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Moose stalks golfers in Breckenridge; Authorities urge caution during calf-raising season

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

Who would win in a race, an electric golf cart going downhill or a speeding moose?

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

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

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Fay and Truman were playing a round at Breckenridge Golf Course on Saturday night. Fay said that no one had tee times before or after them, and that they were both probably the last ones on the Elk Course. It was just after 7pm when they reached the 7th hole. The hole has a long downhill fairway that leads to a small ravine just before the green. Players have to launch their drives right to the edge of the ravine and bounce their ball over the bush scar and onto the green. After missing a couple of balls in the bushes, Fay and Truman finally made it to the green.

When Fay went to play, he looked back across the field and saw a moose wandering down the street. Recounting her experience, Ella Fay remembers telling Truman, “Hey, look, Taylor. There is a moose.



Truman, who was visiting from Michigan, said he had never seen a moose up close before. Fay said that she thought it would be a special time to end the Truman vacation. Fay had spent a lot of time in Summit County and was used to seeing moose. She said that she was aware of the threat, but that he, too, was used to being ignored by the moose.

This moose, however, did not ignore them.

Fay said he began to gallop around the ravine and onto the green. She said that she had never seen a moose move so fast.

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

Fay said they ran to the nearby golf cart. They didn’t have time to put the sticks in the back, so Truman grabbed them as they walked away, she said. The moose came within 30 yards of them when they started the car, she said.

Fay tried to stomp on her, but the coaches have automatic speed limits. She didn’t think they could go more than 15 mph, especially on climbs, she said. Fortunately, they were coming down from the highest part of the course.

The cart path crosses Gold Run Road on its way to the 8th hole as it descends toward the clubhouse about a half mile away. Fay and Truman crossed the street in their cart, and Fay said they passed a vehicle as they did so.

At the time, Fay said the plan was to go through Hole 8, lose the moose, and play Hole 9. But the moose didn’t stop, not on the road, not at Hole 9, so they kept driving toward the house. club.

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

They continued on to Hole 9. There, the path makes a hairpin turn just before a lake. Fay said as she nervously cut the corner, crossing the horseshoe. She said that she was afraid that the car’s automatic shutdown would activate if they left the main path of the car.

Fay said the thought worried him, but it made it even more so for Truman.

“If we get blocked, Justin can run fast,” he 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 considered jumping out of the car and running through the nearby neighborhood.

As they passed by the lake, Fay said the moose entered the lake from a distance. She still swam in her direction, but gave them enough time and space to drive to the clubhouse.

They told their experience to an employee, who told them that they had seen a baby moose a few days earlier. Breckenridge golf course staff reported seeing a baby moose, perhaps around 1 year old, in one of their ponds earlier in the week.

Fay characterized the moose’s behavior as “stalking” them. Truman called it a “terrifying” experience. She said that when she returned to her office in Chicago, her co-workers thought it sounded like a great experience. She said it’s not a moment she wants to relive.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends that people flee moose as quickly as possible if they become aggressive.. People should try to place a large object, such as a rock or a car, between themselves and the moose, state officials say. Moose females can protect their young. Dogs can also trigger aggressive behavior.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages people to give moose plenty of room and respect them.

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