Felicia Kirkland of Bangor enjoys going for weekend hikes. On Sunday, she took along a couple of friends for a trip to the Bangor City Forest.

The trio was treated to a thrilling and unexpected moose sighting and Kirkland was kind enough to share the video with us.

The group had been hiking for a couple of hours when they turned off the Rabbit Trail at trail marker 6. Along the way, they had seen moose tracks and some droppings.

Suddenly, one of them saw snow falling to the ground off a nearby tree. Seconds later, they found themselves up close and personal with a moose.

“He was really like less than 5 feet away from me originally, but I backed up because, ‘safety first,’” Kirkland said.

Unfazed, the moose continued to snack on the branches of a fir tree.

Kirkland was inspired by the beauty of the encounter.

“I think they’re magnificent, majestic almost,” she said. “To see them is just such an emotional experience. I got a little teary eyed when we were there, because I just think it’s so wonderful.”

The hikers retreated a bit, then Kirkland took a minute or two to shoot video. Since the moose was standing right along the trail, the hikers backed out.

“I said, let’s just turn around and show him some respect. We’ll just get out of his face and go on our way,” she said.

Lee Kantar, moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, described what he saw in the video.

“That is a bull calf from May, [approximately] 8 months old, chewing on what appears to be spruce,” Kantar said, quickly pointing out that moose usually don’t eat spruce but love balsam fir.

Kirkland was wary of possibly disturbing the moose or its mother, which was presumed to be somewhere nearby.

“I couldn’t see the mom, but that doesn’t mean she’s not there,” she said.

Kantar applauded that decision, saying the presence of humans can be a stressor for moose.

“While calves are able to be independent at this age the cow should be in the area,” he said. “You never know what the disposition of a particular moose is going to be. However, people, out of respect for an individual’s space, should give the moose wide berth.”

Kirkland said the moose was the first she had seen since moving to Bangor from Mars Hill some 17 years ago. It was a first for her friend Dakota.

“He’s from New Jersey. He had never seen one ever,” she said, noting that she discouraged him from approaching the moose.

“Because he’s not familiar with our wildlife, for him it was a rush of adrenaline,” Kirkland added.

Her friend Devin had a much healthier appreciation for moose behavior. She had once been charged by a bull moose while hunting.

The Bangor encounter proves that you don’t necessarily have to venture far into the Maine woods to see some of its treasured creatures.

“It is great that people enjoying the Bangor City Forest get to see a moose and some experience it for the first time,” Kantar said.

Many thanks to Felicia for sending along the cool video!

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Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...