My uncles and grandfather were moose hunters in New Brunswick, and I grew up hearing stories of the bizarre agressive antics of bull moose in full rut. I’ve heard about a moose treeing my grandfather for a full day; moose charging moving locomotives head on, as well as cars on the highway; moose wandering into downtown Saint John, mistaking the foghorn for the calls of a lovesick female. But I’ve NEVER heard of anything like this!
Yes, that’s a bull moose, hanging 50 feet up in some electrical cables. Workers were five miles away, using hydraulics to string up power lines, when the moose came across the swaying cables and decided to pick a fight. The line construction manager for City Electric in Anchorage explains:
Crews can lay up to five miles of line at a time before tightening it with a giant hydraulic winch, said Pickens. It’s similar to stringing fishing line through the eyes of a fishing pole, he said. The line is pulled through leaders on the crossties at the top of the power poles and then winched tight with as much as 5,000 pounds of pressure, he said.
“As you’re pulling, it constantly droops up and down,” said Pickens. “My guess is that he was right in the middle of one of the sections when it got pulled up.”
It’s not uncommon for bull moose to challenge inanimate objects to a battle during the rut when testosterone has taken over. Most Alaskans have seen pictures of bull moose with swing sets, tire swings, lawn chairs and Christmas lights tangled in their antlers at this time of year….
“We’ve had them running down the main streets of Delta with shirts and pants hanging from their antlers after they get caught up in clotheslines”
Bullwinkle was lowered to the ground, but sadly, there’s no happy ending to this one. He was unable to get himself untangled, and was so traumatized that there was little chance he’d survive a tranquilizer dart. His carcass is now gracing the freezer and plate of some local needy family, though everyone’s wondering what happened to the trophy sized rack of antlers.