Along the Shore

Along the Shore

Amazing Ice Bridge

Northern Wilds reader Casie Wiese took photos of her recent North Shore waterfall adventure, which included an amazing ice bridge that formed over the Cross River waterfall in Schroeder.

This Cross River waterfall is one of the most accessible on the North Shore, because you can almost reach out and Continue Reading...

Moose Rescued from Hungry Jack Lake after Breaking Through the Ice

Gunflint Trail—Mid-trail residents awoke to an unusual surprise on April 10. A young female moose was crossing Hungry Jack Lake, located midway up the Gunflint Trail about 20 minutes from Grand Marais, when she suddenly fell through the ice.   Forrest Parson, owner of Hungry Jack Lodge, was enjoying his morning coffee when he witnessed the scene. Parson quickly called the local DNR and volunteer fire department for help and helped clear a path to the lake for the rescuers to get to the water. You can hear a complete recap of the rescue with an interview with local community radio station 90.7 WTIP:   The on-the-ice rescue crew consisted of Jim Morrison, fire chief of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, Bob McCloughan of Bearskin Lodge, and Dave Seaton of Hungry Jack Outfitters. Seaton who is no stranger to moose rescue, was one of the first on the scene. With canoe in tow, he and the others treaded carefully out to where the young cow had gone through.   “We had to try a few different angles” said Seaton. And try they did. Using a tow strap and a little Northwoods ingenuity, within about an hour they had pulled her out of the frigid water and onto more stable ice. “It took a while, a little encouragement, before she caught her breath and was able to walk herself to shore.”   When asked if it was common to see moose crossing the lake in winter, Seaton responded, “No. In the summer, we frequently see moose swimming across the lake – but it is much less common in winter. However, this moose has been living across the lake this year. We think she might have been chased by a local wolf pack this morning out onto the ice.”   All of this begs the question, when will the ice be out on the lakes? While it is difficult to predict when the ice will fully be off the lakes it is generally known that within about a week of the Brule River opening up, the smaller inland lakes will open and a week after that, the larger lakes will follow. The report is that the Brule opened early this week. The waterfalls along the North Shore of Lake Superior are running high, and with ice still on the lakes, Waterfall Season is just entering peak flow.   Story courtesy of Visit Cook County.  

Cougar carcass found near Thunder Bay

The long asked question of whether cougars exist in northwestern Ontario may have been answered.

On Saturday, March 25, 2017, Mandi Weist, of Thunder Bay, and three of her friends, were driving on the Boreal Road on their way to do some target practice in a gravel pit. They saw a van pulled over on the side of the road and stopped to check on them.   Weist and friends inquired if the folks in the van were ok. They answered, “Yes, we are just looking at the mountain lion.”    Weist and her friends piled out of their jeep to see a cougar partially frozen into some snow.   “We were shocked” said Weist, of the find. “We had driven by the spot before and assumed it was a deer dead in the snow.”   Knowing it was an extremely rare find, Weist and company loaded the dead cougar onto their vehicle and brought it into Thunder Bay.    Weist contacted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) via online service and got a confirmation number for the dead cougar.  

They had also been talking to taxidermist Dan Cavicchiolo and decided to bring the cat to Boreal Tales Taxidermy on Hwy 61, south west of Thunder Bay.

“It definitely is a cougar,” said Cavicchiolo. “Full grown male cougar. “   Cavicchiolo said the animal had long claws and good teeth, but was emaciated.    “It was in really bad shape when I skinned it. Very thin,” he said. “It weighed about 80 pounds, but it was all skin and bones. It seems like it died of natural causes.”     Cavicchiolo removed between 50 and 75 porcupine quills from the cougars shoulder and nose, but there were none in its mouth.     The day after they found the cougar, Weist took an OMNRF conservation officer to the site where they found the animal. Weist said the CO told them they could not keep any part of the animal because it is endangered in Ontario, and therefore not legal to have.   Weist said she was told the animal would be displayed for educational purposes.  

Jolanta Continue Reading...

Geezers on the Trail: Pukaskwa National Park

By Chuck Viren

What happens when four geezers, aged 54-65, attempt to hike the third most difficult trail in Ontario?
Quite a bit of pain, and a lot of gain.

In early August, my wife Kathy McClure, friends Kevin Wallace and Phil Deering, and I boarded Keith McCuaig’s 30-foot custom built water taxi for a ride to the end of the Coastal Hiking Trail at Pukaskwa (pronounced Puck-a-saw) National Park in Ontario. For the next five days, Continue Reading...