Sometimes I think it’s easier to spot wildlife in the winter than is in the summer. Each morning as I drive the kids to the bus I see Deer and Bunnies (truely snowshoe hares – all white now). Sometimes I catch a glimpse of a fox or even a wolf. It seems that most days I hear of at least one new deer kill on the lake, either in front of our campsites, or out front of Gunflint Lodge next door or from a neighbor. This morning there’s a fresh kill out toward the middle of the lake. All that is left is the mass of hair and blood marking the spot in the snow.
In shuttling children from after school activities from town I have also regularily seen Moose on the Gunflint Trail, usually averaging at least 1-2 per trip. They are either sauntering along the side waiting for the right break in the woods to dive into, or kneeling in the center of the road licking the salt. Usually I spend my drive time watching for the orange glowing dots that represent their eyes, and the “footie” prints or fresh tracks in the snow along the sides of the trail. Their black coats hide them easily in the darkness of a moonless or cloud covered evening, and occassionally all I see is the white of their inside hind end or a puff of steam they’ve exhaled as they vanish 5 steps into the woods.
Just another reason to travel cautiously in the winter on the trail. Especially true if you are trailering snowmobiles or other equipment. If you are holding someone up – it’s safer to pull over and let them pass, than to make them risk speeding around you. You will not win any race or prize by arriving 5 – 10 minutes earlier at your destination, but you may save your life or a mooses life by slowing it down a bit. - Safe travels!