While heavy snowfall across the UP is creating great conditions for snowmobiling, it also results in riders and wildlife winding up on the same trails.
Wildlife Biologist Brian Roell with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says “the deep snow conditions can make using the packed snowmobile trails and roads attractive to wildlife, particularly deer and moose, because using trails makes it much easier for them to move.”
Snowmobilers are reminded to be on particularly aware of moose on trail No. 5 runs north from southern Marquette County past the Silver Lake Basin and the Yellow Dog River, where it connects with trail No. 14, which runs west past Mount Arvon to L’Anse in Baraga County. Moose are not frightened by snowmobiles or other vehicles.
“Moose may stand their ground and refuse to leave the trail and could become aggressive,” Roell said. “Trail users encountering a moose on the trail should pick an alternate route or wait for the moose to move out of the trail before proceeding.”
Riders should not approach moose.
“If the animal shows interest by slowly walking towards you, or has its ears laid backwards, or the hairs on its back raised, put some space between you and the moose by backing up or turning around and leaving the area,” Roell said. “There are fines for harassing wildlife. It’s best to remember wildlife always has the right of way.”