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JayinMN

Furry Forest Friends.

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Someone told me about a fox den south of Floodwood so I took a ride down to investigate it and then headed over to the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge near McGregor. The fox weren't at the den site, but I did manage to catch a glimpse of them on the road. I got to snap one picture before they slipped into the forest to continue hunting. Momma bear and three cubs were spotted along the road at the refuge. The were in pretty thick brush, but I watched them for a while. Most of the time I could only see moms top line above the grass. The cubs were practicing their tree climbing skills while mom grazed. The grass was too tall to see the cubs unless they ran up a tree. Each cub would go up a different tree like they were racing, then come back down and do it all over again. They were so tiny, not any bigger then my 10 week old lab pup. The refuge also had a ton of different bird species to view. I got out of the car with the dogs to do some hiking/birdwatching and we were crawling with wood and deer ticks in a matter of seconds. One dog is vaccinated against lymes, the pup isn't and of course neither am I. I am a bit paranoid now, I pulled at least 10 deer ticks off of the dogs and I hope I didn't bring any home...eek Needless to say the rest of our trip was enjoyed from the viewing platform and the inside of my car. Lots of spotted fawns along those back roads now too.

fox.jpg

mommabeat.jpg

mommabear2.jpg

cub.jpg

bearcub1.jpg

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Nice shots, those cubs sure are cute little critters,

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I like the fox in the first frame, they all are good shots though, sounds like a great day out - except for the ticks - they are serious right now.

Is the Refuge fenced or just not hunted or trapped.

Thanks for the post.

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Hedenhook, the area was defined as a refuge to preserve habitat for waterfowl because of the large wild rice lake. The Refuge is 18,300 acres and Rice Lake itself is 4,500 acres. The area is not fenced and some hunting is allowed. Archery deer, small game, woodcock, and snipe hunting are allowed. Firearm deer season is "special permit" only and the refuge is CLOSED to duck, goose and other migratory bird hunting.

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