty rare. However, he said they have had reports of moose on the east side of town before.

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"We're kind of on the extreme edge of where moose reside in the state, so it's pretty uncommon," Stillings said.

In April 2016, a semi-truck struck and killed a moose that was on Interstate 94 about three miles east of Dickinson.

He said a couple of moose have also been spotted near Regent, about 50 miles southeast of Dickinson, recently.

For the most part, Stillings said moose generally travel around, rather than in large groups. The only exception to this is when a female cow, and an immature moose calf travel together.

"They're kind of run individually," he said. "You'll have a (female) cow and a calf that will run together or a couple bulls at different times of the year, but for the most part they're kind of a solitary critter."

Stillings said moose can be dangerous if they're provoked and bothered too much.

"It's just best to give them a little space," he said. "We like to see those animals pushed out of town before any incidents might occur, but they're certainly not an aggressive animal looking for trouble by any means."

Stillings said one of the most common ways to shoo an animal, like a moose, out of town is to either use a car to follow it very slowly from a good distance away and then "haze" it a bit until it gets the idea and walks away.

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Legler said the call was actually "quite exciting" for him because he is a hunter, who appreciates seeing big animals, like moose.

"Having a moose in town is more of a challenge to see if you can get it to do what you want it to do," he said. "just seeing the wildlife, to me, pretty much gets me excited to do that kind of stuff. It was right up my alley when our animal control officer was not immediately available."

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