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ubbenholdthekraut
distinguished member (174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/28/2023 04:54PM  
J just got back from Iron Lake. We stayed at Zups on Lac La Croix on Sunday and then spend Monday- Friday on Iron/McAree.

On Tuesday morning, my daughter walked down the trail down to the fire pit area and came face to face with a full grown adult wolf (White).

She screamed and ran back to the tent pad area up the hill, where my brother came down to also verify the wolf. All told, 3 people saw the wolf. My brother estimated it was between 120-130 lbs...

We were on the 5 star site on the West end of 3 Island in Iron lake.

Surprised to see a wolf up close and personal. Surprised it was on an island site.

We think that some extra bacon from breakfast lured it in.

Just a heads up if you have little ones to not let them wander too far away.

My daughter is 9. She wouldn't have been much of a match if the wolf had bad intentions.

Heard many people comment about how the wolves are getting pretty abundant up there. Moose sightings are more and more rare. Deer are down.

The sighting was a very special moment for my daughter. It was the only thing she said she wanted to see on her first trip.

Just curious if others are seeing more wolves out on the trail. I still haven't seen one in my 30+ years of trips (I was down fishing off the point when it all happened)

Paul

 
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08/29/2023 01:07AM  
That's crazy!!!

I have stayed at that site probably 25-30 nights and KNOW exactly what you mean about "walked down the trail" and then "back up the hill" -- (That tent up pad up there is SWEET!!) --- So I have that envisioned in my brain about the experience you daughter went through--

I'am no wolf expert- but that seems odd behavior for a wolf. Not on a island (they are TREMENDOUS swimmer) but coming into the heart of a campsite in broad daylight IS. Unless there were other wolves nearby from it's pack (possible) - I would lean that this "WhiteWolf" ( no relation) has been kicked out of a pack and is fending for itself (not good). Just my .02
WHAT A COOL STORY!!!



ubbenholdthekraut
distinguished member (174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/29/2023 09:07AM  
Love your username for this thread!

My daughter (Ella) was beaming. She was so happy (and scared) that she literally cried. It was a very emotional experience for her.

Before the trip (Her first), we talked about what animals she might see:
Moose (unlikely, but possible)
Bear (again, unlikely)
Loon (Definitely)
Beaver (Likely)
Bald Eagle (Definitely)
Wolf (You might hear them, but will NEVER see one).

She said all she wanted to see was a wolf. I joked that she willed the interaction into existence.

The night before- everyone talked about the wolves howling all around camp and how close they sounded (I was too asleep to hear anything....

08/29/2023 09:49AM  
White is the color of Arctic wolves and not Timber wolves which is what inhabit Minnesota. Not to doubt your sighting, but a white Timber wolf would be rare; I've seen black and grey in the BW. Any photos?
NEIowapaddler
distinguished member (262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/29/2023 02:29PM  
egknuti: "White is the color of Arctic wolves and not Timber wolves which is what inhabit Minnesota. Not to doubt your sighting, but a white Timber wolf would be rare; I've seen black and grey in the BW. Any photos? "


Was going to say this. I follow the Voyageurs Wolf Project and I don't recall ever seeing a white wolf in one of their hundreds of photos and videos of wolves. Not saying it's impossible, just that it would be pretty remarkable. Also, according to them, the average MN wolf is 60-80lbs. Very rare for one to exceed 90lbs. Most people greatly overestimate the size of wolves up there.
ubbenholdthekraut
distinguished member (174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/29/2023 02:56PM  
I'm sure it was white. Had some gray marks to it as well, per both my brother and daughter.

Wouldn't wager anything on the size/weight. My brother has zero experience in wolves, other to say it was an adult, not an adolescent.

AluminumBarge
member (49)member
  
08/29/2023 05:44PM  
I was up on Iron with my son the first part of June. We stopped at the portage to Crooked just to go look at Curtain Falls. On the way back to our canoe on curtain we came upon a super fresh pile of wolf scat that was not there 5 minutes earlier. So fresh you could smell it from 10 feet. I really wish we would have been able to see it, and also wondered if it was looking at us right then. Sounds like a really interesting experience.
08/29/2023 06:02PM  
egknuti: "White is the color of Arctic wolves and not Timber wolves which is what inhabit Minnesota. Not to doubt your sighting, but a white Timber wolf would be rare; I've seen black and grey in the BW. Any photos? "


I've seen quite a few wolves where I live near Bemidji and can tell you that they come in a variety of colors. There was a creamy white one that I saw a few times. Her pups looked like German shepherds. I even saw a big on that was orange and white. Most of the wolves are indeed gray or some variation of that.
jsmithxc
member (46)member
  
08/29/2023 06:02PM  
I have noticed a decrease in moose from many years ago but have seen more moose the last 6 or 7 years than in the previous 5 years. Having said that what I have seen may not reflect reality. I went to the DNR research and found some interesting numbers. The wolf population has increased since the 1970 and had shown some minimal growth lately but it seems like their range has expanded. The moose population in down from what it was but seem to have stabilized the last few years. One interesting graph shows a positive correlation between wolf populations and deer populations. In other-words wolves have had some increases and so have the deer. Maybe the wolves take the weak, resulting in a more robust herd. I understand there are some good size deer in northern Minnesota. There are deeply held beliefs concerning wolves, deer, and moose that may not reflect reality. We need to keep an open mind and listen to the science.
n8roar
member (48)member
  
08/30/2023 08:04PM  
Love Iron Lake and that Island. Two years ago we hiked the burn side of Curtain Falls, We saw a lot of Wolf tracks.
Tell me to start a new thread if this is annoying. No offence will be taken.

We are taking EP16 to LaCroix Sept 14-17, and fishing Bottle overspill into Lacroix. Staying on Island just below Warrior Hill. How were the bugs? How was fishing on shore line? Hoping to see the Northern Lights if it is clear!

Since you were just there I thought I would ask.
08/31/2023 02:44PM  
I saw a pack of wolves attack a bison in the Yellowstone backcountry in February 2018. I was with my wife, another couple, and a park ranger. The park ranger mentioned that this wolf pack, the Wapiti Lake pack, had descended from Timberwolves transported from northern Minnesota. She also mentioned that the Wapiti pack was not known to hunt bison and speculated that they were learning this trait from a lone wolf who had joined their pack. It was a cool experience to watch.
 
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