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      What is the most spectacular event that you have witnessed in nature when canoeing or fishing?     
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11/15/2019 06:42PM
For me it was when I was fishing the Dubawnt River in Nanuvat Canada. We were allowed to fish the river once during our week long stay on Dubawnt Lake. It was late July, the ice went out on July 18th. The Small River was full of Lake Trout, 1000’s of them in the area we were fishing . The fish ran from 2 pounds, up to 40 pounds. It was a unbelievable sight that I will never forget.
 
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bwcadan
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11/15/2019 06:59PM
It took a half hour for a garter snake to eat a toad on our camp site. It started with a leg and kept working until down the hatch.
 
missmolly
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11/15/2019 07:50PM
Great question, walllee. It'll be hard to equal yours.
 
billconner
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11/15/2019 07:56PM
I think an amazing display of Aurora Borealis on Disappointment lake in July. And that's having spent a year on the artic circle where the whole sky was filled every night - which lasted from around 2:00 in the afternoon till 10:00 the next morning.
 
bwcasolo
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11/15/2019 08:14PM
While paddling on Lake 1 with my wife near Pagami Creek, we came upon a wolf on the back of a young buck in the water. The wolf took off when it saw us, the buck stayed in the water, for the time being, out of harms way.

It happened way too quick for a photo.
 
11/15/2019 08:31PM
On Kett Lake in 2011 on a solo I was traveling through and saw 2 eagles fly overhead. One appeared to be chasing the other and they were flying at a high rate of speed. They passed me overhead then flew into the far bay where I saw them dip and dive and circle around like 2 fighter pilots.

They were headed back my way when they suddenly locked talons and went into a free falling spiral. That got my attention good and right before slashing in the lake they released their grip and resumed their chase over the trees and out of view.

I was stunned and I remember my jaw just hanging open in disbelief at what I just witnessed. I had a lot of very cool wildlife experiences on that 10 night trip.
 
lindylair
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11/15/2019 08:38PM
I was fishing in the bow of a boat in a small bay in Lake Vermillion one morning many years ago. A great blue heron was stalking the shoreline as they do. Catching a few slab sized sunfish and loving it when the heron gets up and flies out and around the back of the boat, then parallel to the boat, at eye level perhaps 30 feet out. Then it flew back to the shore.

Maybe 10 minutes went by as I continued to fish and the heron got up again and did another fly by the back of the boat then parallel to it, eye level again but maybe only 10 feet or so out. Back to shore. By then I was thinking that this was pretty bizarre.

The fish were still biting so I was still fishing. Another 10 minutes or so and this persistent Great Blue Heron got up again and flew out to the boat for another fly by but instead landed on the outboard motor, a mere 12 or so feet away from me. He was there for perhaps 30 seconds and I admit to reaching one hand for an oar, just in case. He stood there on top of that motor with his big beady eyes staring at me and I am thinking whoa this is crazy, and damn, I don't have a camera. After our bonding time, he got up and flew away, abandoning his apparent favorite bay.

Being somewhat blown away and realizing it was time for breakfast, i powered up the motor and headed for the cabin, only to realize about halfway there that I had neglected to pull up the old metal safety pin stringer and had lost half of my fish.

I will never forget this incident and still clearly have that view in my mind of that Great Blue Heron on the motor a mere 12 feet away, standing there scolding me with his big beady eyes staring holes through me.

 
TuscaroraBorealis
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11/15/2019 08:52PM
Big Moose - Cummings portage.
 
11/15/2019 08:54PM
2 things come right to mind. Happened a day apart, on Plum Lake WI Highland SF. Mid-day solar eclipse on a clear day, sky darkens noticeably and has a red cast, eerily quiet! It was mid week my buddy and I were fishing, only canoe or boat in sight. The next morning watched a pair of mating eagles grasp talons in flight and spiral to about 20 feet over the water before pulling apart and repeating the performance!

butthead
 
justpaddlin
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11/15/2019 09:43PM
I think the question needs sub-categories like fish, birds, turtles, insects, mammals, plants, etc etc. Experiences like this are so precious that I don't have a clue how to pick "best".

Twice I rounded a bend on a river on a hot summer day and came so close to a deer cooling off in the water that the deer just froze as I glided by a few feet away (with dog in boat) and tried to avoid eye contact. Once I was pulled over for a break on a small stream (with dog in boat) when about 30 Sandhill cranes just calmly walked past our canoe within a foot of the boat we were sitting in. One time a carp charged my canoe and repeatedly tried to mate with it...I have to admit that it was a sexy boat (Swift Osprey in champagne). Once I was tied off to a dead tree in the middle of a quiet lake and took a nap and woke up to see my gunwales totally covered in blue damselflies. Don't even get me started with turtle or fish encounters.
 
mschi772
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11/15/2019 09:57PM
I didn't witness it personally, but there is a video on Youtube that someone recorded at Turtle-Flambeau, WI of a porcupine being taken down and munched on by a snapping turtle. Nature can be awfully metal.
 
SlowElk
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11/15/2019 11:32PM
Exactly the kind of thread I like to read. Great answers so far.

Not sure if this counts, but sharing time outdoors with friends and family has always been pretty spectacular. Canoeing with my dad out on cirrus lake would definitely qualify.

#2 would be watching some guys float a half barrel keg of beer down the rapids/ waterfall on some type of a 4x8 foam mattress on memorial day weekend.
 
SlowElk
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11/16/2019 12:08AM
justpaddlin: "


Twice I rounded a bend on a river on a hot summer day and came so close to a deer cooling off in the water that the deer just froze as I glided by a few feet away (with dog in boat) and tried to avoid eye contact. Once I was pulled over for a break on a small stream (with dog in boat) when about 30 Sandhill cranes just calmly walked past our canoe within a foot of the boat we were sitting in....Once I was tied off to a dead tree in the middle of a quiet lake and took a nap and woke up to see my gunwales totally covered in blue damselflies. Don't even get me started with turtle or fish encounters."


Wow, Very nice! Almost sounds like something out of a dream or a movie. Ive only had my canoe out maybe 3 times in the last 8 years, I really miss those types of encounters. I wonder what the deer is thinking as you go floating by.


 
SlowElk
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11/16/2019 01:28AM
Guess I have seen wolves on 7 different occasions. Twice in quetico, they almost seemed to be traveling with us over a couple of days.
 
SlowElk
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11/16/2019 01:47AM
walllee: "For me it was when I was fishing the Dubwant River in Nanuvat Canada. We were allowed to fish the river once during our week long stay on Dubwant Lake. It was late July, the ice went out on July 18th. The Small River was full of Lake Trout, 1000’s of them in the area we were fishing . The fish ran from 2 pounds, up to 40 pounds. It was a unbelievable sight that I will never forget."

That had to be awesome.
 
Tomcat
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11/16/2019 04:36AM
 
11/16/2019 07:56AM
Tomcat: "Witnessed large portion of canyon wall fall to river. Spectacular sound and sight.
"


Reminds me of long ago when backpacking in Glacier Nat. Park. I scrambled up a peak with a stranger who I was sharing a backcountry site with and we're taking in the incredible view. Down below was a lake we camped on and across the way we hear rumbling. We watched as a very large boulder tumbled down and crashed into the lake. It was stunning because the boulder was probably the size of a car.
 
11/16/2019 08:19AM
Coming back to the landing after a winter paddle the wind had died down and the surface was glass. I stopped offshore to enjoy the sunset when I noticed the surface of the water beginning to form ice crystal patterns. A spot here and there and suddenly I was surrounded by snowflake like patterns on the water's surface.
 
11/16/2019 08:33AM
Great thread! I wish we had a campfire with it! :)
I was hiking in the Finland State Forest. I emerged onto a forest road, turned my head to the right just in time to see a wolf at very close range, maybe ten yards?, also stepping onto the forest road in the exact same fashion and moment. It (maybe he? - it was enormous) turned and met my stare straight on. I was so close to him I could see his eyes blink. Neither of us startled, moved or did anything other than stare straight into each other's gaze. If I count in my head, the exchange lasted probably three seconds. He turned his head slowly to face forward, paused another moment, lifting his head to catch scent, then trotted across the forest road, slipping silently into the spruce and hazel like a shadow. I did not have my dog at the time, as she is too old for the length of the hike. I was glad for that.

 
missmolly
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11/16/2019 09:03AM
TomT: "Tomcat: "Witnessed large portion of canyon wall fall to river. Spectacular sound and sight.
"



Reminds me of long ago when backpacking in Glacier Nat. Park. I scrambled up a peak with a stranger who I was sharing a backcountry site with and we're taking in the incredible view. Down below was a lake we camped on and across the way we hear rumbling. We watched as a very large boulder tumbled down and crashed into the lake. It was stunning because the boulder was probably the size of a car."


Your story reminds me of when the big rock fell.
 
missmolly
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11/16/2019 09:04AM
I have two. The first event happened twice. It's a story I don't often share because it's suppose to be an impossibility, i.e. rainbows are supposed to forever recede as you approach them, but while paddling, I twice saw a rainbow ending in water, once on a river and once on a lake, and paddled into the shimmering ends both times.

I've seen the northern lights many times, but one night, I saw a rare form of it, when there were concentric rings of light that pulsed upward, from the horizons to the apex of the sky.
 
11/16/2019 09:44AM
My 3 brothers and myself were coming back from night fishing for walleye on McKenzie Bay Kawnipi Lake in our 2 tandem MN II’s. Our 2 canoes were positioned about 10 feet apart and we were moving along at a pretty good clip. All of a sudden my brother shouts out that there is something large moving between our canoes and there was a loud grunting sound. We all looked down into the water and lo and behold there was a cow moose and her calf swimming at a high rate of speed right along with our 2 canoes. We were do close you could hear them both breathing loudly thru their noses. It was 11 pm and quite dark so I switched on my headlamp to get a better look and there were momma cows eyes fixed right on me as she continued to swim. I told my brothers in the other canoe to veer away from the 2 moose and I did the same.

I have had several moose sightings in Quetico over the years but never been that close to a moose as I was that night coming back from night fishing. I could have touched them. A moose encounter my brothers and I will never forget.
 
Tomcat
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11/16/2019 09:44AM


 
blutofish1
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11/16/2019 09:53AM
It was one week after the blowdown in 99. The wife and I did a trip to North Bay of Basswood. Campsites were hard to come by but we took our chances and it paid off big time. We found a site in a hidden bay behind White Island, got the camp set up and we were off fishing. I said lets try the narrows where we came into the bay. The wife rigged up with a slip bobber and I with a jig. The wifes first cast barely hit the water and fish on. A respectable 20.5 inch smallie. It got better after that. We had to of caught 500 smallmouth in 6 days . We fished the same spot everyday and the action never ceased. We started pulling the canoe up on the shore line and bank fished. When it was time to break camp and paddle back to catch our tow the wife had tears in her eyes and said do we have to leave. She did out fish me at least 2 to 1 and I caught alot of fish. Pic # 2 won the smallmouth contest and VNO sent us the Ely Echo in the mail.
 
LindenTree
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11/16/2019 10:15AM
Not that spectacular but a cool canoeing story.
One time we were doing a prescribed burn in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge north of Detroit Lakes. We were burning along a mile or more of the Ottertail River while using the water as a fire break. My job was to canoe down the river with a couple other
people in canoes and fire/shoot flare gun rounds into the surrounding vegetation from our canoes. We lit that place up in a nice controlled burn sort of way, doing good for the resources.
I doesn't get much better than that from a fire lighting/fighting prespective.
 
11/16/2019 10:54AM
I vote this thread for BTE.
(best thread ever)
I'd like to ask more questions about every story. Did you catch those trout on the Dubwant? Could you smell "winter" in the encroaching ice on the snowflake-laden water surface? I'm glad you gave distance to the swimming moose. What happens if the controlled burn spins out of control? Did the cranes make noise as they walked by (I would have loved to have seen that), And, MissMolly did you have the experience during that aurora that it was so intense you felt as if you could hear it or feel it in your chest?
Wonderful thread.
 
Savage Voyageur
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11/16/2019 10:57AM
We were on Saganaga one fall morning paddling out in very heavy fog. The kind of fog that you can hardly see 15 feet in front of you. Then all of a sudden we were in the middle of a huge Loon migration. They were all around us, sounded like hundreds of them. They were calling nonstop to each other, maybe trying to locate the main flock. It went on for a ten minutes then silence again. We just stopped paddling and enjoyed the sounds.
 
11/16/2019 12:12PM
One of the best threads here!

August 12 (my birthday). On Kawishiwi Lake watching the Perseid meteor shower when the northern lights started to rise. Just as the green curtains were moving upward, a pack of wolves started to howl behind us.

Meteor shower, northern lights and wolves howling was the best birthday gift ever.
 
tumblehome
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11/16/2019 12:45PM
Yes this is a great thread. I have several including a wolf encounter on a portgage that was very special for both me and the wolf. A few seconds of looking into each others' eyes until the young wolf disappeared into the forest.

But the most amuzing one for me was one time on a bwca lake a loon played with me as I slowly paddled my solo canoe. The loon would appear on one side of the boat then dive under my canoe and pop out on the other side. It was just a few feet from me and we spent a lot of time looking at each other. The loon did this maybe 6 times and most time I could see it swimming under my canoe. It was a special time to see me and nature playing with each other purely for amusement.
Tom
 
LindenTree
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11/16/2019 12:45PM
jillpine: " What happens if the controlled burn spins out of control? "
Good question Jillpine, and funny that you ask.

We were burning Sedge Meadows to stimulate them and reduce the Willow and Alder that were encroaching. The best fire effects/time of year is to do a summer/growing season burn.
In this area of Mn with mostly Aspen and Birch surrounding the unit it is really hard to get those uplands to burn in the summer so we used them as a natural fire break.

One of my co-workers actually shot his fire pistol round completely over and past the burn unit. This lit an area of upland native grasses on fire outside of our target area. It was quickly extinguished by a nearby fire engine after burning around 1/2 of an acre.
 
11/16/2019 01:00PM
TuscaroraBorealis: " Big Moose - Cummings portage." Great pic!! We were camped on Big Moose the same time you guys were there. My how fast time flys!!
 
justpaddlin
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11/16/2019 01:17PM
mschi772: "I didn't witness it personally, but there is a video on Youtube that someone recorded at Turtle-Flambeau, WI of a porcupine being taken down and munched on by a snapping turtle. Nature can be awfully metal."
One time I saw a young duck struggling in the middle of a big patch of lillipads so I went over to check it out since I assumed it was caught on some fishing line. I reached under the duck with a bent shaft paddle and pried up what I thought was a big old heavy stump. Turned out it was a snapper that immediately took the duck underwater and I remember the duck looked limp as a wet dishrag. I pried up the snapper two more times before it finally let go and the duck flew away like a bullet. The dog (below) was just giving me that worried look. The turtle was big enough that I could only pry up a corner of it and I never got a good look at the whole thing.

One time I was coming back downstream after a long upstream paddle and came across some sort of insect hatch where there were big flying bugs in the air like 3 feet apart for as far as you could see. I passed a fly fisherman that just blurted out LOOK AT THIS! I think we were both happy to have shared the moment.

JP - the Sandhill cranes walked past silently. I could not believe they walked past on the same bank of the stream we had stopped on. My last canoe dog was very very calm in the boat; we saw a lot together and I still miss her.

 
arctic
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11/16/2019 01:35PM
There have been many, but one that sticks out occurred when three friends and I arrived at Hudson Bay after a month-long paddle from Reindeer Lake many years ago.

The Seal River empties into the Bay after a series of violent rapids. What we thought were white caps in the river estuary were actually beluga whales. They were feeding in the shallows (less than 10 feet deep). We took a bunch of pictures from the canoes, and at one point when a pod of several whales passed under my canoe, I casually dipped my paddle into the water. The pod spooked and took off, producing large waves under the canoe. One whale actually banged against the bottom of the canoe. For a second I thought we were going to be dumped, but the water quickly quieted down.

We had a good laugh, and not long after as we headed to shore to camp and get a feel for the tides, we were suddenly facing a polar bear on his hind legs, checking us out. Needless to say, we paddled many miles down the coast before being forced off the water by a dropping tide...
 
11/16/2019 02:28PM
Adam,
You should generate a collection of these "brief AND spectacular moments" (modified without permission from PBS Newshour) then sell it as a fundraiser for the flying moose. These stories and memories are a blast to read!
 
11/16/2019 02:31PM
LindenTree: "jillpine: " What happens if the controlled burn spins out of control? "
Good question Jillpine, and funny that you ask.


We were burning Sedge Meadows to stimulate them and reduce the Willow and Alder that were encroaching. The best fire effects/time of year is to do a summer/growing season burn.
In this area of Mn with mostly Aspen and Birch surrounding the unit it is really hard to get those uplands to burn in the summer so we used them as a natural fire break.


One of my co-workers actually shot his fire pistol round completely over and past the burn unit. This lit an area of upland native grasses on fire outside of our target area. It was quickly extinguished by a nearby fire engine after burning around 1/2 of an acre."
You gotta write this down, Linden. It's fascinating. What an adventurous job.
 
11/16/2019 04:43PM
While out in the middle of Basswood lake I ended up in the middle of a huge group of loons, probably 25-30 birds. They didn't seem to mind us being there too much so we just sat and bobbed along with them for 10-15 minutes before we paddled on our way.
 
prettypaddle
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11/16/2019 05:56PM
bhouse46: "Coming back to the landing after a winter paddle the wind had died down and the surface was glass. I stopped offshore to enjoy the sunset when I noticed the surface of the water beginning to form ice crystal patterns. A spot here and there and suddenly I was surrounded by snowflake like patterns on the water's surface."

So. Freaking. Cool. This world sure is an amazing place. Loving all the stories!

My most spectacular sighting was in 2007. We were nearing the end of a portage and heard this staticky, rushing/splashing sound that kept getting louder. Had no idea what it was. Took the last few steps and could see the lake -- and a waterspout! It was not far offshore and probably 30 feet tall. It moved across the lake and when it got to the shore to the right of us just thrashed through the birch trees and dissipated. I've seen dust devils before but never so close or over the water.
 
Jaywalker
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11/16/2019 06:07PM
Inside the BW, my old paddle partner and I were crossing Roe Lake east to west late one September morning. We heard a loud crashing sound on the hill to the south, then a good sized bull moose emerged and walked into the water. As it started to swim we stopped paddling, as were were on a perpendicular intercept course. Our inertia kept us moving slowly forward, and he just kept coming like we were not there. We dipped our paddles to stop us as he came to maybe 15-20 yards or so of us, then noticed us and started getting agitated. He also hit a shallow spot just then, so popped up with most of his body out of the water looking at us. We hit the emergency back up button to get away from him, and he continued swimming north across the lake.

Outside the BW, I was once hiking to a favorite fishing spot on the Yellowstone River just north of Hellroaring in the park. Maybe a mile or so from the trail head, I veered off the main trail to a northbound trail that worked down a small hill to cross a creek then back up and over to my fishing spot. As I started to descend the hill, I spotted a small black bear down in the valley below me foraging around. It was just a small black bear, but I was thrilled as it was the first bear I had seen in Yellowstone despite several trips there. I had been warned in town the bears natural food sources were very bad that year, so they were all very active. I watched the young black bear for several minutes and took several photos, then it suddenly hid in a small patch of short pines. Then I noticed a larger brown colored bear coming into the area (I immediately thought it was a grizzly, but the next day it was confirmed as a brown colored black bear). The young black bear bolted from the pines and the brown bear started chase. After about 100-150 yards, with the brown bear closing, the black bear climbed up a tree with the brown following. The brown bear bit onto the leg and started pulling, until they both fell the ground. There was a short fight, which was the most violent thing I've ever seen in the wild. The brown bear moved back, but when the black bear tried to crawl away it was attacked again. Finally the brown bear dragged the lifeless black bear to some logs and stuffed it underneath, then moved just uphill and laid down. I then moved back up the trail about 75 yards so some pines would not obstruct my view, but then realized I had lost site of the brown bear, was upwind, and the bears during this even had moved closer to me. I grabbed my 25 lbs backpack and, bear spray in hand, double-timed it up the hill to the to of the canyon - my heart absolutely pounding at 6800 feet above sea level - and was off to report the incident and have the trail closed. In the couple of minutes the chase and fight lasted, I managed to get about 75 photos, which park biologist were eager to review. I was later told the brown colored bear stayed on the carcass of the younger black bear and fed on it for about a week, a rare case of black bear canabalism.


 
tobywan
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11/16/2019 07:12PM
My encounter happened on the portage from Poplar to Skipper. While following my nephew toward the end of the mile portage with a canoe on my shoulders. I was surprised to see the legs of my nephew suddenly stop in front of me. I tipped the canoe up to see what was going on when I saw him with his finger to his mouth telling me to be quiet. He then began pointing off to my left and mouthing Moose. I lifted the canoe up so I could turn my head and see this Moose. To my shock the Moose was no more than 20 feet away looking right at us. I lowered the canoe and waved him forward. Hoping to get away without spooking the Moose. After about 25 yards my nephew again stopped and I tilted. This time he said quietly "she is following us". I waved him forward and after about 50 yards we came to the end of the portage. We dropped the canoe and our packs and watched as she came to the end of the portage and eyed us up and down. It was cool but scary.


 
11/16/2019 07:59PM
Jaywalker: "black bear canabalism"

"Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed."

That is rough. I was doing some veterinary work on a reservation this summer. There was a lot of black bear activity close at hand. They were everywhere - the dump, the graveyard, the lakeshore, all over. One morning I watched a sow and two yearling cubs "play" for a bit until I realized it wasn't play at all. She really had to stand her ground against their advances. It was interesting and really violent. Loud, pawing, standing, charging, huffing. It was powerful to watch.

Addendum - sorry. Just noted the instructions "while canoeing or fishing". The wolf story was hiking out after a paddle so that'll count. The bear story was work-related. Disregard. ;)



 
andym
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11/16/2019 08:26PM
Perseids with an aurora is pretty great. But since someone already did that. I’ll pick another one.

On one trip, my wife and I spent 5 days on a lake pretty much by ourselves. We’d see a canoe a day go through in the distance. But that’s in terms of people. We had a loon family with one baby right near our campsite. It was July and the parents were teaching it to fish. One day they flew to the next lake and left the baby behind. It swam over to our campsite and stayed about 10 to 20 feet offshore. We spent the whole time sitting close by and watching it. We felt like we were babysitting and nothing was going to happen to that loon on our watch. After an hour or so the parents came back and took over their responsibilities again.
 
11/16/2019 10:49PM
My wife and flew into WCPP and camped for 10 days in mid-July of this summer. On our second lake, Haven, we heard the caribou in the early am and late pm for three days straight just across the bay from our campsite. It was very cool.

The highlight of the trip, however, occurred on our final lake. Wrist is a deep, clear trout lake in a burn area but there is a massive island in the center that is untouched by any recent fires, fully lush and mature. We stop to check out the campsite on the island and it is absolutely beautiful, almost perfect. My wife prefers island campsites as she thinks there is less chance for large visitors during the night. However, the tent pad on this island is nestled down into the forest and highways of game trails are worn into the forest floor which disappear silently into the woods. Too much traffic! We get back into the canoe and continue on toward the small, charred island farther down the lake.

As we paddle along quietly, the low rock ledges of the densely forested island hug the right side of our canoe. The silence of remote wilderness has us under a spell. As we round a small bend in the rock face my bow partner yells “what’s that??” First startled and now fully panicked, barreling down the scrubby slope above and trying to get ahead of us is a very large adult wolverine. He crashes through the underbrush in a full out muscular sprint and without breaking stride launches from a six foot boulder like an olympic swimmer off the blocks.

Fully extended in mid-air, we glimpse the white blur of ears and back against fur that is just one shade short of black. Head down, his front paws torpedo into the water only a canoe length off our bow and enter with hardly a splash-as if he was sucked into the lake. And then he was gone. We just sat there, floating in disbelief, scanning the shoreline until it became clear we would never see him again.
 
11/17/2019 04:41AM
In June of 2018, I went to check out the Hegman pictographs. on the way back to the EP, I saw two loons and started taking pictures. They ended up swimming over to me and posing for 50 to 100 pictures. These were some of the best pictures I had taken to that point in time. I was amazed they would swim over and keep me company for 10 minutes.
Then last May, I was on Upper Pauness, and two Trumpeter Swans woke me up at 5:30 in the morning. It was dark, so the pics are not what I would wish for, but the experience was still amazing. I got to watch them for about 10 minutes, maybe 20 yards from shore.
Lot as cool as some of the other stories, but still special times in the wilderness

 
11/17/2019 06:59AM
Nothing as dramatic as some of these. But when I think of memorable events (if not "spectacular") two immediately come to mind.

The first was on our 22-day trip in 1992. We stayed for two nights on Weird Lake at the small campsite there. We had numerous moose sightings in those two days, including a big buck, but the most fun was when we were having our breakfast on the second morning and a moose joined us! She was just across the little stream, (not as far as it looks in this picture--I have had two or three better cameras since) and she stayed there for all of the time we cooked and ate our breakfast, sitting to sip our coffee afterwards. We have always called her "the moose who came for breakfast".








The other time was in 2002 when we were camping on Long Island Lake. It was a solitary experience for me. As I often do, I was sitting on a rock near the water just holding my camera (one camera better but still not good at closeups) and waiting for something to happen. I noticed a dragonfly just beginning to emerge from the shell. It was low on the rock, near the water. I'd never seen this before. I sat for many minutes watching it struggle to break free, and then observing as it crawled out onto the rock to dry off. The dead shell floated away, and I stayed, still snapping photos. This was my last trip with a film camera, and I had no idea what I would see until after I took the rolls to be developed.

After some time, it was beginning to dry out and decided to test its wings. At that point it flew just a few inches up to my ankle and slowly began climbing up my pantleg. When it got to my knee it paused there for several minutes. Still drying off. And it looked at me very directly, as if to say, "Are you my Mommy?"






Finally, after a few minutes (I would estimate five) it flew again. I assumed it was gone, and called out to Spartan1 to tell him about my experience. Then, to my surprised, it circled around my head and came back to me again, landing upon my arm. Again it looked directly at me and it stayed in place long enough for me to take several pictures, trying to lean back enough to have them be in focus.





I have always loved dragonflies. Up until this point, my closest encounter was one that rode on my shoulder across a portage. But this one is memorable because I was learning first-hand about nature, and because it seemed to almost bond with me for a few minutes. As it flew away, I was suddenly glad that we had made this uncomfortable trip. This trip was the "Fly Trip" when we battled the "friendly flies" for nine days, and actually ended one day early because of the annoyance of having flies all over us.
 
MagicPaddler
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11/17/2019 08:07AM
Copied from my border challenge trip report.
Day 5
The site is well protected from the wind but I can hear it all night with lots of thunder and lightning. At 3 AM while eating breakfast it is raining sometimes hard but when it is time to take down the tarp the rain has stopped. I am on the water before 4 with thunder from the north and heavy clouds completely covering the sky. It is so dark I can’t see the white hand on my compass. I set in the shelter of the island to get my bearings. Using my headlight I point the canoe in the direction of the portage and shut the headlight off. I can see a notch in the horizon as a guide to get near the portage and I paddle out into the whitecaps. The only thing I can make out is the notch on the horizon and the big whitecaps. The wind is blowing hard with gale force gusts that only last for a couple of seconds that sweep across the lake. Then I see 2 white dots at the water line far ahead. It is two birds taking off. I see a whitecap hit one of the birds and knock it off course. A couple of wing beats and it is back beside the other bird. By then I could see it was a pair of swans and they are about 2 foot above the water. They look almost luminescent with everything else so dark. A big gust of wind hits me turning my canoe 90° to the waves. Before I can get my canoe turned the gust hits the swans and stops all of their forward progress. They rise straight up to about 12 feet above the water. The gust passes them and they drop back down near the water and their forward progress resumes. Seeing what was happening I laid my paddle down and just watched. They passed about 50 feet in front of my bow. Their wings were in perfect sync. I could hear the down beat of their wings over the roar of the wind in the trees and the distant thunder. Just as they were past a whitecap through cup of water in my face and a quart in the canoe and I picked up my paddle and got to the business at hand.
 
missmolly
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11/17/2019 09:48AM
I loved the first the best, i.e. Wallee's story of water thick and dark with trout, but alas, my heart is fickle and now I favor fadersup's story of a wolverine. I don't think anything can beat a wolverine and I say that as an Ohio State Buckeye.

P.S. - fadersup, you write well enough to do it professionally. Here's proof: "He crashes through the underbrush in a full out muscular sprint and without breaking stride launches from a six foot boulder like an olympic swimmer off the blocks.

Fully extended in mid-air, we glimpse the white blur of ears and back against fur that is just one shade short of black. Head down, his front paws torpedo into the water only a canoe length off our bow and enter with hardly a splash-as if he was sucked into the lake. And then he was gone. We just sat there, floating in disbelief, scanning the shoreline until it became clear we would never see him again."
 
shock
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11/17/2019 10:42AM
mine is probably more bizarre than spectacular ,
and older members know this story , but found/saw a dead holstein close to the kingfisher to ogish portage, with over a dozen turkey buzzards feasting and then hung on an above tree as we approached and coming back a couple days later the whole carcass was gone , yes not a moose or a piebald moose , it was a holstein , as Ripley's says believe it or not .
 
shock
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11/17/2019 11:11AM
Spartan2: "Nothing as dramatic as some of these. But when I think of memorable events (if not "spectacular") two immediately come to mind.


The first was on our 22-day trip in 1992. We stayed for two nights on Weird Lake at the small campsite there. We had numerous moose sightings in those two days, including a big buck, but the most fun was when we were having our breakfast on the second morning and a moose joined us! She was just across the little stream, (not as far as it looks in this picture--I have had two or three better cameras since) and she stayed there for all of the time we cooked and ate our breakfast, sitting to sip our coffee afterwards. We have always called her "the moose who came for breakfast".










The other time was in 2002 when we were camping on Long Island Lake. It was a solitary experience for me. As I often do, I was sitting on a rock near the water just holding my camera (one camera better but still not good at closeups) and waiting for something to happen. I noticed a dragonfly just beginning to emerge from the shell. It was low on the rock, near the water. I'd never seen this before. I sat for many minutes watching it struggle to break free, and then observing as it crawled out onto the rock to dry off. The dead shell floated away, and I stayed, still snapping photos. This was my last trip with a film camera, and I had no idea what I would see until after I took the rolls to be developed.


After some time, it was beginning to dry out and decided to test its wings. At that point it flew just a few inches up to my ankle and slowly began climbing up my pantleg. When it got to my knee it paused there for several minutes. Still drying off. And it looked at me very directly, as if to say, "Are you my Mommy?"







Finally, after a few minutes (I would estimate five) it flew again. I assumed it was gone, and called out to Spartan1 to tell him about my experience. Then, to my surprised, it circled around my head and came back to me again, landing upon my arm. Again it looked directly at me and it stayed in place long enough for me to take several pictures, trying to lean back enough to have them be in focus.



re




I have always loved dragonflies. Up until this point, my closest encounter was one that rode on my shoulder across a portage. But this one is memorable because I was learning first-hand about nature, and because it seemed to almost bond with me for a few minutes. As it flew away, I was suddenly glad that we had made this uncomfortable trip. This trip was the "Fly Trip" when we battled the "friendly flies" for nine days, and actually ended one day early because of the annoyance of having flies all over us."
reading the part where you said bonding with a dragon fly , reminded me of a time when me and my son were fishing together , in the metro a smaller 2 part lake and this dragon fly followed us every where we went and would hoover around us and chase other dragonflys away and then return to hoover , i did have a video of this but think i deleted it ? very interesting to hear something similar , Crazy
 
11/17/2019 11:47AM
Adventure Lake on May 25th one year stands out in my memory.


 
11/17/2019 12:19PM
shock:



reading the part where you said bonding with a dragon fly , reminded me of a time when me and my son were fishing together , in the metro a smaller 2 part lake and this dragon fly followed us every where we went and would hoover around us and chase other dragonflys away and then return to hoover , i did have a video of this but think i deleted it ? very interesting to hear something similar , Crazy"

Yes, shock, it can be crazy at times. But so much fun! :-)

I just think they are very interesting creatures. On our first trip in 1971 I was a bit afraid of them, and kept ducking whenever they would come near. (I had to learn to be interested in insects by being on wilderness canoe trips, and they were the first ones I came to enjoy.) Spartan1 explained that they were harmless to people and that they ate mosquitoes! Well, what's not to like about that??

But the ones that are just hatching out are of special interest. When we took our northern Minnesota trip with our grandson in 2013, we saw one along the shores of the Dead River, and we stopped so that Robert could experience how very vulnerable they are when they are fresh and waiting for their wings to dry out. At first the wings are transparent, damp, and very fragile.














I have always just loved to find them when they are "new". This one was at a campsite on Lac La Croix.

 
11/17/2019 02:28PM
I've had so many memorable moments when canoeing that it would be hard to know where to start. Instead, I'll tell you about my most memorable fishing moment.

Back in August of 1971, I had just graduated from college in June and was preparing myself for getting drafted. My wife, my Mom and myself were vacationing in Colorado visiting old family friends.

One day we were fishing in a back country lake in the mountains, not far from the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Fishing on the west side of the lake, we were all rigged with two lines coming off a swivel fitting. I felt a trout strike, set the hook but broke the line while reeling in my catch.

After about an hour without any additional action, I walked over to the other side of the small lake to try my luck over there. I was standing on a large rock, looking down into the water when I spotted a couple of trout almost right below me in about 10 ft. of water, both at the same level, separated by about 6 ft.

I knew they could easily see me and weren't going to strike at any thing I would cast their way, but I did it anyway, just for the heck of it.

Lo and behold, when I reeled my lure in I snagged onto a line that ran between the two trout. I happily reeled in two fish I had hooked but lost from the other side of the lake. I returned with my prized catch and my lost rigging to the delighted laughing of my family and friends.

And here's a photo to prove it.
 
11/17/2019 03:43PM
Spectacular lightning and rain on Little Sag, 2 hours non stop. Smoking cigars and talking during the night.
 
Abbey
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11/17/2019 08:35PM
Was fishing with my two brothers in a back bay in a 3-person canoe. All of a sudden the wind picks up and really starts blowing the trees on shore. The waves start kicking up and then the canoe starts to spin. Felt like it all happened fast. Saw some water start to lift, but then it got calm. Realized later that it had been a minor water spout, which I didn’t even know about at the time, although I had seen dust devils in Arizona, so I thought it might be similar. I wonder if being in the middle of it disrupted the airflow or took the energy out. Still wild to have been in a water spout.

This was early September 2011 along the north stretch of the Kawishiwi triangle, and the Pagami creek fire was going at a low level downwind from us. It was several days after our exit that the fire really took off on its big burn. There had been fire planes (or maybe helicopters, don’t exactly recall?) making runs over to the fire, so we initially though that some weird airflow from the flights had caused it, but it was probably just a regular water spout.
 
Duff
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11/17/2019 09:06PM
Hanging out in the Old Town on duck opener in the early 90's. This is back when you still couldn't shoot before noon. Mud n Goose Lakes in the Chippewa NF, a mixture of bullrushes and wild rice, and you can pretty much paddle anywhere.

Public water, so we would be in our spot about 7 hours before we can start shooting.
Right before sunrise, but with enough light to see what's going on, a bunch of Ringneck Ducks start taking to the air about 75 yards away.

Now they seem to be swimming to the same area and taking off there, 25-50 ducks a second, but it keeps going.........and going.........and going.
For the next 20 minutes I watched a single flock of ducks get up and go.

They were flying straight away from us, and I remember where ever my eye focused, from 100 yards to a couple miles out it was ducks, ducks, ducks.
Not too many folks will believe that you seen a flock of a quarter million ducks on opener. (My guesstimate that day)

This was one of those mega flocks of Ringneck Ducks, the ones that show up 500,000 - 900,000 strong and appear as isolated thunderstorms on weather radar.

 
Minnesotian
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11/18/2019 08:14AM

This is a great topic. So many moments come to mind, but I have to say the Quetico Trip I did with my friend in 2018 jumps out. What made it special was this was his first time to Quetico. The night before we set off, at the dock of William and Hall, I asked the great mystery to show my buddy the magic of Quetico and why I keep on going back. It delivered.

As we were passing through Trent Lake, we decided to find the pictographs there. He had never seen any pictographs before. Lazily we floated down next to the cliff face, looking for anything. Like a figure emerging from early morning fog, a canoe with two people jumped out from the rock face, it's red paint sun faded but still in contrast with the gray of the rock. Then a figure of a moose emerged and another one, two moose and two people in a canoe. Amazing. We naturally went quiet, as one usually does at these sites as you contemplate the people that came through here before you. Right at that moment, not 30' above us, two bald eagles came falling over the cliff edge, right above our heads, swooping at each other. They squawked and flapped, and we could feel the strength and power of those animals. Amazing moment. We sat their with out mouths open, watching the eagles fly away. Again, it went silent, and we came back to the moment of contemplation. Right at that moment two fish, one on each side of the canoe jumped in unison, not a foot away from the boat. We sat there in shock. I turned and asked, "you got any tobacco?" He did and asked what he should say as he spread it. "Just say thanks, that's it."

That night, we were camped on Kahshahpiwi. It was the island site, the one with the long view down the length of the lake. Beautiful clear night. We were watching the stars and just at the right time, from West to East, we could see the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. All were about equidistant from each other and they spread perfectly across the ecliptic, to the point that when we were standing there, and tracing the line between the planets, we could see the plane of the solar system stretching out.

Later that night, as we were looking up, two fireballs, right next to each other in parallel, came blazing through lighting up the area in a brief flash.

The next night, on Sarah, we were looking into the water next to our campsite and we saw a snapping turtle nosing around. We stood completely still, just watching this tire-sized turtle move around. Out of the dark of deeper water, a second and even bigger snapping turtle came swimming and nudged the first one. A brief explosion of mud and water and both of them swam away. Later that night, again while watching the stars, we could hear one of the turtles return and because it was so silent that night, when his nose was above water, we could hear his raspy and weezy breathing. Nothing like hearing a snapping turtle breath.

There were other things that came in two's on that trip, but I don't have my journal handy. But those things stood out. I would say the great mystery delivered on the request I made.
 
11/18/2019 09:10AM
1. My brother and brothers-in-law and I watched a bear swim across a lake with a cub on her back. When they reached our side of the lake the cub crawled over mom’s head onto dry land. Mom got out, shook off, and they disappeared into the woods.
2. While sitting on a log drinking my morning coffee while everybody else slept, a snowshoe hare jumped up on the log within 3 arm lengths from me and we shared the morning together.
 
tomo
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11/18/2019 12:23PM
A few come to mind:
Being in the midst of a small caribou herd (200 or so) along the Thelon River. They were milling around near our campsite. We walked toward them and suddenly they scattered and ran in our midst. We stood still and they flowed around us like water around a rock.

Last summer in the Quetico, at twilight in the tent one night my wife said, "there's something large swimming out there." We got out of the tent and walked to the rocky edge and there was a momma and little moose swimming 15 or so feet offshore, close enough that we could hear them breathing. They swam to the far shore and crashed back into the woods.

-tom
 
Canoearoo
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11/18/2019 02:49PM
One evening in the BWCA at camp I watched ball lighting drop below a thunderstorm in the distance then hover, then slowly move towards our lake. It wasn't going fast or slow. It made it to our lake as a huge bright light and then was gone. My friend was with me and was shocked. Asked what it was and I said ball lighting. It was the 3rd one I have seen, but first time camping.


Another time I saw a loon and a bear fight.. the loon won.
 
WhiteWolf
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11/18/2019 03:03PM
Canoearoo: "One evening in the BWCA at camp I watched ball lighting drop below a thunderstorm in the distance then hover, then slowly move towards our lake. It wasn't going fast or slow. It made it to our lake as a huge bright light and then was gone. My friend was with me and was shocked. Asked what it was and I said ball lighting. It was the 3rd one I have seen, but first time camping.



Another time I saw a loon and a bear fight.. the loon won."


WOW- if you really saw ball lighting in the BW- that is crazy. If you've seen it 3 times- that's even more nuts. Was there any smell or noise with the ball LTG you experienced? I have a co-worker that is doing some doctorate work on LTG in all types and would love to here firsthand experiences of those with true ball LTG.
 
11/18/2019 03:07PM
In the late 80’s I took a few young scouts on a trip. Getting to the end of the first portage the younger than the rest (11 I believe) asks where is my pack. I asked if he’d carried it. He was so surprised he had to carry his own pack. The amazing thing was after the trip his mother asked what I’d done to her son. When he got home he just naturally started doing things at home to help out. His mom said it was like we’d flipped a switch.

My favorite encounter was when my dog Bernice woke me up. I could hear what she woke me up for. We went outside and watched a big bull moose walk within a few feet of us. When he came back up the shore out we went again... three things made this amazing... #1 the moose itself... #2 how my dog could sit so still and watch in what seemed amazement like we do... and #3, it was a clear full moon night...
 
11/18/2019 04:15PM
We were camped near a beaver pond on US Point. I hear a sound like a loud snore followed by a splash and I grabbed my camera with a telephoto lens. Creeping down the trail to the pond, I saw what had created the commotion: a female moose. We were less than 100 feet from each other. Although I moved very slowly and quietly, she got out of the pond after a minute or so. But then she hung around on the opposite side of the pond for the better part of an hour looking at us as we quietly went about our business. Later we saw her swimming from a point on the shore near us towards Canada.






One year around September 1 we were passing east through Basswood when we came upon a raft of about 50 loons (I stopped counting after 50, so there may have been more). "Raft" is the standard term for such a group, but to me it was more like a flotilla!

I love it when a loon will allow us to pass within 10-20 feet without diving or swimming away. One time a loon surfaced ~6 feet from the canoe, looked at us for 10 seconds and then dove to continue fishing.
 
Canoearoo
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11/18/2019 06:54PM
WhiteWolf: "Canoearoo: "One evening in the BWCA at camp I watched ball lighting drop below a thunderstorm in the distance then hover, then slowly move towards our lake. It wasn't going fast or slow. It made it to our lake as a huge bright light and then was gone. My friend was with me and was shocked. Asked what it was and I said ball lighting. It was the 3rd one I have seen, but first time camping.



Another time I saw a loon and a bear fight.. the loon won."



WOW- if you really saw ball lighting in the BW- that is crazy. If you've seen it 3 times- that's even more nuts. Was there any smell or noise with the ball LTG you experienced? I have a co-worker that is doing some doctorate work on LTG in all types and would love to here firsthand experiences of those with true ball LTG. "


The first time I saw one was driving down a highway. It floated under the storm and into the storm. The 2nd time lighting hit our house. The lightning traveled through our electric system and left the outlet in the room I was in. As it exited the outlet it formed a small ball floated across the room and then few into the tv and exploded the tv.. the first time I was in the car and couldn't hear anything, I dont know its size because I was driving. The house one was loud and smelled bad and the size of a softball. The bwca one was very strangely quiet, spooky quiet. It was the size of a car. I dont recall a smell.

I always knew what they were because when I was a kid my dad told me of the time when he was on the farm lightning hit the house a ball floated through the living and exploded his tv. He said it was so slow you could walk away from it.
 
RunningFox
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11/18/2019 11:43PM
On June 20, 2016 I was with a group paddling from Wicksteed to McAree when we heard an ominous screeching sound coming from quite far off. We paddled over to investigate. As we got closer, an eagle took flight from the shoreline leaving a pair of loons and an empty nest by the water’s edge. It was a sad site, but it was the loon’s cry that I can’t seem to forget.
 
Chuckles
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11/19/2019 12:18PM
First BWCA trip in October 2014. While paddling up to the second portage on Nina Moose River, we spotted some otters playing on a rock. My brother and I instantly froze and drifted with the current closer to them, silently. We were spellbound watching three otters cavort, oblivious of the 17' canoe slooooowly closing in on them.

With the current alone we'd have drifted by at about 10 yards and gotten a great view. However, the wind pushed us toward them. We didn't want to break the spell, but when we were about five feet away I dipped my paddle as silently as possible in the water to steer us around them.

The sound caught their attention and despite our roughly 100x size advantage, we were soon backpaddling as fast as possible to avoid a confrontation with a very ticked otter.

Both of our first trips and a lifelong memory.

Not the first time my bro and I have turn tails and run from small creatures. While walking in a park one night we thought there was a strange pipe sticking out of the ground. When my brother reached down to touch it, it turned around and raised a black and white tail...
 
jwartman59
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11/19/2019 12:31PM
arctic: "There have been many, but one that sticks out occurred when three friends and I arrived at Hudson Bay after a month-long paddle from Reindeer Lake many years ago.


The Seal River empties into the Bay after a series of violent rapids. What we thought were white caps in the river estuary were actually beluga whales. They were feeding in the shallows (less than 10 feet deep). We took a bunch of pictures from the canoes, and at one point when a pod of several whales passed under my canoe, I casually dipped my paddle into the water. The pod spooked and took off, producing large waves under the canoe. One whale actually banged against the bottom of the canoe. For a second I thought we were going to be dumped, but the water quickly quieted down.


We had a good laugh, and not long after as we headed to shore to camp and get a feel for the tides, we were suddenly facing a polar bear on his hind legs, checking us out. Needless to say, we paddled many miles down the coast before being forced off the water by a dropping tide..."


I had always dreamed of canoeing the seal river, we were planning a trip there a while back. Due to climate conditions the polar bear situation made trips in this area unadvisedable.
I’ve seen musk ox and herds of caribou in the far north but my most memorable wildlife encounters happened on the namakagen river. We rounded a bend and surprised a wolf the was apparently fishing in the river, my Labrador, 90 % good in the canoe, was after that wolf in an instant. We were in shock, it took a few moments before a figured to call my dog off. Fortunately he is 100% good at recall. That was quite the moment, exciting to watch your dog chase a wolf. Then, within fifteen minutes we again came around a bend, this time it was a bear apparently fishing in the middle of the river, my dog, now 60% good at staying the canoe again lowered his good boy percentage and leaped out of the canoe. I should mention that when my dog leaps out the canoe he somehow manages to did it without rocking the canoe, he is quite an athlete. Deja Vu With the dog chase, he gets to have his moment of dog thrill while us guys in the canoes have our anxiety attacks. I’m sure my dog thought he was protecting us and was just doing his job knowing full well none of us in the canoes were going to do anything. True story, six of us was watching this.
 
arctic
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11/19/2019 01:17PM
jwartman59: "
I had always dreamed of canoeing the seal river, we were planning a trip there a while back. Due to climate conditions the polar bear situation made trips in this area unadvisedable.

I’ve seen musk ox and herds of caribou in the far north but my most memorable wildlife encounters happened on the namakagen river. We rounded a bend and surprised a wolf the was apparently fishing in the river, my Labrador, 90 % good in the canoe, was after that wolf in an instant. We were in shock, it took a few moments before a figured to call my dog off. Fortunately he is 100% good at recall. That was quite the moment, exciting to watch your dog chase a wolf. Then, within fifteen minutes we again came around a bend, this time it was a bear apparently fishing in the middle of the river, my dog, now 60% good at staying the canoe again lowered his good boy percentage and leaped out of the canoe. I should mention that when my dog leaps out the canoe he somehow manages to did it without rocking the canoe, he is quite an athlete. Deja Vu With the dog chase, he gets to have his moment of dog thrill while us guys in the canoes have our anxiety attacks. I’m sure my dog thought he was protecting us and was just doing his job knowing full well none of us in the canoes were going to do anything. True story, six of us was watching this."


Climate change and the shorter ice-season on the Bay have definitely made polar bears more aggressive in that area. Some commercial groups no longer paddle the Seal for that reason.
***
My dog, being a husky mix, was never keen on swimming for the sake of swimming, but when a moose appeared from the bush along McEwen Creek in Quetico, he jumped out of the canoe in an instant and swam at full bore for the moose he would never get close to. Had a good laugh.
 
jwartman59
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11/19/2019 03:23PM
daughter and I were backpacking in Yellowstone very early spring. We were in the north zone of the park where elk spend the winter. Dead elk were everywhere. My daughter had spent several years in Alaska doing bird counts for the fish and wildlife service, she considered herself queen of grizzly bears. I had also lived in Alaska but had no where near her experience. I am however the dad. Her nonchalant attitude about bears was no longer suiting my needs. I took over and began my paranoid bear guy approach. My technique is singing early 80s punk rock songs, loud. Sure enough in the middle of the trail there was a dead elk, feasting on this elk was a huge grizzly. We are within 100 feet. There is no site in the world as beautiful as a grizzly bear running away. If you are in grizzly country know this song Black flag, tv party
 
Eyedocron
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11/19/2019 05:26PM
About 10 years ago my son and I were fishing the narrows near the northern end of Batchewaung Lake in north central Quetico Park when we paddled right up to a 2 foot tall raptor bird standing on a rock. We were within a yard of it and talked to it awhile before it finally flew off. I put its picture on this forum and was told it was an immature male bald eagle.
 
LindenTree
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11/19/2019 06:17PM
jwartman59: " I had also lived in Alaska but had no where near her experience. I am however the dad. Her nonchalant attitude about bears was no longer suiting my needs. I took over and began my paranoid bear guy approach. My technique is singing early 80s punk rock songs, loud. "

I know the nonchalant attitude about bears, I was a little bearanoid when I moved to Alaska, I got over that pretty quick, but "Mostly" I tried to play it pretty safe.
80's punk rock songs? I would have tried the Bee Gees, that would have been a safer bet for bear deterrent :-)
 
11/19/2019 07:16PM
Fishing from shore at a campsite on Red Rock Lake on a clear sunny day in 2016 with my 10 year old son. He caught a small pike, about 18".

The hook was a little deep, but we caught and released as fast and as best as we could. The pike sort of took awhile to recover, moving slowly, but staying on or near the surface.

When the pike was no more than 15 feet from shore, on a cloudless day, we were suddenly in the shade for about a half second as a large bald came silently from behind us, flew no more than 7 or 8 feet above our heads, grabbed the pike with both talons, then flapped its' wings like crazy trying to get elevated with the pike it it's grasp. We were awed by the wingspan, quite a large bird.

At that same campsite we kind of befriended a large hare that hung around, and had no trouble with us getting with 3-4 feet of it. However, it would not come out of the long grass into the campsite at all, I'm guessing it was a little bit paranoid of the eagles and wanted to stay hidden.
 
quark2222
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11/19/2019 09:19PM
Canoearoo: "WhiteWolf: "Canoearoo: "One evening in the BWCA at camp I watched ball lighting drop below a thunderstorm in the distance then hover, then slowly move towards our lake. It wasn't going fast or slow. It made it to our lake as a huge bright light and then was gone. My friend was with me and was shocked. Asked what it was and I said ball lighting. It was the 3rd one I have seen, but first time camping.
Another time I saw a loon and a bear fight.. the loon won."


WOW- if you really saw ball lighting in the BW- that is crazy. If you've seen it 3 times- that's even more nuts. Was there any smell or noise with the ball LTG you experienced? I have a co-worker that is doing some doctorate work on LTG in all types and would love to here firsthand experiences of those with true ball LTG. "


The first time I saw one was driving down a highway. It floated under the storm and into the storm. The 2nd time lighting hit our house. The lightning traveled through our electric system and left the outlet in the room I was in. As it exited the outlet it formed a small ball floated across the room and then few into the tv and exploded the tv.. the first time I was in the car and couldn't hear anything, I dont know its size because I was driving. The house one was loud and smelled bad and the size of a softball. The bwca one was very strangely quiet, spooky quiet. It was the size of a car. I dont recall a smell.

I always knew what they were because when I was a kid my dad told me of the time when he was on the farm lightning hit the house a ball floated through the living and exploded his tv. He said it was so slow you could walk away from it."


Wow! Simply amazing.

Tomster
 
QuietWaters
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11/19/2019 09:52PM
We were staying at the Tuscarora Outfitters bunkhouse the night before our late Sept.trip. About 3:00 AM I walked down the hill to the shower/toilet building. When I came out onto the porch, I stood for a minute to enjoy the night. Looking around, I saw "big cat with tufted ears" lying under a tree near the light pole. The lynx was looking at me so I froze. We watched each other for about five minutes. Finally I moved slightly as I was getting stiff from holding so still. The lynx slowly got up and walked several feet away and then in a flash was gone.

The next morning I told the young woman at the outfitters about the encounter and she said they often had a lynx there in the winter, but hadn't seen one that early in the season. I have no pictures, but I can still see it there and it will always be one of my very favorite memories.
 
gsfisher13
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11/20/2019 08:34PM
Watching a loon pop up within feet of my kayak with a walleye in it's mouth and proceed to kill it and eat it whole right next to me. That was fun to watch. He then drifted away taking a nap.
 
Chicagored
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11/21/2019 10:15AM
Shortly after the Pagami Creek fire, starting at Bald Eagle Lake, I did the circle from Bald to Pietro to Clearwater to Turtle and back to Bald Eagle. There are no words to describe it.
 
Michwall2
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11/21/2019 11:20AM
Bug Lake on the Louse River route. We had stopped to grab a bite to eat and my son looked at me and said he thought he heard someone coming. We packed up quickly and just as we finished snapping the last clasp we looked at the lake and a black bear took about 3 large bounds across the lake and disappeared in to the forest on the opposite side of the lake. Maybe 150 ft away. We took extra care with the food pack for the next several portages.

Koma Lake north of the Kawishiwi Lake entrance - Sitting on a rock sunning myself watching small yellow bees and larger black wasps fly around one another. Finally one of the wasps catches a yellow bee and stings it and then wraps it in webbing and flies away with it.

Cherokee Lake - Early one morning sitting stock still at the edge of the lake watching the sun come up. A pine marten meanders into camp along the shore. It wandered all through camp with me sitting there. I moved my head slightly and it spooked and ran behind a sitting log and checked me out for a second and then ran back into the forest away from the shoreline.

Sawbill Lake - We had caught a couple fish to enhance our supper and while cooking the fish a pine marten appeared up from the lake. There were three of us sitting around the fire pit eating fish. It came from the lake side and we chased him away. It came from behind us in the forest and we chased him away again. It came at us again from a third direction and kind of gave us a menacing growl and finally went away after I got up and moved closer to chase him away. As we were sitting there finishing our meal, a rabbit came flying out of the forest into the campsite. When he saw us he made a beeline back into the woods. He came flying out a second time and saw us again and went in another direction. After he went back into the forest a third time, there was the unmistakeable sounds of the rabbit being attacked by the pine marten. Finally all went quiet and the encounter was over.
 
missmolly
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11/21/2019 12:16PM
Mitchwall's fourth story reminds me of a family paddle on a mid-Ohio river. We were camped on an island, telling ghost stories around a campfire, when some predator made a kill on the island. We heard the death screams of its prey and all moved a little closer to the fire.
 
11/21/2019 01:56PM
These new stories remind me of the first time we took our granddaughter Anna to northern Minnesota (2007). We stayed at the Little Ollie Cabin (Poplar Creek) for a week. One drizzly day we decided to walk the Banadad Trail, and eventually we came to the portage from Swamp to Poplar.

Anna wanted to walk a "real BWCA portage", so we hiked first to Swamp, and then to Poplar. As we were on our way to Poplar, we met up with two big black dogs (unrestrained). We also saw a small rabbit. Much to Anna's horror, the dogs immediately attacked the "bunny" and tore it to pieces right in front of her. She was terribly upset, especially after hearing the little scream of that creature.

It was then time to have a little talk about the real, and sometimes seemingly cruel, side of nature and the food chain. Harder to sell, however, since the dogs didn't eat the rabbit, they just attacked it, threw the pieces up in the air, and then ran away. It did seem rather brutal.

To this day, Anna is very tender-hearted about small furry animals, and I find myself wondering if she remembers the incident.

 
Duff
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11/21/2019 09:14PM
Not really spectacular, but unusual......

Lake Three, Oct and jig fishing while anchored in a tandem 30 yards off of one of the islands. From the other direction I spy something swimming towards us, it's a red squirrel in the middle of the lake. "I think he means to board us."
Sure enough, making a beeline for the middle of the canoe. I lose sight of it as it reaches the side.......then that little head starts popping over the gunnel every couple seconds
Nope, no way the little red devil of the north is getting loose in the canoe, so with a quick sweep and wrist flick using the paddle I sent it flying through the air towards the island. Where it swam to and climbed the closest tree to thank me for the next 20 minutes.

Granite River stretch, July in the early morning. A couple of us are wiping the sleep from our eyes while standing next to the fire pit, others are still sleeping. All of sudden there's screaming and racket making it's way towards camp right here and now. I watch two fishers emerge from the woods, one screaming and chasing the other.
They proceeded to run right in between us at an arms length away from each other, one lap around the fire pit, back in between us and up into the woods. Never to be seen or heard from again. It was maybe a 15 second encounter. "That just happened, right?"

Basswood River, mid summer, we're lazy man bobber fishing in chairs below some rapids walkable from camp. It was the year that lighted bobbers started using little stick batteries instead of button ones, we were excited to give em a go.
It's starting to get dark out, and we have been catching small walleyes every few minutes. Our chairs are on the first level spot of the granite slab angled towards the water's edge 15 feet away. We are actually able to swing the small fish (13") from the water to ourselves without getting out of the chairs, unhook them and toss 'em back.
As my buddy is trying to swing one, it pops off about halfway back. It's flopping it's way towards the water but stops about 18" short. After a few seconds when it's obvious it's not going to make it, he gets up to give it a hand.
As he bends over to pick it up, a Pike in the 10-12 lb range comes shooting out of the water onto that rock slab all Orca on a seal like, grabs the walleye, does two flops and escapes back into the water with it's prize. After my buddy landed back on earth, he shook his head and started walking back to camp. "Where are you going? It's time to fire up the bobbers.".............."I think I need to change my shorts."
 
woodsandwater
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11/22/2019 10:42AM
When working on Isle Royale when I was younger as a researcher, hot on a wolf trail, and walking into a rendezvous site (pup nursery) and seeing two very confused wolf pups (what are these two strange creatures that just walked in???) about the size of a German Shepherd puppy. The two babysitting adults scattered behind some tag alder and proceeded to bark and howl at us. My partner snapped a quick pic and we left. Not for one moment did we feel threatened in the least. Memory of a lifetime!
 
11/22/2019 03:08PM
1. 1979 or 80...We saw the most spectacular aurora in my life. Greens, oranges, reds, violets all dancing, shimmering, connecting in big arcs and then sort of breaking apart and wavering across the sky. I never saw anything like it before or since.

2. 1982 In the Rockies just outside Steamboat I camped in a little bowl at about 10,500 ft. I experienced the alpinglow. It seemed like the very air was a pinkish golden color. It was amazing.

Both scenes happened with a very sublime quietness which made them just that much more unreal.
 
shock
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11/23/2019 07:18AM
tumblehome: "Yes this is a great thread. I have several including a wolf encounter on a portgage that was very special for both me and the wolf. A few seconds of looking into each others' eyes until the young wolf disappeared into the forest.


But the most amuzing one for me was one time on a bwca lake a loon played with me as I slowly paddled my solo canoe. The loon would appear on one side of the boat then dive under my canoe and pop out on the other side. It was just a few feet from me and we spent a lot of time looking at each other. The loon did this maybe 6 times and most time I could see it swimming under my canoe. It was a special time to see me and nature playing with each other purely for amusement.
Tom"
i had a very similar event , me and a friend were in a small bottle neck bay in knife lake and 2 loons came up to the canoe and dived under the canoe popped up on the other side and then back to the other side and did this a few times , then they both went to the front of the canoe and basically lead us the way out of this bay , it was very cool to see them swim in gin clear water just feet under the canoe !
 
scat
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11/24/2019 11:19AM
I watched a cougar rummage around for about 40 seconds or so across the clearing at the road going to the Isabella lake EP when I pulled into the Island River put in. Still have fond memories of my Island River adventures.

I hooked a musky on a solo in East Pike Lake. I had it by the boat, fighting like mad, it was 36” +, lost it when I bent down to grab the net, giving it that slight bit of slack so it could slice my line. I have done that scenario three times with a musky. Not kidding. Hooked five so far and have never got one in the boat. But that was in the BW, on a solo, in a canoe. Which kinda stinks, cuz who would believe me?

Was on West Pike chillin in the morning on a solo (maybe same trip?) and heard a crashing across the lake. It’s a thin lake. A moose made not such an elegant entry and soon was swimming across the lake directly towards my campsite, just chuggin. I stayed still, and soon enough she was getting close, I could hear the snorting and she was leaving a wake, again, directly towards me. I made the slightest move to grab a cheapo camera and she saw it and immediately did a 180 and swam all the way back across the lake, her exit every bit as graceful as her entry. I still feel bad about that. Causing her to go to all that trouble.
 
11/24/2019 01:52PM
I love your stories, scat. Heck, I just love this thread! It is fun to read all of your stories and to learn about new adventures--some of them ones we never would have (since don't fish) and some (like the Aurora) that we have always wanted to see and never have made it yet!

Moose are such interesting creatures. Spartan1 was always telling me to look in the early morning and the early evening, "Since they don't come out in the daytime much." But it seems like most of our moose sightings were in the middle of the day. . .go figure. One time on a trip in 2001 we were paddling along on Pillsbery Lake, not being all that quiet, and enjoying a beautiful, sunny afternoon. I would estimate 2 PM or maybe closer to 3. Suddenly we came around a corner and this lovely lady was right in our path, enjoying her lunch--not at all bothered by our arrival. I kept urging Spartan1 to get "closer, closer" and he finally said, "Lynda, this is a WILD animal!" But we had to get very close before she was bothered at all, and even when she left, (a bit grumpily, in my opinion--notice those ears down) she still turned back and posed for me. I have always called her the "Pillsbery Moose."



 
scat
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11/24/2019 03:52PM
Watched a moose and calf on Horseshoe Lake munch on lily pads for a stretch. We were as close as comfortable can be. Could have stayed there all day. They weren’t going anywhere soon. Love to watch moose get in and out of the water. It’s like they are going to break a leg with every step. Crashing in and out of the forest. Then the crashing fades away. And you are left, how should I put it...
In awe...
 
Bearpath9
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11/24/2019 04:10PM
This isn't much, but I still get a laugh out of it. Maybe 20-25 years ago, a friend from work and I were fishing on Prior Lake in the cities. We had about 4 or 5 decent crappies in the live net. As we were sitting there, my friend goes "Why is the net moving ?" I looked over, and the live net was going up and down. He leaned over to look, and said "Holy sh*t, there's a snapping turtle eating the fish !" He tugs on the net , and brings the net up over the gunwale, with about a softball size hole in the side, and 3 scared crappies, along with half of a dead one. I got a look at it under the water, and the shell was about as big around as trash can lid. What really got me was that he wanted to catch the darn thing and put it my 14 foot boat.
 
scat
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11/24/2019 04:29PM







In order of size perhaps - smallmouth bass, rapala, smile on my son’s face, grin on my own. Spectacular.

Cool word, spectacular. I think I will incorporate that more into my daily intercourse with people, if you’ll pardon the expression. Dude, that is spect. Spectacular man, I totally dig it. Your nails are spectacular. Def an underused word. Thanks!
 
Basspro69
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11/26/2019 09:51PM
I was walking down a trail to go fish Surber lake off the old Gunflint Trail and there in the Middle of the path was a Bull Moose with a full rack. I stood there in amazement for longer than I should as the Moose was giving me signals to back off which I didn’t understand at the time . He then came after me with the full intent of taking me out . I didn’t need to understand Moose behavior to know that he wasn’t coming to say hi . The scary thing was he was knocking over small trees as he came after me when I got into a group of larger trees . He just stayed there for awhile , a terrifying while before he left. I stayed in those trees for a very long time before I got up the courage to make a break back to my Jeep parked up on the road. The funny thing if there was a funny thing is I still had my fishing rod in my hand . I can’t emphasize how big this Moose was up close and if those bigger trees wouldn’t have been there i probably wouldn’t be telling this story . The smell of musk in the air when he had me trapped in those trees was extremely strong. I can remember every detail of this like it happened 5 minutes ago and it was a long time ago . It’s so cool how they tilt their rack upwards when they run through the trees , and trust me no human alive can outrun them . Be careful around a Bull Moose in the rut they are far more dangerous than a black bear .
 
missmolly
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11/27/2019 09:15AM
Yikes, BP! My favorite part of your story is the musk. When the moose's musk is "extremely strong," it's extremely close.
 
MidwestMan
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11/27/2019 10:54AM
My dad and I stayed at a huge island site in the Quetico roughly 6-7 years ago. It was our first, and only, trip to the Quetico. Neither of us had ever caught a lake trout. By the end of that trip, we both caught 1 lake trout each. The one I caught will forever be embedded deep, deep into my memory in the best possible way. It was a beautiful evening. Sun was just starting to set and my dad and I were both fairly buzzed off some Crown Apple. My dad was shore-fishing one side of the island, I was fishing the opposite side. I was throwing a shallow-diving Rapala (certainly not targeting lake trout at the moment). I felt a thump and had a fish on. Battled the fish for a few minutes and, ultimately, landed it. It was a beautiful, 22 inch laker and it was the most euphoric feeling of triumph I had ever experienced. Coincidentally, my dad happened to be approaching my side of the island. He had just hooked and landed an above-average-sized pike. We high-fived each other then I hurriedly released the laker so it could hopefully live another day. To this day, my dad and I have both caught exactly one laker each.
 
Pinetree
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11/27/2019 02:15PM
Doing a solo trip for lake trout. I was trolling a certain area of the lake on a dead calm day. I noticed a Bald Eagle perched on a limb on a small island. Than a feather from the eagle started flowing slowly thru the air and landing in the water. Trolled over there and just when I got to where the feather laid I had a strike. Well I ended up catching and releasing about a 14 lb lake trout. All the time the Bald Eagle sat perched in the tree just a short distance away. A little spiritual moment.
 
11/27/2019 06:25PM
This is from my 2011 solo trip report to Quetico. It was my first night camped on Shade Lake. I had just gotten in to hammock for the night.

Just after dark I hear a loud splash in the small bay about 40 feet away. It’s a large animal and it’s wading into the bay. I hear it swimming. Long slow inhales and then a steady exhale. By the sound of it his is a big animal, most likely a moose. It’s completely dark out so I stay put and listen. It swims around close by for awhile then suddenly I don’t hear anything. I drift off and then I hear the breathing again. No splashing just a steady breathing in and out. Something is swimming around out there and then it disappears again. 2 minutes later, there it is! Now I hear it coming out of the water. Large splashes and a slight rustle in the brush and it is gone.

A couple of days later I was reading a small book called “Fun Facts of Quetico Park’ when I read that moose will dive up to 18 feet deep to feed on lake bottom vegetation and can hold their breath for several minutes. That solves it. This is what I was hearing.
 
Sandman2009
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11/27/2019 07:28PM
I brought a first timer into the BWCA in early June 2015 and we observed two of these events in the same trip:

First, on the morning of the second day my friend was sitting by the fire grate eating breakfast on a beautiful sunny day with little wind. We were camped on top of a ridged peninsula with the main portion of the lake to our north and a small bay to our south. Loud crashing noises, like trees falling over, were heard on the other side of the bay. The trees continued to crash. We decided to go down to the shoreline to get a better look. Five minutes later a cow and calf crashed out of the woods and proceeded to swim directly towards the us. They swam all the way around our site. At one point we were less than 20 feet away from them.

2 days later we were fishing on another lake. We were not having much luck. We observed a pair of loons about 100 yards away from us on our right. Shortly thereafter we decided to pullover to an island to our left so I could have a bathroom break. I went into the woods and then made my way back to the canoe.

I stepped into the water with both feet and stabilized myself trying to figure out another good place to plant my foot so I didn't take a bath. A loon immediately popped up two feet away from me. I saw red beady eyes coming at me and heard a piercing tremolo call. It was making itself really big flapping its wings and moving towards me. My eyes popped out of my head and I was shocked and a bit scared. I jumped back on the shore before it could "beak" me and I pushed through the thick brush back up the shoreline to my canoe wanting to avoid another water encounter.

As I was walking I heard uproarious laughter coming from our canoe. My friend said it was one of the most unusual sights he had seen in his life. I was lucky that my underwear were still clean and that I didn't have a heart attack. He was wishing it had not happened so fast so he could have taken a video or pictures. My guess is that I got a little to close to its' nest.
 
scat
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11/27/2019 08:22PM
Great stories. I did catch three little lake trout from Little Trout Lake on my first real portaging trip in the BW. There was a rainbow acrosss the lake. And we ate one. Red fleshed fish. Which was redemption after humping the infamous Misquah to Little Trout portage, twice, once with the boat on my shoulders and again with the heaviest pack we had going. Oh man, you gotta pay your dues, unless you want to spend your days singing the blues. Was righteous, in only the way the BW can serve it up.
 
11/28/2019 09:13AM
Way back in the 1980's on my first trip to Ely from the Chicago suburbs I was driving up the Echo Trail with my girlfriend (now wife). I was very young and green and don't think I had ever seen a bear or a bald eagle in the wild. Seeing deer was cause for excitement back then.

So, we're driving the road looking for a lake to put in and fish for a day when I see something blocking the road. I get closer and it's 2 full grown moose cows just standing there blocking both lanes. I remember being absolutely stunned with how tall and big they were. These were not anything close to the size of a horse and we were a little freaked out because they just stood there for what had to be 5-10 seconds before calmly walking into the woods.

That was my introduction to the far north woods and maybe partly responsible for keeping me coming back year after year.

 
straighthairedcurly
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11/29/2019 10:35AM
The moose stories remind me of a trip when I was a teenager. I was portaging a canoe along the Clearwater Road from Clearwater Lake to West Bearskin. As I walked along by myself, I rounded a bend and there was a huge bull moose. I stopped, he stopped. We faced each other and our eyes were locked. I quickly recognized that this was a dangerous situation. I had nowhere to go if he decided I was a threat. My solution was to intimidate him into backing down. I turned the canoe to show him that my "rack" was bigger than his. He quickly retreated into the forest.

The most spectacular event I saw in the BWCA occurred on Pine Lake in the eastern BW. One calm morning I was still asleep in my tent around dawn. I woke to the sound of snapping wood. It sounded exactly like someone breaking firewood and came from the area of our fire grate. The regular snapping sound continued and I nervously climbed out of the tent to investigate who was there. As I stood up and looked down toward the lake, a massive 4+ foot diameter white pine tree made a couple more wood popping sounds and then snapped off at the base and fell into the water. As I ran toward it, what do I see, but a little mouse climb off the ragged stump.
 
LittoralZone
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11/29/2019 11:12PM
Early July 2017, I was on a solo trip (with my pup Crawford) and camped on the northeast end of Carp Lake, at the peninsula campsite. I was awakened one night around 12 - 1 am by a severe thunder storm moving in. I had caught the forecast that evening, knew it was coming and had a plan of action. As the storm approached and worsened I prayed, got my headlamp on, got dressed and got my rain gear on, and clipped the leash to Crawford. With the rain falling, lightning and thunder all around us and the wind picking up I readied us to get out of the tent. At that point the storm lessened. I sat there listening to the storm cell move on and the worst of it staying to the south of us. I figured someone out there somewhere was getting hammered by the storm and included them in my prayers.

After a short while the storm moved on and only light rain was falling, so I got out of the tent to relieve my bladder and my nerves. As I poked my head out from under the tarp I noticed a flashing light moving across the dark sky. It was to the south, moving in a west to east direction, not fast but not slow, paralleling the path of the worst of the storm. And it seemed to be beyond the trees on the horizon across the little bay, as when it passed a larger tree or thicker clump of tress it would be blocked out by the tree tops, causing the flashing.

I have no idea how big it was or how far away it was, just that it was a moving light with no sound. I stood there with my headlamp off watching it for several seconds until it went out of sight, almost afraid to move or make a sound, all kinds of thoughts flashing through my mind like Fire In The Sky... After a minute or two I came to my senses and realized I had probably just witnessed ball lightning. I do not think it could have been an airplane moving at its speed, flying that low, just after the storm and flying towards the storm. Ball lightning is the only explanation I have.

The most incredible part of this is that Crawford slept through it, ground shaking thunder and all.



The tree tops it passes beyond.
 
chessie
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11/30/2019 01:50PM
Great thread leading to many BWCA memories on this blustery winter day.
1. Bear. We were camped at the start of the Horse portage, nice site on the river near falls…. and, standing by the 'kitchen' in the p.m., I looked up in time to see a bear close and approaching. We shagged her/him away. Now, we keep a very clean camp, do not cook any meat or anything stinky, etc. None-the-less, I figured this bear was already habituated, and likely would return, highest probability being dawn. I still get teased for sleeping fully clothed, flashlight, mace, etc. within arms reach. Got up at sun-up, partner started coffee, and I'd just set down the can of mace with instructions and headed to the latrine. Heard yelling, ran back to camp, and the bear had approached my partner from behind (can't hear bec. of rapids) - she'd turned just in time. We again shagged bear, who circled around the camp, and back, now repeatedly chomping his jaws together. I took it up a notch and threw rocks at him until he left. I pursued, then returned, we skipped breakfast, packed up, got ourselves across that mile long portage and didn't stop to eat until on Crooked Lake. Funny thing: I have always had some anxiety about bears while camping, but then when the real thing happened, it wasn't all that un-nerving; we stayed pretty calm. (2) Storm. On Cummings. Brewed all evening, hit at midnight. Blowing so hard the rain was coming horizontal and through the tend wall. Tent pole broke, jagged edges protruding into the tent, right above the DOG, held together by the internal bungie. Good ol' Eureka! Alpine Meadow tent, had a spare pole that works w/ the annex, switched out the broken one. 3" water inside tent. DOG - who's normally terrified of storms, stayed still, curled up on her pad. Only dry spot. Once daylight, we discovered our friends' aluminum canoe wrapped around a smallish red pine tree. We floated the loaded boats down a portage on way out (that was dry on way in)!
 
mooseplums
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11/30/2019 07:11PM
I have 2.
After dinner one evening on Lac La Croix, I was sitting on a large rock along the lakeshore drinking hot cocoa, and drinking in a beautiful evening. I watched a pair of gulls fighting over a chunk of walleye skin, when an eagle swooped down and grabbed one of the gulls and flew off. The other gull gave chase, and harassed the eagle till he let go the the gull, and it fell to the lake. It was stunned for a minute or two, and then flew off.
A few years ago, I was driving from Gunflint Lodge to GM to meet a friend of mine in town for breakfast. Near the Iron Lake campground, I saw a lynx walking down the middle of the road, when I got closer he leaped off the road and stopped long enough for me to snap a couple photos, before disappearing into the woods
 
11/30/2019 08:20PM
In the magnitude of everything outdoors, this is very tiny and quiet. But for those of us that appreciate quietness of outdoors, this almost brought tears to my eyes. It was the morning after Thanksgiving, 2012, just a few months after my dad had died. The previous year, I had recently gotten out of the hospital, was on a feeding tube due to having my esophagus removed, and was unable to enjoy the regular feast. A year later, following a couple of surgeries, answered prayers, and rehab, I was able to eat normal again. Anyway, while others got up early to go shopping, I got up and thought it would be a good time for a short paddle. It was below freezing temps, but sunny. the Eau Claire river comes into Wausau from the east and the put-in I chose was only about 10 minutes from my house. I loaded up my short, aluminum knoo quick and was on the water in no time. There was a little ice along the shore, a slow current, and sights of typical wildlife, and some normal sounds of nature and the closeness to urban areas nearby. But then I heard an unfamiliar sound I had never heard while paddling, and I heard it again, and again. It was the tiny sound of breaking glass, or the smallest of wind chimes. After maybe an hour of going downstream, I finally realized what it was. The ripples of my knoo, once they reached the nearby shore, caused the paper thin ice on the surface to break. It was a beautiful bell choir serenading me along the river. I immediately thought about my dad, how he had taught me to appreciate the wild places God had given us. Since then, it's difficult for me not to think of my dad whenever, or wherever I venture out. Now, I really try hard to listen to those unique sounds he sends me out there
 
11/30/2019 10:31PM
Knoozer: "In the magnitude of everything outdoors, this is very tiny and quiet. But for those of us that appreciate quietness of outdoors, this almost brought tears to my eyes. It was the morning after Thanksgiving, 2012, just a few months after my dad had died. The previous year, I had recently gotten out of the hospital, was on a feeding tube due to having my esophagus removed, and was unable to enjoy the regular feast. A year later, following a couple of surgeries, answered prayers, and rehab, I was able to eat normal again. Anyway, while others got up early to go shopping, I got up and thought it would be a good time for a short paddle. It was below freezing temps, but sunny. the Eau Claire river comes into Wausau from the east and the put-in I chose was only about 10 minutes from my house. I loaded up my short, aluminum knoo quick and was on the water in no time. There was a little ice along the shore, a slow current, and sights of typical wildlife, and some normal sounds of nature and the closeness to urban areas nearby. But then I heard an unfamiliar sound I had never heard while paddling, and I heard it again, and again. It was the tiny sound of breaking glass, or the smallest of wind chimes. After maybe an hour of going downstream, I finally realized what it was. The ripples of my knoo, once they reached the nearby shore, caused the paper thin ice on the surface to break. It was a beautiful bell choir serenading me along the river. I immediately thought about my dad, how he had taught me to appreciate the wild places God had given us. Since then, it's difficult for me not to think of my dad whenever, or wherever I venture out. Now, I really try hard to listen to those unique sounds he sends me out there" Poetry in motion....
 
Davkumi
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/01/2019 09:58AM
Portage on the Vermilion River
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2194)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/01/2019 10:15AM
LittoralZone: "Early July 2017, I was on a solo trip (with my pup Crawford) and camped on the northeast end of Carp Lake, at the peninsula campsite. I was awakened one night around 12 - 1 am by a severe thunder storm moving in. I had caught the forecast that evening, knew it was coming and had a plan of action. As the storm approached and worsened I prayed, got my headlamp on, got dressed and got my rain gear on, and clipped the leash to Crawford. With the rain falling, lightning and thunder all around us and the wind picking up I readied us to get out of the tent. At that point the storm lessened. I sat there listening to the storm cell move on and the worst of it staying to the south of us. I figured someone out there somewhere was getting hammered by the storm and included them in my prayers.


After a short while the storm moved on and only light rain was falling, so I got out of the tent to relieve my bladder and my nerves. As I poked my head out from under the tarp I noticed a flashing light moving across the dark sky. It was to the south, moving in a west to east direction, not fast but not slow, paralleling the path of the worst of the storm. And it seemed to be beyond the trees on the horizon across the little bay, as when it passed a larger tree or thicker clump of tress it would be blocked out by the tree tops, causing the flashing.


I have no idea how big it was or how far away it was, just that it was a moving light with no sound. I stood there with my headlamp off watching it for several seconds until it went out of sight, almost afraid to move or make a sound, all kinds of thoughts flashing through my mind like Fire In The Sky... After a minute or two I came to my senses and realized I had probably just witnessed ball lightning. I do not think it could have been an airplane moving at its speed, flying that low, just after the storm and flying towards the storm. Ball lightning is the only explanation I have.

The most incredible part of this is that Crawford slept through it, ground shaking thunder and all.




The tree tops it passes beyond."


So cool! Not many of us have seen that
 
12/01/2019 12:16PM
Davkumi: "Portage on the Vermilion River
"
WOW !!!
 
12/01/2019 08:16PM
Dragonfly hatch. Watching the nymphs en masse march out of the water on Caribou was like being in a B movie. They attached themselves to anything vertical, and there were hundreds of them all over our site. Seeing them slowly emerge as dragonflies, flap their wings until dry and fly off was awesome. It did hamper the fish bite, but it was surely worth it. Was fortunate to see it again on a solo trip a couple years back on the Hunter's Island loop.
 
12/01/2019 08:37PM
Frenchy19: "Dragonfly hatch. Watching the nymphs en masse march out of the water on Caribou was like being in a B movie. They attached themselves to anything vertical, and there were hundreds of them all over our site. Seeing them slowly emerge as dragonflies, flap their wings until dry and fly off was awesome. It did hamper the fish bite, but it was surely worth it. Was fortunate to see it again on a solo trip a couple years back on the Hunter's Island loop. "

We had the same thing happen on our first trip to the BWCA! It was truly a B movie turned Disney movie experience. Were you at the small campsite near the island on the east end?
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(713)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/01/2019 10:34PM
It was the powerful and strange power of lightning when one of our party was struck by lightning while in his adjacent tent with no after affects other than a bruise where the lightning had arched from his tent pole to his arm and felt like he had been "punched" really hard on that spot of his arm
 
Portage99
distinguished member (230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/07/2019 07:50PM
walllee: "Davkumi: "Portage on the Vermilion River
"
WOW !!!"


Double Wow! That's amazing.

I have a lot of cool memories. Watching a dragonfly emerge, bank pole with a fish and a snake hanging from fish. Large buck swimming a river and running up the bank.

Everyday things can make life so meaningful. Yesterday, I was hiking and looked to my right. Something caught my eye and I had to check it out. About 15 feet away, super quiet, barely moving a massive buck was laying by a tree. He was well-camouflaged. We stared at each other for a long time. : )
 
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