2020 is now the year of the moose! Why the moose? Wrong place wrong time; 4 tips to survive. Last week, I got up early for a quick run. I grabbed my shoes and Luna (my Siberian husky) and hit the trail (pic of trail above). About a mile into the run I hear branches break and something large running towards me quickly. I look over my shoulder to see a moose in full charge heading right at me. I immediately take off into a sprint as I hear hoofs getting increasingly closer. The moose was gaining on me quickly and not letting up!
The weather was beautiful as I rolled out of bed. I had a busy day with a number of closings so wanted to ensure I got in a run before the day started. It was around 530 MT as the sun was already up in NW Colorado. I grab my shoes and leash Luna, my Siberian husky. We walk out the backyard to the trail.
I run on this trail several times a week, it is wide and heavily used which makes it an easy quick run. I was planning on a five mile out and back. As I hit around mile 1.5 I hear something coming towards me as I look over my shoulder, I see a moose in full charge heading directly towards me. I regularly see moose, bear, and various other wildlife. I knew instantly this was not a normal encounter as I have never seen or heard of a moose acting this way. Typically, a moose will let you know they are present and you can put distance between yourself and the moose and you are fine. Today was radically different, I knew I was in trouble with the moose suddenly hot on my heals
With the moose behind me, I immediately take off into a sprint as I hear hoofs getting increasingly closer. I hear her snorting getting louder. This is not a false charge! I glance back again to see the moose now just steps behind me. I knew I had to drop the leash to allow Luna to get away and hopefully distract the moose.
Fortunately, as I dropped the leash, the moose was momentarily distracted by Luna which gave me a few second head start to dive under a spruce tree for cover. In any moose encounter, typically you get behind a tree or other object and the moose loses interest. Today was different!
I was crouched under a large spruce tree that had tons of branches. I thought I was fine until a few seconds later, the moose turned and headed towards the tree at almost full charge, she sees me crouched in the tree well and begins using her hoof to try to break the branches and get at me. I try talking calming, yelling at it, and remaining silent, nothing seems to work.
My husky Luna circles back to try and check on me, the moose tries to kick her and then quickly comes back to focus on me. This goes on for several minutes until a car turns into the parking lot 15 feet or so from where I have taken cover. I peak my head out to see if this will give me a few minutes to run the other way. Unfortunately, the moose charges the car which peals out of the parking lot and then quickly comes back to me.
The moose is getting increasingly agitated as I become increasingly worried. She would do anything for me to leave (I would gladly oblige!), but I was stuck with no way to exit without getting kicked and or trampled. I didn’t have my phone with me and my options were running out. I had nothing with me other than the clothes on my back.
As each minute passes the moose continues to use its hoofs to break the branches and get closer to me. It reminded me of a bull winding up before a charge. I knew I had to act quickly if I was going to make it out alive. I can now see the moose’s face a couple feet away. It is crazy how large of a head they have when they are mere feet from you! She was definitely angry and her snorts were growing louder. The moose pushes its head through the branches towards me. I knew I had to act, I lunge back against the tree and gave the moose a swift kick in the nose. The moose looks at me a bit startled and takes a few steps back and then takes off. (see pic of the tree where I took shelter, when I went back, you could see the branches broken and hoof marks all around it!)
This is my chance to make a break for it. I roll out under the opposite side of the tree and take off the other direction. I’m home in a few minutes.
Before I arrive, my wife is startled out of bed as the ring doorbell motion sensor goes off. She sees Luna running towards the backyard with her leash on and I am nowhere to be found. She is freaking out as a few minutes later I come running down the hill with ripped clothes and blood streaming down my legs. Luna was waiting for me on the porch with her leash still on and gave me a bewildered look as if to say “what took you so long?”
I hadn’t even noticed the blood or pain from the cuts. When I was in the tree well the sharp branches cut up my legs. Furthermore, I had a sharp pain in my butt. I guess when I went to kick the moose, I backed up hard against the spruce tree and a stick went through my shorts right into my rump. Fortunately, Luna and I barely escaped with just some scratches and bruises.
I called the division of wildlife to report the incident, as I explain the story the officer asks if this is related to the dog running down the road with a leash on being chased by the moose. I guess several people had called in as they saw Luna being chased down the road by the moose. When I kicked the moose, I guess it lost interest in me and went after Luna again chasing her all the way home.
Why was the moose so aggressive?
After my call the officer went out and was able to locate the moose as she was still in the area. He quickly discovered the moose had a brand-new baby calf with her. It appears the moose had within the last several hours just had the calf which is why she was acting so aggressive. Even though I was scanning ahead and cognizant of my surroundings, I never saw the moose or calf before she was charging. The calf, unbeknownst to me was likely not far from where I took cover which is why the mom wanted me to leave so badly. Unfortunately, she trapped me so I was unable to oblige. This was unfortunately a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for me and Luna.
Why is 2020 the year of the moose?
As we are halfway through 2020, it is apparent that this year is not like any other year we have ever experienced. Almost every economist has missed the recent economic gyrations; all the planning in the world is unable to predict what this year has to offer. The virus has thrown the economy into a tailspin with pieces falling out every day. Just like the moose, the virus has created many instances of wrong time/wrong place creating a very dangerous financial situation. The huge amount of uncertainty has also made this year even more precarious.
Just as in the case of the moose there will be twists and turns and you cannot let your guard down. We recently saw an amazing job reports that has led to a historic run up in the stock market. Don’t be fooled; unfortunately, the moose is just get started and there are sure to be surprises that you must prepare for.
4 tips to survive the year of the moose
The moose is indicative of 2020 and is a stark reminder that you must be ready to react to whatever is thrown your way. I emphasize react as the pandemic is unprecedented and will create change that is nearly impossible to predict. There are four key lessons that the moose taught me that will help everyone stay “alive” during these challenging times.
- Prepare: Although there is no way to prepare for the test, per se, general preparation is critical. Now is the time to go through what if scenarios to at least mentally prepare for the challenges ahead.
- Mindset: Having a moose running at you full force is an important reminder of how important your mindset is. You can have all tools in the world, but at the end of the day, your most important tool is your mind. It is imperative to keep level headed to make the right decisions.
- Trust your instincts: In difficult situations you don’t always have time to think through all of your options, unfortunately you can be dead if you take too much time. In my case, if I would have stopped running to evaluate the situation, there is no way I would have made it. Many times, you will be forced to react and you must trust your instincts.
- Do or do not: I always tell my kids that some of the most important advice is from the great Yoda from Star Wars. Talk is cheap either do or do not. If you are going to do something commit and do it. When my back was against the tree, I had a stark choice to survive, I went for it and fortunately it worked out!
The moose is a stark reminder of the challenges and uncertainty ahead. The year of the moose is just getting going and will not end without considerable uncertainty and pain. The pandemic and subsequent shutdowns have forced the economy into a crisis situation that will not be resolved as quickly as the markets are alluding. There is no doubt, the year of the moose has plenty of energy left in the tank to wreak havoc. Now is the time to ensure you prepare, have the right mindset, trust your instincts, and execute so the year of the moose does not kill you and only becomes a pain in the rump with some scratches and bruises like it did for me. Be safe in the year of the moose!
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Written by Glen Weinberg, COO/ VP Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in Bloomberg, Businessweek ,the Colorado Real Estate Journal, National Association of Realtors Magazine, The Real Deal real estate news, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.
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