Moose Collision

A bull moose lies dead after an early morning vehicle collision on Highway 22 near the Walton Ranch in October 2017. A cow moose was struck and killed near Rafter J Friday night August 3.

Adding to a string of moose deaths that started last month, another cow moose was killed Aug. 3 in a vehicle collision near Rafter J.

Just before 10 p.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to a call about the collision. A vehicle driving south on Highway 89 struck and killed the cow as she ran across the highway. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department removed the moose the next morning.

“It’s just really frustrating to have these things happen,” said Mark Gocke, public information officer for Game and Fish’s Jackson office. “Nobody wins in a situation like that.”

Game and Fish received a call from Highway Patrol about the collision close to midnight, but because the moose was killed on impact there was no need to immediately respond. A Game and Fish warden picked up the animal around 7 a.m. the following day, Gocke said.

At the time, the warden learned the cow had a calf with her who was uninjured and had moved away from the highway, Gocke said. The calf ran from the responding Game and Fish warden.

“There’s not a lot we can do besides give it a fighting chance,” Gocke said.

No one in the vehicle was injured in the crash.

Near Rafter J on Highway 89 is not typically a hot spot for moose collisions, Gocke said. It is more common for mule deer to be hit along Highway 89.

On August 5, Game and Fish responded to a vehicle collision with a mule deer on Highway 89 near the KOA campground, just north of Hoback Junction. The deer had a broken leg, so Game and Fish put it down, Gocke said.

Eighteen moose were hit in Teton County between May 2016 and April 2017. Of those, just two were hit along Highway 89.

Moose collisions are much more common at the intersection of Highways 22 and 390 and on Teton Pass. The collision is a reminder that wildlife cross the highways everywhere, Gocke said, even in places without signs warning drivers of their presence.

“It’s a reminder to drivers to be vigilant, especially at night,” Gocke said. “It’s a reminder to slow down.”

The volumes of wildlife and of traffic on the highways at night lead to the high number of collisions, said Andy Jackson, the Highway Patrol trooper who responded to the August 3 collision. Compared with other wildlife, moose are especially hard to see at night because of their dark color, he said.

“Our moose populations are kind of down as it is,” Gocke said. “So you just hate to hear of any of them getting hit.”

Contact Frederica Kolwey at intern@jhnewsandguide.com.

Recommended for you

(7) comments

Chad guenter

SLOW DOWN people!!!

No excuse for this If you are traveling at night, you MUST expect an animal to cross your path. You have to be vigilant in order to be able to stop.

Ken Chison

They can't do that Sean. Got to make more room for more of those California libtards. Then they can turn this once great town into the same Cesspool that they left

sean henry

so everyone wants to see something done. i suggest starting here.
https://buckrail.com/blm-land-transfer-of-river-frontage-hinges-on-what-you-want-to-see-done-with-it/
how about stop developing in moose habitat along the river for starters. tell parks and rec leave the east side alone.

Staff
Rebecca Huntington

You can also learn more about the BLM lands here https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/local/article_4173b6ca-4dcb-5e58-9b71-e18a33066a83.html

Ken Chison

Sure never had these problems as much in the olden days. Too many newcomers and way too many tourists. Add to that the fact that these animals are moving closer to civilization to escape predators. Oh well. It was predicted by a since gone biologist around 1998. Sad.

Zach Jones

Sorry but this statement annoys me. The last few moose hit were hit hy locals and cab drivers; not tourists. Everytime I visit, I have locals riding my tail no matter where i drive, and i abide by all speed limits. I was passed by locals over 10 times in one week between town and GTNP. I was never passed by a rental car. Stop preaching to tourists about this.

Ken Chison

Way too many tourists adding to an already over crowded town. Try Vail.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.