In an effort to simply find some sheds, two men found a moose up to her neck in mud.
The Maine moose, struggling to survive, lucked out big time. Had it not been for these two shed hunters, this moose would have died and left her calf to fend for itself.
It’s not every day that you can free a moose that’s trapped in a bubbling spring, and then watch it run away healthy to join her calf.In fact, for Maine Game Warden Bayley Grant, it’s the first time he’s seen it in his 24 years as a district game warden.Monday was starting out like any other Monday for Grant when he got a call.Two shed hunters were looking for deer antlers in a big cedar swamp in Columbia. Dustin Reynolds and Ryan Murphy, both of Harrington, had brought along their dog to help. About two thousand feet from the Maine road, Dustin’s dog Remington started barking and alerted them to a moose.Upon closer look, they saw a moose, stuck in a spring hole in the swamp, up to its neck in mud, and unable to climb out.“They gave me a call,” said Grant, “And I told them I needed to get my stuff together, but I would meet them there.”As Grant gathered his come-along, tow strap, and about 20 feet of heavy nylon rope, he alerted Game Warden Scott Osgood who said he would head over and help.Once there, he realized the gravity of the situation. The moose was nearly up to its neck in mud, trapped in a spring that was about six feet across, and as they later found out, nearly ten feet deep.“The moose had fallen into a spring hole, and had sunk right up to her shoulders, and she couldn’t get out,” said Grant, who said her hind legs were stuck on some roots.Grabbing a large wooden stick, Wardens Grant and Osgood were able to get the moose’s front legs out of the mud, which enabled them to get the large rope under and around her so they could try and free her.“We first tried to haul her out with the four wheeler, but it became clear she was too stuck for that,” said Grant. “We then hung the come-along on a cedar tree, and started to winch her out.”The process was slow but as you can see from the video, it worked. Slowly but surely she emerged from the mud and once out, she tried to run, but was stopped as she was still attached to the come-along.“She sat down once she realized she was still attached. We were able to get close, and cut the rope, and she stood right up and took off,” said Grant.Seeing the moose take off assured Wardens Grant and Osgood that the moose hadn’t been stuck long, likely less than 8 hours according to Grant. A follow up search a little later for the moose didn’t turn up a thing, assuring the wardens that the moose was doing well.Grant did take a closer look at the spring once the moose was gone, discovering that it was 10 feet deep, and that the roots from the cedars where in the spring were keeping the moose from getting out. The moose would have died there without being discovered by the two shed hunters, and the help from the two game wardens to get her out.“It may be the first time in my career that the moose lived,” said Grant, “Too often they are weakened by brainworm, or have a broken leg, and they don’t survive. This one did.”“It’s a moose story with a happy ending,” added Grant.(The video isn't great quality, but shows a few moments from the rescue)
Posted by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife on Saturday, February 3, 2018
The men called game warden Bayley Grant, who promptly rushed out to discover something he hasn’t seen in his 24 years of work. He gathered a tow strap and 20 feet of nylon rope to help pull the moose out of the swamp.
They wedged a stick underneath the moose’s front legs in order to wrap the rope around her.
The group later discovered that the hole measured approximately 10 feet deep and about 6 feet in diameter.
The moose appeared to be fine after fleeing the scene. She reunited with her calf and hasn’t shown any problems since.
According to Grant, they typically don’t make it after excruciating events due to brainworm or broken legs. This one did.
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