Young bull moose stuck in creekbed near Libby
by Brent Shrum, Kootenai Valley Record
January 15, 2008
A young bull moose found buried up to its neck in a mucky creek bed came out alive and kicking thanks to some compassionate humans with a skidder.
Scott Luscher discovered the moose on Sunday, Jan. 6, not far from his home off Highway 2 about 20 miles south of Libby. Luscher enlisted the aid of his friend Paul Brown and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game warden Steve Magone, and the men set about freeing the trapped animal as Luscher’s teen-age daughter, LaRona, recorded the event in digital photos and video.
A chain and a rope were put around the hapless moose’s neck and attached to Luscher’s skidder. The moose initially appeared to have been sapped of its energy, but it sprang back to life when the chain attached to the skidder tightened and began pulling it from the ditch.
“They fake,” Magone said. “They come to life real suddenly as soon as they realize they’re free.”
Once the moose had purchase on solid ground, the chain went slack and fell off, Magone said. The moose’s rescuers had a little more trouble detaching the rope from the now bucking and kicking wild animal. At one point Magone was dragged on his belly across a field as he held on to the rope.
“It was kind of a rodeo out there for a while,” said Scott Luscher’s wife, Holly.
After some tense moments, the men were able to cut the rope and let the moose go free. Magone was confident the young bull would recover from its ordeal.
“It had plenty of strength after got it out of there,” he said.
Photos by LaRona Luscher
Editor’s Note: See the January 14, 2008 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, on Monday, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail email@example.com.