Aspen area moose sightings, warnings continue

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
Two calves sighted with their mother late Monday morning near Difficult Campground prompted a warning to gawkers from sheriff's deputies.
Courtesy photo/Shane Gaumer

Moose sightings in the upper Roaring Fork Valley continue to roll in this summer, with warnings to be careful of the animals not far behind.

Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies cautioned a group of people gathered Monday at Difficult Campground gawking at a moose and her young that the animals can be dangerous, Deputy Ryan Voss said.

The sighting occurred about 11:15 a.m. when a female cow and her two young calves stopped in the wetlands area of the Roaring Fork River just off the road that leads to Difficult east of Aspen, he said. A crowd of between 10 and 15 people gathered about 50 feet away from the three moose to watch them, Voss said.

“I warned them that moose are unpredictable,” he said. “You really shouldn’t be that close.”

The warning comes on the heels of a similar alert sent out last week by Snowmass Village police about two cows and their offspring sighted roaming the town recently. The town had received four moose calls since May 20, a wildlife officer said at the time.

Police warned people that moose will charge if people get too close.

Snowmass Police Chief Brian Olson has said the number of sightings is higher so far than last year, when moose activity in the village was quieter.

ReRe Baker, Pitkin County’s wildlife officer, said Monday she’s also received reports about four or five moose sightings in the county in recent weeks, including some sighted in the Stillwater area east of town. That’s four or five more than Baker had received at this time last year, she said.

“I would not get near a moose,” Baker said. “They will charge you and they won’t stop. They’re really, really aggressive.”

Moose with offspring can be even more aggressive, she said.

Moose warnings also have targeted dog owners and encouraged them to keep dogs on leashes because moose look at dogs as predators.

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