IDAHO — Idaho is home to many recreation opportunities. State and National parks open access to hiking, camping, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. But as temperatures change so does the behavior of big game animals.
Fall is mating season for big ungulates like deer, elk and moose. This makes males more aggressive. Knowing what to do when you encounter these animals in the wild is important for staying safe.
Fish and game Senior Wildlife Population Technician Leon Burman says keeping your distance or turning back when seeing these animals is best practice. Wildlife can be unpredictable and seem docile but are dangerous up close.
“Moose, elk, they can close a distance really really fast, and they don’t look like it but once they get going, they’re like a freight train coming at you,” he said. “The rut is breeding season for these large big game ungulates. During this time period they’re extra aggressive, especially the males.”
Idaho welcomes everyone to enjoy the outdoor access we have. Nature watching is a part of this but being aware of your surroundings and understanding a situation with wildlife is key to everyone’s safety.
“You can see it from a distance. You don’t have to be right on top of it, particularly this time of year. The animals can be worked up. It’s that season and people should be particularly careful in approaching large animals,” said Craig Quintana, senior public information officer for the Idaho department of parks and recreation.
Idaho Fish and game suggest staying at least 30 feet away from any big game animals and to pay attention to the animal’s behavior. It may give you signs to move away.
For more information on big game aggressiveness and mating season, click here.