W. Mass. logger has close encounter with testy moose

Loggers aren’t typically fazed by the sight of a moose, but one Belchertown man says he encountered a moose so quarrelsome he had to run for his life.

In late September, Peter Brown, 54, was in Shutesbury scoping out the area of his current logging job when he returned to his skidder — a type of tractor used in logging — and saw a large moose by the vehicle. A logger for 35 years, Brown was no stranger to the animals. He approached cautiously, hoping to capture a picture of the behemoth.

But this moose didn’t want his picture taken — and instead charged toward Brown.

“I realized I had to run,’’ said Brown, “I was looking for a tree to climb but couldn’t find one. So I had to start running again. It was terrifying.’’

Brown, who had both hips replaced less than two years ago, was told by doctors he could never run again.

It turned out he could.

He managed to slow the moose down by weaving through trees, something the animal couldn’t do because of its large antlers.


The chase lasted more than 10 minutes, he estimated, before Brown managed to get back to his machine and take shelter in it.

“I couldn’t run forever. I was so terrified I ran right past it,’’ Brown said, adding that he was very disoriented at that point, and the moose continued to grunt and circle his machine.

Brown said he spent the next few days constantly looking over his shoulder and kept his chainsaw handy. Brown, who owns his own small logging company, always works alone.

Prior to this moose, Brown said, he had been attacked by flying squirrels, stirring up childhood memories of “Rocky and Bullwinkle’’ for the longtime logger.

“This moose was intent on doing me bodily harm,’’ said Brown, who first told his story to The Daily Hampshire Gazette. “They’re usually quite docile; this was just one big, bad moose.’’

Male moose are particularly aggressive from August to early October when they are in rutting season and can be very territorial, according to the National Park Service website.

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