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JBMasterAngler

Wolverines in Grand Marais!!!!

43 posts in this topic

Just read a nice little article in the outdoor news about a wolverine sighting in the grand marais area. Of course I would never want to encounter one while I'm fishing for brook trout in my favorite little stream, but it's nice to see that at least a few still live in minnesota. Speculation is that the lady that seen it may have confused it with a fischer. I hope not, I would love for nothing more than for minnesota to be home again to some of it's native animals...wolverine, mountain lion, caribou, elk, bison, etc.

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It's not the first wolverine sighting in the Arrowhead in recent years. But it's by-God good news nonetheless, if it's true. I'd love to get a confirmed sighting or see some actual images of one in Minnesota.

You can talk about which animals mark a land as wilderness, but if you really want to spell remote, you spell it W-O-L-V-E-R-I-N-E.

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Ah no it is not a good thing.. The Anti's will be trying to shut more land use and outdoor activities down, we got enogh problems after the lynx lawsuit and now they want more land tied up.. Anyway when people think they seen one it's actually a large male fisher which can resemble one..

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protrapper is right on the money. We had a couple of lynx hanging around the lodge for several months. When word got out we had every university student and biologist in the country trapping the dang things. They looked real natural with the collars on. I had to disassemble several traps that were left behind while clearing ski trails that fall.

A male fisher sounds about right to me.

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Just wanted to throw my two cents in, I happened to be one of the biologist trapping lynx up there. Gunflint, so you know, just like its against federal law to tamper with a private trap, its also against federal law tamper with a federal/university trap. I'm pretty sure those ski trails are not your property, happen to be federal. On another note, one of the biggest things we have learned from this project is that lynx are pro logging, love clear cuts with balsam regen, but are extremely trap susceptible. Because of this, trappers are anti-lynx. the cats we collared didn't die of starvation, they died from sticking there heads in traps. I am pretty sure the majority of the population would prefer to alter our trapping practices in order to protect a species such as the lynx.

Wolverine: my thoughts are that the women saw a fisher, we hear about this all the time. Only sighting that I believed to be a Wolverine was a few years back in Ely.

Dave

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Wolverines...they tavel great distances and I'm sure that if it was one, it cme down from Canada. About 5 years back, the MI DNR confirmed a wolverine sighting by Port Huron--mainly farm country. It was not tagged/collared but the DNR surmised that it came across Saginaw Bay when it was frozen over.

As far as lynx go, I'm kind of surprised that the government had to waste so much money studying the darn things to realize what literature and most of us had been saying--cut the timber, they like regen and roads--and it only makes sense as their preferred prey are hares and hares love/need regen both in the form of cuts and also the brush/regen along logging roads.

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I interpreted the statement about the traps as saying that the academics left some traps behind when they left. Is there a fine for an academic abandoning and not tending their trapline? :-)

Or perhaps I misinterpreted the post.

Please explain how Lynx are "endangered" when Canada is full of them? Or are Minnesota Lynx somehow different? I have wondered about that for a long time. Could carp be an endangered species in the BWCA if there were only a few in one lake?

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The traps were left behind. I'm not talking about the boxes with the feathers and the pie tins, these were wire traps in the ski trail that I came across while clearing blowdown in the fall prepping the trails for mowing. I didn't think the skiers would appreciate getting tripped up.

You could have just asked the loggers about lynx and they would have told you that. Did you guys figure out that the reason that they were down there was because the hare population was out of control and when the prey numbers dropped the lynx headed back across the border? The loggers could have told you about that too. In fact I remember loggers talking about dead moose we were finding 10 years ago and the DNR was [PoorWordUsage]-pooing their(the loggers)talk of reduced numbers and die offs. Funny how that's now become a concern.

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Keep it peaceful, gentlemen. smile

This can be a cool thread with lots of different perspectives, all valuable.

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back in the 90's when i lived in ely i heasrd of a wolverine sighting in the woods north of town. i never saw one but i did come across some tracks i thought might be from 1. would be cool to see 1 in the woods, though not to close lol.

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I cool. The ESA puzzles me. Sometimes I think it is not protecting the wildlife but some greenie hidden agenda. But that is probably just my paranoia.

(just becuase you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you)

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About 5 years ago the wife and I spotted a Wolverine up on Basswood swimming from Lincoln Island to another island. I've seen enough Wolverine videos to distinguish its appearance. We were able to follow it at a comfortable distance and watch it climb out of the water. There is no question that it was a Wolverine we saw.

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Just wanted to throw my two cents in, I happened to be one of the biologist trapping lynx up there. Gunflint, so you know, just like its against federal law to tamper with a private trap, its also against federal law tamper with a federal/university trap. I'm pretty sure those ski trails are not your property, happen to be federal. On another note, one of the biggest things we have learned from this project is that lynx are pro logging, love clear cuts with balsam regen, but are extremely trap susceptible. Because of this, trappers are anti-lynx. the cats we collared didn't die of starvation, they died from sticking there heads in traps. I am pretty sure the majority of the population would prefer to alter our trapping practices in order to protect a species such as the lynx.

Wolverine: my thoughts are that the women saw a fisher, we hear about this all the time. Only sighting that I believed to be a Wolverine was a few years back in Ely.

Dave

How many died from getting hit by cars and trains and how many were caught in traps?? Just curious. It also makes little sense to me that a lynx that is an endagered species in MN can walk over the border and be legally caught by a canadian trapper, who can on some lines trap an unlimited number of lynx. Since MN is on the fringe of the lynx range does that make it endangered? If so by that logic, the wood duck would be endagered in the rocky mountains. Doesn't make a lot of sense. I agree that it was probably not a wolverine. If they get on this kick, trapping in the arrowhead could get very limited. In lynx core areas they don't overlap with bobcats. If MN were a core territory for lynx, wouldn't there be very few bobcats? I don't get the logic with the DNR and some of the northern furbearers. With all that said, it would be cool to have wolverines here, but it would be a pain if they tried to manage them like this was their core habitat.

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Welcome johnsd16. I think the we're neighbors as I'm in the Pike Lake area. I've heard some trappers in Cook county talk about seeing wolverines at the end of the Gunflint trail several years ago. I do believe the long time locals up there. But like the lynx I think that it's more of a fluke than a trend.

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I worked with a guy in Alaska who traps, works for Fish and Wildlife Research, flies his own plane to trap and hunt and has only seen wolverine twice. I would love to see one. He saw one from his plane and he said it just went nuts trying to get out of sight. A wary animal.

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Just a FYI. There was a thing in the Outdoors section of the Star a few years back that did a whole thing on Wolverines, history and sitings in Minnesota. And the last recorded siting acording to the article was in 1943 or so? It would be cool to see one, at a distance!!

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hawgeye, so are you live trapping the animals to put collars on them, or killing some to check what their eating and the health of them? I've always liked the "we must destroy the village to save it" thinking of some wildlife org's. I think if your groups are just checking for population of an area, there are these new neat deals called cameras that work well for identifying animals living in an area without kill-trapping them. Gunflint, thanks for taking the time to go out and clear the trails "that aren't yours" but belong to all us US citizens to use and keep them safe from a few interest groups who think they have some right over the people to leave their traps unattended or clearly marked so others do not get injured! And hum get paid by us to do it! eek

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It'd be pretty tough for a roaming animal such as a wolverine (or mountain lion) to establish a permanent population unfortunately, but to know there's a few running around in the woods at any given season makes minnesota a bit more wild. smile

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to know there's a few running around in the woods at any given season makes minnesota a bit more wild. smile

Agreed. That wild feeling is why I moved here.

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Answer to some questions:

live trapped the lynx and put GPS collars on them to determine habitat use, home ranges, and surival/mortality

Lynx hit by cars trains and trapped: We had 1 lynx hit by a train and 2 hit by a car. We had 5 reported killed trap incidents, and numerous missing animals/collars. 4 cut collars were recovered that were assumed killed by humans.

From my understanding the traps on Bearskin Ski trails were not abandoned, they were taken. I was not the trapper that was setting traps in that area (they were students, which brings up another point)I would never trap off of a trail

Waste of money: I was the only paid trapper on the whole project, pretty sure not very many on this site would pass on that opportunity. Very few dollars of that project went to field work

Waste of money: There was wasted money ( big reason that I quit working wildlife)most of the dollars went to administration

Lynx are in Canada, how can they be endangered here. Because if you talk to trappers loggers or anyone who has spent a great deal of time in N MN they know that historically there has always been some lynx in the state. According to DNR records, after a boom in trapping them in the 1980s the lynx disappeared from the state. (after talking to loggers and trappers I came to my own conclusion that the lynx never left, but there numbers were dramatically down from ) In 2000 there was an influx in lynx activity in the state/US and the feds got involved, don't necessary agree with it, but I do believe that regulation was needed.

Common sense: I hunt and/or fish probably more than 99% of people out there, I am pro trapping/hunting of wolves. I love the outdoors and enjoy using it for multiple uses. In situations like these I think it takes a little common sense of both sides of the spectrum

Question to you, how many of you have actually been affected by the lynx being designated as a threatended species?

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Any private landholder in NE MN WILL be affected if the US Fish and Wildlife get more legislation passed. The current legislation limits and severely reduces the opportunities to harvest timber and this also applies to private land. If you want to cut your own timber to generate some money, forget it if the laws pass

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The current legislation limits and severely reduces the opportunities to harvest timber and this also applies to private land.

I think that is what happend in the western states with Weyerhaeuser and the spotted owl. I believe the Audubon Society sued to hault logging on Weyerhaeuser's lands. It caused some real problems for loggers. The federal gov't started a program to help out displaced loggers. I believe some of them ended up with jobs with the Forest Service.

There are some hoops to jump through with FWS but I would think that private land owners wouldn't be totally limited in what they could do. It may take some compromise, unfortunately for the private land owner.

I would think with the amount of federal land, and specifically the million acres of wilderness that can buffer the impacts of private land use on terrestrial species, that is more heavily scrutinized during land use planning phases that the impacts to private land owners would be minimal if it was determined that wolverines have established a population significant enough to be of any concern. That is a bit of a SWAG opinion, mind you grin

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I am pro trapping/hunting of wolves. I love the outdoors and enjoy using it for multiple uses. In situations like these I think it takes a little common sense of both sides of the spectrum

Question to you, how many of you have actually been affected by the lynx being designated as a threatended species?

Amen on the wolves. The new trapping regs in MN are OK. Some of the things are silly. Like if you are using a 120 size conibear, for marten, you still can't use flagging within 20'. I can see having the rule on footholds, 160s and 220s, but not to include all traps. The new regs make if aweful tough for guys catching fisher in the arrowhead.

By that logic, the ruffed grouse is endagered in Southwest MN. Better make some new rules, oh wait the limit is still 5. I just don't understand how an animal is endagered on one side of an imaginary line and trapped at a no bag limit on the other. I agree that MN guys shouldn't be allowed to harvest/target lynx, but the few incidental catches shouldn't disrupt normal population influx/decline.

Good discussion.

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