A phone-filmed clip of two snowboarders chasing a moose down a Montana ski slope late last December became self-incriminating evidence after the viral video caught the attention of Forest Service officials and resulted in a $250 fine.
The New York Daily News says Hunter Lamoureux, 15, and Charlie Rush, 21, of Flathead County, Mont., encountered a moose while snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort. The animal flees downhill but Lamoureux and Rush stayed on its heels, filmed the chase with a mobile phone, and later posted the video on Facebook with the caption, “Just chasing a moose while snowboarding. . . no big deal.”
Immediately after posting the video, Lamoureux began responding to posts alleging he and Muehlhof harassed the animal.
“Look, the moose was in the middle of the run where it wasn’t supposed to be and we were where we were supposed to be,” he wrote. “After waiting for it to move, it didn’t. So we finished out our run trying to slip past it. And the moose kept running.”
Flathead National Forest spokesperson Wade Muehlhof said officials thought otherwise and fined Rush $250 for animal harassment and called the incident a “learning opportunity,” noting the animal could have seriously injured either of them.
“At the end of the video, you notice that the moose stops and turns. That could have had a very bad outcome for the snowboarder. We’re very happy that neither the moose nor the snowboarder were injured,” he said.