The Shelburne moose story

Thank you for publishing the great moose pictures (May 16 and June 12). I thought you would like to know that it is a one-year-old male who had been spotted in towns south of us (there’s a lovely video of him visiting a patio in Shelburne), as well as in the Burlington area, when he was involved in an alleged drug bust. He was then escorted by water to Shelburne Point by Warden Tom Cook, and after he came ashore he found the good life. We named him Pothead, later shortening it to Pots. (Our neighbors called him Marley).

The problem with Pots was that unlike most moose, he didn’t move on after a few days. He ended up living on our property and that of about three adjoining neighbors for almost a month.

We met with Warden Cook, and we all realized that it was becoming dangerous for Pots, and dangerous for us to have him around. A moose can run at 35 miles an hour and can, and did, charge at lightning speed.

It was also disconcerting to realize a moose can camouflage itself perfectly, whether it’s deep woods or tangled wetland. The only indication for many of us that we were standing virtually next to him was an annoyed snort.

Behind the scenes, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department was arranging to get the funding and personnel to get Pots moved – an unusual occurrence. We kept texting and sending photos of his location (at one time dangerously close to Harbor Road), and on Thursday, June 6, he was successfully tranquillized and moved. Lt. Curtis Smiley called to tell me that Pots is now up near Starksboro and has been tagged. The Lt. promised that there were plenty of hot moose babes in the area, and that he would give us updates on his progress.

So we would all like to thank the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Law Enforcement Division, for providing the absolute best possible outcome for the moose, with a special acknowledgment to Warden Tom Cook as well as Warden Lt. Curtis Smiley, and also the New York Bureau of Wildlife whose experts helped to move Pots. I know there were many others involved, and we thank you all.

Every once in a while we think we see a shadow or a movement as we look into the woods, and we remember.

Joan Gignoux, Shelburne

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