**This is likely to be long. You have been warned. **
See, I live right next to the border in Canada and am in NW Maine. We don't go moose spotting here, we go moose avoiding. Moose are big, dumb, and cute. Oh no, they're cute but they're absurdly stupid.
I mean, like picture a bovine critter like one raised for beef. Now, let that thing roam the planet without fences. You can see why this might be a problem. A friend of mine, still living somehow, hit a moose on a motorcycle. The moose was pissed and stomped on the bike several times,
However, that's not the story I am gonna tell you. Sit down kids, I've got an old man story for you.
So, I retired here. I am not from Maine, I'm an import or from away (as they say), and am still learning the local customs at this point in my life. One of the local customs was to drink heavily at the bar, nightly, and drive home shiatfaced. You're only gonna hit a moose or deer.
We even did this in the middle of blizzards and sometimes took snowmobiles to the bar.
I don't get drunk anymore but this was the custom at the time and it was a good custom. Mostly...
So, I come home from the bar one night and there's a baby moose on my lawn. Not being bright, or sober, I roll my window down - it is near the end of the driveway, and the moose comes to the car and my calling him.
My drunken moose call was, "Here moosey moosey moosey." Don't laugh, it worked. The moose came over and hung around the car and we talked for a bit. Well, I talked. The moose mostly listened and stood there looking stupid.
I drive the rest of the way to the house, I look for other meese, spy none, and go to bed. By bed I mean pass out, presumably still dressed, and wake up to do it again.
The following morning, there's a moose down near the tree line. The moose looks happy enough so I ignore it. Seeing a moose on the lawn is actually not an unusual thing. I don't pay much more attention. Not at this point.
In fact, there's a moose at the edge of the lawn when I leave that afternoon to go into town, go to the bar, and get drunk. The moose is there when I return home that night and, again, answers to the drunken moose call. Again, the moose hangs out for a bit and I'm guessing that he wanted to bum a smoke but moose can't talk.
So, I go up to the house and pass out. (You can see a pattern here.)
The following day, there's a moose at the edge of the tree line.
At this point, I'm very confused because I can't actually say it's the same mange-infested looking scrapling of a moose that I've seen before because I'm not a moosologist. Still, it looks mighty familiar.
Now, I don't know who you're supposed to call when a moose just decides to move in but I do know this is not normal behavior. But, being me, I decide to get drunk at the bar and tell people about the moose on my lawn. I also plan to ask the locals if they know anything about this sort of thing.
They tell me that I'm drunk but to call the game warden in the morning. Morning is early afternoon, 'cause I don't make it home until late and I'm passing out every night.
I call the game warden. The game warden agrees to come out to the house and look at the "ugly moose that's haunting my driveway." I'm happily drinking at this point. It's breakfast beer, after all.
The game warden shows up, I'm quite drunk, and the moose is missing. How the moose knew to go hiding, I do not know. I don't think he heard me call the game warden. Despite it having answered my call, I don't think they speak English. Either way, it's missing.
For whatever reason, the game warden believes me and unloads his four wheeler to go ride out into the woods. I leave and go to the bar. I return home, the moose is there and the warden is not. There's a note explaining that they'll be back tomorrow.
At about 8:00 in the morning, someone beats on my door and wakes me up. It's a game warden and a biologist. They just want to let me know that they're going to search around and find the moose again - as it is not at the end of the driveway but the moose was spotted by the warden the day before.
They go out, leave, and I start my breakfast drinking. While they are gone looking for the moose, the moose comes back onto the lawn and sits there at the edge of the trees. Eventually, probably early afternoon, I hear the sounds of the ATVs and the moose takes off into the woods. They return but not in time to see the moose.
So, now I'm drunk and shiatty already and I'm pretty sure they're just going to beat me up for wasting their time. But, I still open the door for them and feed them some coffee.
It turns out that my moose was both real and was a yearling moose that had either lost its mother or had been shooed away by its mother. It was suffering from depression and the trauma was too much for the moose.
Being drunk, I'm pretty sure they're shiatting me but they're the moose experts and they assure me this is not entirely uncommon - it's just rare that there's a combination of someone who was drunk enough to call to an estranged moose while driving a dark brown car.
The theory was that the moose was unhappy about having lost its mother, not eating well (which explains why it was mangy looking), and thought my car was a suitable replacement. The smell, being unfamiliar, means that the moose only stayed at a distance unless there was something (like a drunken moose caller) attracting its attention. It turns out, moose do not see that well and it was probably coming to investigate and see if the car was its mother.
The moose stayed for about a month. They told me that I was not allowed to harm (they used the term molest) the animal. That such would be a felony - not that I was considering it. It finally meandered away.
That, folks, is how dumb a moose is.