GOLF

Moose stalks golfers in Breckenridge; officials urge caution during calf-rearing season

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A moose chased a pair of golfers across the Breckenridge golf course on Saturday June 18.
Doug Lane Archive / Summit Daily Reader

Who would win in a race, an electric golf cart on a downhill slope or a moose at full stride?

Average golfers and Hope College tennis players Justin Fay and Taylor Truman never had an exact finish line in mind on Saturday when they found themselves trying to outrun a moose, but they definitely learned who was the fastest.

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“If he wanted to catch us, he could have easily caught us,” Fay said.



Fay and Truman were playing a round at Breckenridge Golf Course late Saturday night. Fay said no one had tee times before or after them, and the pair were likely last on the Elk course. It was just after 7 p.m. when they hit hole 7. The hole has a long, downhill fairway leading to a small ravine just before the green. Players must throw their shots to the edge of the ravine and drive their ball over the shrub scar and onto the green. After losing a few balls in the bushes, Fay and Truman finally made their way to the green.

As Fay headed for the putt, he looked back down the course and spotted a wandering moose on the fairway. Recounting the experience, Fay recalls telling Truman, “Hey, look, Taylor. There is a moose.



Truman, who was from Michigan, said she had never seen a moose up close before. Fay said he thought it would be a special time to end Truman’s vacation. Fay had spent a lot of time in Summit County and was used to seeing moose. He said he was aware of the threat but was also used to the moose ignoring him.

This moose, however, did not ignore them.

Fay said he started galloping around the ravine and towards the green. He said he had never seen a moose move so fast.

“It was almost as big as a car,” he said.

Fay said they rushed to the nearby golf cart. They didn’t have time to put the clubs in the back, so Truman grabbed them as they left, he said. The moose came within 30 yards of them as they started the cart, he said.

Fay tried to put him on the ground, but the carts have automatic speed limits. He didn’t think they could go faster than 15 mph, especially on the climbs, he said. Luckily they were coming down from the highest part of the course.

The cart path crosses Gold Run Road on its way to hole 8 as it descends towards the clubhouse approximately half a mile. Fay and Truman crossed the road in their wagon, and Fay said they cut in front of a vehicle as they did.

At the time, Fay said the plan was to drive past hole 8, lose the moose and play hole 9. But the moose didn’t stop – neither on the road nor at hole 9 — so they kept rolling toward the clubhouse.

Truman said she kept looking back, trying to see the upset moose. Fay mentioned to her that there might be a calf nearby and it might be a mother protecting her baby. She said she had looked for it but had never seen one.

They continued to hole 9. There the path makes a horseshoe bend just before a lake. Fay said they nervously cut the corner, crossing the horseshoe. He said he was concerned that the cart’s automatic stop would activate if he veered off the main cart path.

Fay said the thought worried her, but it worried Truman even more.

“If we’re locked in, Justin can run fast,” she said. “I run fast but not as fast as him.”

She didn’t want to be the slowest runner in a race against a moose.

They said they were considering jumping off the cart and rushing into the nearby neighborhood.

As they passed the lake, Fay said the moose entered the lake from a distance. He was still swimming towards them but giving them enough time and space to get to the clubhouse.

They shared their experience with an employee, who told them that a baby moose had been spotted a few days prior. Breckenridge Golf Course staff reported that staff spotted a baby moose, possibly around 1 year old, in one of their ponds earlier in the week.

Fay described the moose’s behavior as “stalking” them. Truman called it a “terrifying” experience. She said when she returned to her office in Chicago, her colleagues thought it sounded like a cool experience. She said it was not a moment she wanted to relive.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises people to flee moose as quickly as possible if it becomes aggressive. People should try to place a large object, such as a rock or a car, between them and the moose, state officials say. The female moose can protect her calves. Dogs can also trigger aggressive behavior.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages people to give moose lots of space and respect them.

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