Musher, dog injured by moose

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Kasilof musher Jason Mackey was injured Sunday when he and his dog team were attacked by a moose while training for the 2004 Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Mackey, 32, was treated and released from Central Peninsula General Hospital and expects to be fine in time for the race. One dog also was injured but is expected to recover.

Mackey said Monday that he's not sure what happened exactly.

"It happened so quick," he said.

Mackey and a team of 15 dogs were training Sunday, when a cow moose ran out of a wooded area.

"The next thing I know, she jumped and plowed her head into my shoulder," Mackey said. "On the way back, I was scared to go through there. I wasn't carrying a gun.

"Sure enough, there she came again."

On the second encounter, Mackey said the moose jumped the team again, stepping in the one empty slot where a dog was missing.

"She was just ornery," Mackey said, speculating that the moose's foul mood may have been attributed to the depth of the snow or the presence of two calves.

One of Mackey's dogs was kicked between the shoulder blades.

"He's sore, but OK. I don't think he'll go to Nome," Mackey said.

As for Mackey, he suffered a cracked rib, but no broken bones. He said he's mostly just sore and bruised.

"It's kind of like getting into the boxing ring with a guy who's been boxing forever and you've never swung before," he said.

"I'm fine. It's not going to impact my Iditarod run at all."

Mackey is from a long line of Iditarod racers, including his father, champion Dick Mackey, and brothers, champion Rick Mackey and veteran mushers Bill and Lance Mackey. The 2004 Iditarod, scheduled to start March 6, will be Jason Mackey's first competitive trip to Nome.

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