By Mark Heinz, outdoor journalist
Wyoming residents are used to seeing wildlife, sometimes even the city, but no one at a youth football game in Jackson expected a close encounter Saturday morning.
“You just don’t expect a bull moose to run through a kiddie football game,” Barbara Allen, a real estate agent and former Teton County commissioner, told the Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
Even so, Allen kept enough wits about him to make two short videos of the massive beast hurtling across the field across the street. He then began to trot, even as some of the children screamed and a small dog began to bark.
“I think the poor moose was just confused and didn’t know what he was doing,” Allen said of the incident, which started at 11:25 a.m. and lasted about 2 minutes.
Memorable end to the season
It was the last game day of the season for 6- and 7-year-olds, Allen said. Her son was playing a game on an adjacent lot, but her young daughter was right next to her when she took the videos.
“My daughter loves watching animals. She was more on the ‘awe and wonder’ side of things when the moose came by,” Allen said. “He was handsome. He had a shiny coat and great paddle antlers.
She said the unexpected ungulate seemed as confused as humans.
“I don’t think he knew what to do once he got on the pitch and there were all these screaming kids and parents trying to get him out of the way,” she said.
Near the end of the second video, a man on an e-bike can be seen coming up behind the moose and pulling it away from the crowd.
“No one knows who the ‘e-bike guy’ was yet,” Allen said. “I don’t know if I would want to be behind a bull moose on an e-bike, but I give him a lot of credit for what he did to keep the moose away from the kids.”
No one was hurt and the moose eventually ran off the field, Allen said.
“He took the road to the Flat Creek Corridor, and that was the last time I saw him,” she said.