BWCA Animals you've not seen while in the BWCA/Q Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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      Animals you've not seen while in the BWCA/Q     

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MikeinMpls
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11/23/2021 03:10PM  
In the "Otters!" thread, Captn Tony said he had never seen an otter in the wild. That got me to thinking about what animals typically seen in the BWCA I have not seen "in the wild" or while actually tripping.

For example, I've not seen a wolf while tripping, though we've seen several in the car on the Echo Trail as well as other places. (I once came upon fresh wolf scat on a portage, so I know one has seen me!) I've seen pine martens while in a wilderness cabin on the edge of the BWCA, but not while on a BWCA canoe camping trip. I think I've seen most other animals.

I think bears (safely at a distance) are a 50-50 proposition. Some people want to see one badly, others hope they never do. I've been lucky to have seen bears many times.

Mike
 
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Savage Voyageur
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11/23/2021 04:21PM  
I’ve not seen a wolf in the BWCA. Heard them at night, seen footprints in the mud, but never seen them.
 
MikeinMpls
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11/23/2021 04:32PM  
Correction: my wife informed me we have seen a pine marten. Phoebe River, 2020.

Mike
 
11/23/2021 05:56PM  
Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q.
 
11/23/2021 06:18PM  
nctry: "Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q."
I have not either, or a raccoon.
 
BWPaddler
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11/23/2021 06:23PM  
I've not SEEN the bears... they have sniffed me through the tent wall, and taken off with a water bag when I left the tent to pee, etc. but I haven't set actual eyes on them while in the BW.

Nor have I seen wolves - heard the howling and seen scat with fur that I presume was wolf, but I've only seen wolves from the car or at the wolf center.
 
11/23/2021 06:45PM  
Same here about wolves - lots of signs and sounds but no sighting. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen a deer within the BWCA, at least a living one. Did find a few remains of a mostly consumed one just off a portage once. I don’t think I’ve seen a skunk or a porcupine in there either.
 
11/23/2021 07:26PM  
20+ trips to the BWCA, canoeing and backpacking.

No moose.
 
Lightfoot
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11/23/2021 08:09PM  
We've heard both but have never seen a wolf or lynx while in the BWCA.
 
11/23/2021 08:13PM  
Seen wolf, bear, moose, eagle, otter,Deer, no cougar or what ever big cat resides in the BW
 
4keys
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11/24/2021 06:22AM  
While we have seen/heard sign we have never seen wolf, bear, or moose.
 
Michwall2
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11/24/2021 07:26AM  
Pinetree: "nctry: "Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q." I have not either or a raccoon."

Raccoons are not indigenous to the BW.

A few years back Sawbill Outfitters had one (small) show up on their doorstep looking lost and confused. They captured it and sent it back south. They thought it had hitched a ride on a trailer or in a camper compartment.
 
Michwall2
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11/24/2021 07:38AM  
Have not seen a weasel, wolf, lynx, or mountain lion.

Have seen otters twice now. Had a bear in our camp on Beth Lake and saw one on Bug Lake on the Louse River route. I have seen a pine marten twice. We used to see the random rabbit, but not in a lot of years now. We see more snakes now than we used to.

I was struck by how few mammals we saw last year during the drought. In 4 days we only saw one or two chipmunks, 3-4 squirrels. I have to wonder how many bear (and other mammals) will survive the winter. Will the bears be forced out of hibernation in the middle of winter to look for food? Have they delayed entry into hibernation due to low body weight? How many cubs will not survive and how many will not be born? The bear "problem" may solve itself through population reductions.



 
ScottL
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11/24/2021 08:00AM  
I have yet to see a unicorn while paddling in the BWCA/Q. ;)
 
11/24/2021 08:12AM  
Michwall2: "Pinetree: "nctry: "Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q." I have not either or a raccoon."


Raccoons are not indigenous to the BW.


A few years back Sawbill Outfitters had one (small) show up on their doorstep looking lost and confused. They captured it and sent it back south. They thought it had hitched a ride on a trailer or in a camper compartment."


Good for them,they love grouse eggs
 
11/24/2021 09:27AM  
Never have I seen a Bear or wolf in the BWCA. What I have seen:
Moose, coyote, Fisher or Marten (not sure which it was), beaver, muskrat, Eagle, red fox, Great Horned Owl, some very colorful chicken looking thing that I have never been able to identify, and of course, the Loon.
 
sedges
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11/24/2021 09:43AM  
I spend a fair amount of time on recent trips in burned areas with snags looking for northern hawk owl. BWCA is at the very southern edge of its breeding range. No siting so far.
 
Mocha
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11/24/2021 09:58AM  
ScottL: "I have yet to see a unicorn while paddling in the BWCA/Q. ;)"

you need to bring better "koolaid" on your trips
 
paddlinjoe
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11/24/2021 11:17AM  
I like the OP's question. I like that Scout64 both seen and unseen. I thought I'd add an estimate of "last time I saw". This covers 40+ trips.

Bear - 1991
Moose - 2012
Wolf - 2017
Deer - 2007
Pine Marten - 2021
Beaver - 2021
Eagle - 2021
Loon - 2021
Otter - 2019
Grouse - 2020

 
MikeinMpls
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11/24/2021 11:58AM  
Michwall2: "Pinetree: "nctry: "Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q." I have not either or a raccoon."


Raccoons are not indigenous to the BW.


A few years back Sawbill Outfitters had one (small) show up on their doorstep looking lost and confused. They captured it and sent it back south. They thought it had hitched a ride on a trailer or in a camper compartment."


As the OP, I stated I had seen many different kinds of animals while tripping, except a wolf. But after reading the responses, I have to edit my list. In addition to a wolf, I have not seen a lynx or skunk while tripping either. I didn't know raccoons were not indigenous to the area, but that explains why I've not seen one either.

Our 2021 trip, we were lucky to see bears twice (one while hiking a portage trail between Snipe and Missing Link), and a cow moose and her calf. I'd love to see a wolf, though.

Mike
 
MikeinMpls
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11/24/2021 12:04PM  
Scout64: "Never have I seen a Bear or wolf in the BWCA. What I have seen:
Moose, coyote, Fisher or Marten (not sure which it was), beaver, muskrat, Eagle, red fox, Great Horned Owl, some very colorful chicken looking thing that I have never been able to identify, and of course, the Loon."


"Very colorful chicken looking thing"? I'm very intrigued. Details?

Mike
 
11/24/2021 01:02PM  
MikeinMpls: "Scout64: "Never have I seen a Bear or wolf in the BWCA. What I have seen:
Moose, coyote, Fisher or Marten (not sure which it was), beaver, muskrat, Eagle, red fox, Great Horned Owl, some very colorful chicken looking thing that I have never been able to identify, and of course, the Loon."



"Very colorful chicken looking thing"? I'm very intrigued. Details?


Mike"


Could this be it?

 
straighthairedcurly
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11/24/2021 03:07PM  
I have not seen a pine marten or a fisher. I have only seen a wolf while canoeing in Canada, not the BWCA.

Seen plenty of bears over the years. This summer was the first time I saw a mink in the BWCA. Saw my first woodchuck there this year as well.
 
missmolly
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11/24/2021 03:25PM  
I have yet to see a Bigfoot. I have seen big feet.

Seriously, in paddling northwestern Ontario, I've never seen a wolf or lynx. Lots of bears and moose though.
 
LarrySw45
member (26)member
 
11/24/2021 04:24PM  
Not seen a Wolf in the BW but have heard them not far from camp howling.
It was great. Highlight of that trip, Sept. 2020.
Have not seen a Moose in the BW but have seen quite a few on Isle Royale
and Grand Teton NP.
Saw 4 Otters, 2 pair, this year on a Sept. trip. First pair on Crooked river below
Wheelbarrow Portage and the second pair going down Crooked Lake Friday
Bay. All of them Spy Hopping up out of the water to get a better view of me.
Spy Hopping is a term that Whale Watchers use to describe when a whale
sticks it's head straight out of the water to get a better view of something.

Larry
 
11/24/2021 04:28PM  
I guess some have seen this one but not me. I have never seen a cow.
 
Stumpy
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11/24/2021 08:35PM  
I have yet to see a Giant Sloth.
 
7thinningstretch
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11/25/2021 12:30AM  
ScottL: "I have yet to see a unicorn while paddling in the BWCA/Q. ;)"
I have once while staying at the island site on Little Gabbro. Mayyybbee a little something to do with the bourbon we downed that night…
 
Savage Voyageur
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11/25/2021 07:44AM  
I’ve not seen a lynx in my trips up there.
 
PeaceFrog
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11/25/2021 08:27AM  
No lynx, no coon, no wolf, no bear..........
Yet - stay tuned for 2022

Happy Thanksgiving
 
Michwall2
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11/25/2021 10:10AM  
MikeinMpls: "Michwall2: "Pinetree: "nctry: "Never saw a skunk in the BW or Q." I have not either or a raccoon."



Raccoons are not indigenous to the BW.



A few years back Sawbill Outfitters had one (small) show up on their doorstep looking lost and confused. They captured it and sent it back south. They thought it had hitched a ride on a trailer or in a camper compartment."



As the OP, I stated I had seen many different kinds of animals while tripping, except a wolf. But after reading the responses, I have to edit my list. In addition to a wolf, I have not seen a lynx or skunk while tripping either. I didn't know raccoons were not indigenous to the area, but that explains why I've not seen one either.


Our 2021 trip, we were lucky to see bears twice (one while hiking a portage trail between Snipe and Missing Link), and a cow moose and her calf. I'd love to see a wolf, though.


Mike"


I would wonder whether skunks are indigenous to the BW.

But, I would bet that porcupine are. I need to add that to my list.

Have others seen badger or wolverine? (No, not the collegiate or gridiron version.) Or know if they are indigenous to the area?
 
tumblehome
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11/25/2021 11:02AM  
Met a wolf on portage in Quetico.
Never saw a bobcat.
No cougar but the day might come that we see them.
Their sightings in other areas are on the rise. Unfortunately it's the males that disperse thousands of miles but not females so no breeding pairs outside the black hills.

Saw bigfoot once but the picture I snapped is real fuzzy.
 
mgraber
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11/25/2021 11:07AM  
Bear-yes
Wolf-yes
Mink-yes
Fisher-yes
Otter-yes
Beaver-yes
Moose-yes
Whitetail deer-yes
Porcupine-yes
Red Fox-yes
Garter snake-yes
Painted turtles and common snapping turtles-yes
Common rodents(Hares,red squirrels,rats,muskrats,mice,chipmunks, etc.)-yes
Pine Marten-no
Lynx-no
Bobcat-no, Common at home in Kansas but never up there
Coyote-no, Are there coyotes? I would assume so, and living and hunting in Kansas I have seen thousands, but not in canoe country.
Cougar-no, But I question whether they exist in the actual BW,Quetico. I suspect they do exist on the edges based on a number of sightings.
I don't think raccoons or skunks are very common but may exist
Too many birds to list
 
11/25/2021 11:35AM  
Few coyotes, wolves see to that.
 
Banksiana
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11/25/2021 12:16PM  
Pinetree: "Few coyotes, wolves see to that."

Coyotes tend to hang close to town.
 
11/25/2021 03:24PM  
No lynx, wolves or cougars. I have seen wolves and twice cougars in Wisconsin.
I remember reading about a black panther (cougar) seen by dozens of people at the parking lot of one of the falls along Superior several years ago.
I did see a giant sloth Stumpy but it could have just been my reflection in the water.
 
Stumpy
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11/25/2021 10:45PM  
merlyn: "No lynx, wolves or cougars. I have seen wolves and twice cougars in Wisconsin.
I remember reading about a black panther (cougar) seen by dozens of people at the parking lot of one of the falls along Superior several years ago.
I did see a giant sloth Stumpy but it could have just been my reflection in the water."

LOL
 
Ioway
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11/26/2021 09:03AM  
I have not seen in twenty plus years of trips:
Wolf
Bear
Fisher
Badger
I did see a Snowshoe Hare this year 2021
Great fun to reminisce about past trips and what I have and have not seen.
Thank you
 
11/26/2021 09:54AM  
I haven’t seen a in the bdub
Wolf , lynx, bobcat, bear, otter, fisher, wolverine,cougar,red fox, or a porcupine.
 
Banksiana
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11/26/2021 10:58AM  
Despite claims to the contrary Raccoons are native to the BWCA/Quetico, though not widely distributed or common (thankfully). Likely the change in climate will increase their numbers. I've had one try and establish a base beneath my house in the 90's.
 
bottomtothetap
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11/29/2021 01:32PM  
Believe it or not in more than 25 trips over a span nearly 40 years I have never seen a traut in the BWCA. Have tried to find them on a few occasions but we usually give up looking for them rather quickly in favor of something that's easier-to-find.
 
Canoearoo
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11/29/2021 01:40PM  
I have seen almost all of the animals listed here, but I haven't seen an elk. I read a report once where someone saw an elk in the BWCA. Crazy cool

Have any of you ever seen a wolverine in the bwca? I think we saw one once but we aren't sure. It wasn't a badger because the colors were all wrong.
 
tumblehome
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11/29/2021 02:27PM  
There are elk west of the BWCA on the ND/MN border.
There are woodland caribou in.. Woodland Caribou Park, so all things are possible if one were to disperse that far.

There are badgers up north but I have never seen one. Haven't seen a raccoon.
Perhaps we can add trumpeter swans. They are becoming more common.
 
11/29/2021 02:58PM  
bottomtothetap: "... I have never seen a traut in the BWCA.... "

Wulleyes and bess are more commonly seen, I think.
 
11/29/2021 07:36PM  
tumblehome: "There are elk west of the BWCA on the ND/MN border.
There are woodland caribou in.. Woodland Caribou Park, so all things are possible if one were to disperse that far."

I’ve never heard of any elk drifting that far east, but I have heard of woodland caribou drifting that far south. I think it was I the 1990’s that’s group of about 20 caribou were repeatedly seen near Grand Marias. I don’t know of any sightings south of the border since.

I think I saw a raccoon on a garbage can near Lake One years back.
 
11/29/2021 11:20PM  
Never seen a raccoon…they are indigenous to the area…just not as high of a population as southern MN…a buddy had one get his loaf of bread on lake 3 took a bite out of every piece of bread in the loaf…lol

No skunk, wolf, lynx, bobcat, fisher, porcupine.

T
 
marsonite
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11/30/2021 06:39AM  
Banksiana: "Despite claims to the contrary Raccoons are native to the BWCA/Quetico, though not widely distributed or common (thankfully). Likely the change in climate will increase their numbers. I've had one try and establish a base beneath my house in the 90's. "

Interesting map. I grew up in Cook, MN and have a very clear memory of checking traps with my dad when he caught raccoon. It was very unusual at the time; the first he had ever seen. Now they are common in the area. Of course, not so common in northeast MN. I have one trail cam photo of one in the Isabella area near Sand Lake.

Has anyone mentioned gray fox? I have a number of trail cam photos of them, though the only one I have seen in person was in the city limits of Duluth. I know they are sighted in Ely now and then, so they wouldn't be out of the question in the BW. Certainly more likely than a wolverine.



 
11/30/2021 07:48AM  
Gray Fox have been recognized in the Town of Ely this year, they have become much more abundant this last decade in areas north of Mille lacs. It seems like red fox and gray fox compete some with each other. Territorial?
 
11/30/2021 07:53AM  
From a previous topic; Gray squirrels and other creatures
Animals present
 
11/30/2021 01:01PM  
My dream was always to go far north to see a musk ox.
 
11/30/2021 02:41PM  
I've seen many animals and heard many others. I have yet to see a Lynx, though. The one amazing creature that I have seen only twice is the Flying Squirrel. The first time I saw one was when I was photographing fall colors. As I was looking up at the canopy, I saw a creature descending right over me. It flew a few feet from my head scaring the crap out of me until I realized what it was. Apparently it was trying to get away from a Red Squirrel.
 
11/30/2021 03:43PM  
nctry: "My dream was always to go far north to see a musk ox."

I really think it is neat how they form a circle when threaten by a predator.
 
11/30/2021 05:58PM  
I haven’t seen a bear or wolf yet. Plenty of others on the lists not espied. I did watch a cougar saunter around at the road clearing heading to Isabella Lake from the entrance at the Island River put in. Of course I was on a solo, but I saw it very well for a minute or so and I’m confident it was a cougar.
 
11/30/2021 07:58PM  
There was a sighting or two in the Little Sag area of caribou in the late 1930's and I believe one was seen around 1960. The last herd of Caribou was in the Big bog area by Red lake and they disappeared in the 1940's.
Caribou in the 1800's were quite common up north and they had a season on them until about 1890.
 
Stumpy
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12/01/2021 02:38AM  
Canoearoo: "I have seen almost all of the animals listed here, but I haven't seen an elk. I read a report once where someone saw an elk in the BWCA. Crazy cool


Have any of you ever seen a wolverine in the bwca? I think we saw one once but we aren't sure. It wasn't a badger because the colors were all wrong. "


Very interesting
 
Canoearoo
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12/01/2021 10:50AM  
Stumpy: "Canoearoo: "I have seen almost all of the animals listed here, but I haven't seen an elk. I read a report once where someone saw an elk in the BWCA. Crazy cool



Have any of you ever seen a wolverine in the bwca? I think we saw one once but we aren't sure. It wasn't a badger because the colors were all wrong. "



Very interesting "




Here is a link about someone else talking about the Elk report
 
12/01/2021 02:26PM  
Stumpy: "Canoearoo: "I have seen almost all of the animals listed here, but I haven't seen an elk. I read a report once where someone saw an elk in the BWCA. Crazy cool



Have any of you ever seen a wolverine in the bwca? I think we saw one once but we aren't sure. It wasn't a badger because the colors were all wrong. "



Very interesting "


I bet you seen a fischer.
 
12/01/2021 02:28PM  
Seen the cousins-bluejays and Canadian jays(my favorite), but has anyone seen their other cousin the Magpie. I see one once in awhile north of Aitkin. Mainly a western bird.
 
Canoearoo
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12/01/2021 04:24PM  
Pinetree: "Stumpy: "Canoearoo: "I have seen almost all of the animals listed here, but I haven't seen an elk. I read a report once where someone saw an elk in the BWCA. Crazy cool



Have any of you ever seen a wolverine in the bwca? I think we saw one once but we aren't sure. It wasn't a badger because the colors were all wrong. "




Very interesting "



I bet you seen a fischer."


Could be. I makes more sense than a wolverine
 
12/01/2021 04:26PM  
I must not be paying close enough attention. I've not seen most of the animals listed. Its probably a shorter list to say the ones I have seen. BTW Mike, I owe you an email. I've been kind of busy lately.
 
12/01/2021 08:23PM  
bobbernumber3: "bottomtothetap: "... I have never seen a traut in the BWCA.... "


Wulleyes and bess are more commonly seen, I think."


That is funny!!!
 
12/02/2021 08:23PM  
It would appear that everyone so far has seen the garter snake and the brownish snake. I have seen both and the garter is pretty common. One one occasion, I have watched a garter snake make lunch of a toad. Toad not listed yet either.

Flying insects and many birds have not made this list either.
 
mc2mens
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12/03/2021 07:01AM  
I have never seen a wolf in the BWCA. Heard them many times. Seen their scat many times. Other animals I've not seen there:
- Lynx
- Wolverine
- Bobcat (seen many times other places)
- Mountain lion
- Fisher (have seen one near Hibbing while grouse hunting)
- Gray squirrel
- Racoon
- Skunk
- Porcupine
- Rabbit
- Badger
- Lake trout
 
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