An Apple a Day–Won’t Keep the Moose Away

On Thursday I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from two female moose. They were exploring just outside the south yard fence. Then, I was surprised again as one made an effortless leap over the fence and started nibbling twigs off a willow in the yard. This was okay as it was a wild willow that had been spreading out too far anyway. But then a thought struck me with a less pleasant surprise. The next logical stop on the moose’s trajectory would be my apple tree. No, that was forbidden fruit. I’ve nurtured that tree for perhaps 15 years and it now produces well over 200 of the best tasting apples I can find anywhere. Every fall I spend days peeling and chopping them and freezing them for pies. No moose was chewing up that tree! I went out on the porch and waved my arms and shouted. The moose continue to masticate willow tips. Apache, the large and faithful German shepherd, said she would help. She made a run at the moose. The moose merely glanced at her and stood her ground. The dog tried once more. Same result. At that point some primordial instinct from Apache’s wolf forebears cautioned, “Hey, pup, you better bring the pack if you’re gonna take on one of those babies!” Apache backed off with what dignity she could salvage. Well, if that was the way it was going to be, it was time to bring out the gun… Did you really think I was going to shoot that moose? Relax. First, it’s illegal and second I can’t imagine killing any wild animal unless it was going for my throat or I was on the brink of starvation. No, I got my friend, Ron, to fire the 30:30 into the air. Once-no reaction. Twice-a little nervous shuffling. Third time-over the fence and into the woods! And STAY THERE, Moose! Love to have you visit, just don’t move in-there are lots of willows in the woods!

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