BILLINGS – When Scott Lindell was rattled awake at 1:30 on the morning of Nov. 17, his first thought was that the wind was blowing really hard.
At the time he was sleeping in his pop-up camper at a Colorado campground while on a deer hunting trip.
“I didn’t realize how light those campers were,” said Lindell, a 63-year-old Billings resident. “I was being shook around.”
After rousting himself from sleep and stepping outside, instead of encountering gale-force winds Lindell found a large bull moose doing battle with his sleeping chambers as another bull watched. He later discovered antler holes poking through the camper’s fabric right around the pillow where his head had been resting as well as a busted taillight on his pickup.
“Maybe I was snoring or the odor wasn’t right,” Lindell said.
The bull didn’t stop trying to dislodge the camper from Lindell’s pickup until he yelled at his nephew, Ryan Cienfuegos, who turned on his lights. Between the two yelling men and the lights, the bull moose finally wandered away.
“I think they were after me,” Lindell joked. “I’ve never had anything like that happen to me.”
Lindell grew up in Colorado. He had returned to hunt mule deer with family and friends during the state’s fourth season in the Red Feather Lake area, west of Fort Collins along the Poudre River. He reported the bull attack to the state’s division of wildlife, but Lindell said they had never heard of any similar incidents.
“Nobody would believe my story,” he said.
Bull moose are known to be aggressive during the fall mating season, typically in the months of September and October. Female moose, called cows, are well-known for attacking hikers, especially if the momma moose is protective of a calf. But a bull moose tangling with a truck camper in November?
“For some reason, I was in his space, and he didn’t like me,” Lindell said.