We love our outdoor spaces here in Idaho. Camping and hiking are ever the activity throughout our great state. Many Idaho residents choose to live farther away from cities for the comfort and peace of nature. Whether visiting temporarily or living in the middle of it, it is always the responsibility of humans to be aware of their surroundings.

We have learned how to camp responsibly. We put out campfires, pick up our trash, and secure our food. Homeowners ensure their trash is in bear-proof containers and keep animals safe from getting too used to people. But even responsible outdoor enthusiasts have to be more careful.

Why Should Idaho Be More Careful While Outdoors?

Those cute little woodland creatures can potentially be dangerous to the unwary traveler. Snake bites, surprised skunks and porcupines, wasp stings, and spiders are a concern. Big animals getting surprised are of course to be avoided as well. We have all learned rules about being bear-aware and making noise to warn off mountain lions and wolves.

Something the park rangers have always warned us of is rabies. Bats are always a concern but other animals also carry rabies. Raccoons, skunks, and foxes are animals to watch for strange behaviors, but there’s something else to think about - moose.

There is now a first in Alaska. A moose has been confirmed to have contracted rabies. It is a variant carried by arctic foxes so it is believed that is how the moose contracted it. Moose with rabies is rare but it has happened in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Canada. Rabies could also infect moose in our area of Idaho as well.

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Please be careful of wildlife when enjoying the outdoors. Avoid going near any carcass you may come across on your excursions. Beware of animals that are showing strange behavior like aggression, excessive drooling, and staggering. Be safe and have fun.

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