A moose literally chased Jeff Palmer from his skis.
"I was like you gotta be kidding me, this thing is coming right for me," said Palmer, 19, of Shelburne.
He was near the Gatehouse Plaza at Sugarbush two days before Christmas when he noticed a bull moose headed right for him. He popped off his skis and ran.
"I looked over my shoulder and it was closing in on me very fast," Palmer said. "My life flashed before my eyes when I looked back."
Fortunately, the moose veered up the slope as Palmer ran toward the woods.
Palmer said, "Once it went away I was like wow, did that really happen?"
"Not unusual to have a moose in the ski areas; they are cut out of the big broad woods," said Col. Dave Lecours of the Vt. Fish and Wildlife Department.
This particular moose has been spotted by hundreds of people at various spots around the resort over the past two weeks. At times the resort has had to temporarily shut down a trail or lift until the moose moves back into the woods. Palmer is the only person to have a close encounter with it. And it was the first time he'd ever seen a moose.
"Not the ideal way to see a moose for the first time," Palmer said. "Rather have seen it from a distance, not charging at me."
"We caution people, they are big animals, give them their clearance, don't get near them or agitate them. This one is probably a little irritable as it is getting ready to shed its antlers," said Win Smith of the Sugarbush Resort.
Game wardens do not think the moose is sick, but choosing an easier path to travel around the resort.
"You get off the trails and the snow is much deeper and obviously requires more work to get around, so there's also the possibility it is just being a little bit lazy in respect on how it wants to traverse the mountain," Lecours said.
Wardens and the resort think Palmer's close call was an isolated incident and there is no reason for skiers to be afraid. Actually, Palmer's experience has many skiers hoping to catch a rare glimpse of the giant animal at a resort.
"I have yet to see a moose here, I have not seen one. I keep looking for them. I hope to see this one," said Donna Wing of Indianapolis.
"I'm glad I haven't seen it in the sense I didn't want it chasing me, but yeah, I am disappointed. I haven't seen a moose here since I have heard all the ruckus about it," said Becca Baldwin of Montpelier.
Palmer has been back at the resort to ski several times since he was chased by the moose. He hasn't seen it again. And he is glad it was caught on camera.
"It's even better to have the video. People are sometimes like, what do you mean it chased you," Palmer said. "It's pretty cool; I'll take my 15 minutes of fame from the moose story."
There are no plans to remove the moose. Wardens and resort officials believe it poses no threat to skiers.
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