Woman archer has über-close encounter with a North Dakota moose
While bowhunting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, Breann Zietz of Minot, N.D., had an amazingly close encounter with a cow moose.
How close? So close that people who have watched the video from the incident have asked, “Why didn’t you pet it?”
The third-grade teacher was archery hunting for whitetails from a ground blind southwest of Minot when the cow moose first began approaching from behind. It eventually looped around and walked up to her blind and – as the video shows – stuck its head completely inside the blind several times.
An archer for four years, Zietz said she didn’t know what to do as the massive animal approached. “Do I call my husband? I couldn’t unzip the blind and run, because she’s going to be a lot faster than me.”
Despite her pounding heart, Zietz kept her cool and recorded the multi-minute encounter with her phone, and even though the video appears steady, she says she was shaking and struggling to continue videoing. Cow moose can weigh 800 pounds, and though they’re herbivores, they have a reputation for kicking the daylights out of anything they perceive as a threat.
Zietz believes the moose smelled some vanilla scent-killer spray she had applied, and was investigating for a closer whiff. The animal nearly rested its chin on Zietz’s knee as she recorded. Despite the suggestions from some folks who saw the video, she was not interested in petting it.
“I didn’t want to surprise her while she had her head in the blind. Who knows how she would have reacted?” Zietz said.
Moose don’t have a reputation for great vision, and Zietz’s black top, which blended in with the back of the blind, camo pants, and her facemask apparently were enough to confuse and make her nearly invisible to the solo moose.
“I was really glad she did not have a calf with her,” Zietz said.
The video generated thousands of likes and shares via a Facebook posting on Monday night, where Zietz posted this comment: “I’ll never forget this moment. The very last second of the video, she tripped over the rope that anchors the wall down. It shook the blind so much that I jumped out of my seat to my knees and accidentally stopped the video. The next sound I heard was the moose scared and running away. I mean after all, it’s only a near thousand-pound animal.”
North Dakota issued 400 moose tags this year and has a stable population of moose that news reports have suggested is shifting more to the western portion of the state. Zietz says she’s seen several late this summer, though she’s not sure she’s personally ready to hunt them. She and her husband have two children (who called her video “so cool”) and they’re all avid outdoorspeople.
“They’re so big, I’m not sure I could shoot one,” she said. “I think I’ll stick to deer for now.”
In that regard, perhaps the encounter was good luck. Zietz took a 4-by-4 whitetail buck last Saturday, Sept. 24, albeit from a different blind.
Breann Zietz recorded this up-close-and-personal encounter with a cow moose in central North Dakota on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Video courtesy of Breann Zietz