What a Find

This is quite a story.

Dead, male cougar was found south west of Thunder Bay

#LSN_Outdoors   Mandi Weist hand by Cougar Paw

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO March 26, 2017  (LSN)My boyfriend, my two friends Casey Nykyforchyn and Istvan Balogh and I, had gone out shooting Saturday afternoon at a gravel pit on the boreal road, south west of Thunder Bay, Ontgario Canada . On the way back, at about 2:00pm, we noticed this van parked on the side of the road at about km 13 on the road. Making sure they were not in any trouble, we had asked them if they were okay. They had told us they were, and that they were just stopped to check out the dead mountain lion on the bank. Being shocked, we had to check it out as well.

We approached the animal and we realized that it was 100% a mountain lion by the colour, the giant teeth and paws, and of course the long tail, lying dead on a patch of snow partially frozen. The cat had porcupine quills in its shoulder and cheek and had looked really thin and starved. Being as it was such a rare find, and had been solid proof that these elusive cats actually do prowl the forests of northwestern Ontario, we couldn’t leave it behind! It would be such an amazing animal to have preserved!

CougarWe loaded the cat onto the roof of my jeep and took off to find cell service to call Boreal Tales Taxidermy and find out what exactly can be done with the animal (keeping in mind that we would also have to notify the MNR). The taxidermist’s, Dan and Robin, had been almost in denial that we indeed had possession of the great elusive mountain lion! They had also told us we were to fill out a couple forms online to report the cat and receive a confirmation number, which I had done right away.

We finally arrived at the taxidermist’s house where they took the animal and our confirmation number to being the preservation.

After speaking with Dan over the phone a while later, he had the animal skinned and informed us that it was an adult male, and the animal had no quills in it’s mouth, but however had been just skin and bone, having also suffered from muscle atrophy, meaning the poor cat had not had a very pleasant end of it’s life. It was also found out the cat’s stomach and intestines had been completely empty, suggesting that it had died from natural causes.

The next day just after noon, I had received a phone call from a Conservation officer, Rick Leblanc, wanting to meet up so I can show him exactly where the animal was found. Upon meeting him, he told me mountain lions are an endangered species in Ontario and being in possession of one is illegal. He said the ministry is confiscating the cat, but is still continuing the preservation process, getting the animal stuffed and is going to be on display for educational purposes. He had also told me that this find is the very first confirmed carcass of a mountain lion in Ontario in all of history.
Cougar  In the end, I was bummed that I could not keep the beautiful animal, but it still is nice that the cat will be preserved and put on display where many people can see and learn about it. It was an amazing experience and I am glad I was able to be a part of it, as it is a big point in history for Ontario wildlife.

Amanda Weist

Photos and story by Manda Weist


Posted in News

Looks Like Fun

Duluth Skate from Andrew Kilness on Vimeo.

Posted in News

The Spawn Won’t Be Long

With the warm temperatures and melting snow we might see an earlier than normal fish spawn. Then again, we might not!


MN  DNR Question of the week
Q: Which fish species are the first to spawn in Minnesota lakes during the spring?

A: Northern pike usually spawn first when water temperatures are in the low 40s. There is often still ice on the main lakes when pike run into tributary streams, rivers or wetlands to spawn. Walleye spawn a bit later, followed by yellow perch, muskellunge, bass and crappie/bluegill.

Henry Drewes, DNR regional fisheries manager

Posted in fishing

Bear Aware in the Spring

Here’s some helpful tips from the MN DNR!

Be aware of bears this spring; DNR lists tips for avoiding conflicts
Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears.

“Leaving food out in yards that can be eaten by bears can lead to property damage and presents dangers to bears,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife animal damage program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Pet food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage can attract bears.”

As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce.

Only black bears live in the wild in Minnesota. They usually are shy and flee when encountered. Never approach or try to pet a bear. Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed.

The DNR does not relocate problem bears. Relocated bears seldom remain where they are released. They may return to where they were caught or become a problem somewhere else.

The DNR offers some tips for avoiding bear conflicts.

Around the yard

Do not leave food from barbeques and picnics outdoors, especially overnight. Coolers are not bear-proof.
Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets, which are also attractive to hummingbirds.
Eliminate birdfeeders or hang them 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the nearest trees.
Use a rope and pulley system to refill birdfeeders, and clean up spilled seeds. Where bears are a nuisance, birdfeeders should be taken down between now and Dec. 1.
Store pet food inside and feed pets inside. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed them only as much as they will eat.
Clean and store barbeque grills after each use. Store them in a secure shed or garage away from windows and doors.
Pick fruit from trees as soon as it’s ripe, and collect fallen fruit immediately.
Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings, and turn piles regularly. Do not add food scraps.
Harvest garden produce as it matures. Locate gardens away from forests and shrubs that bears may use for cover.
Use native plants in landscaping whenever possible. Clover and dandelions will attract bears.
Elevate bee hives on bear-proof platforms or erect properly designed electric fences.
Do not put out feed for wildlife (like corn, oats, pellets or molasses blocks).

Store garbage in bear-resistant garbage cans or dumpsters. Rubber or plastic garbage cans are not bear-proof.
Keep garbage inside a secure building until the morning of pickup.
Properly rinse all recyclable containers with hot water to remove all remaining product.
Store recyclable containers, such as pop cans, inside.
Store garbage that can become smelly, such as meat or fish scraps, in a freezer until it can be taken to a refuse site or picked up by refuse collector.
Take especially smelly or rotting garbage as soon as possible to your local refuse facility so it can be buried.
People should always be cautious around bears. If they have persistent bear problems after cleaning up the food sources, they should contact a DNR area wildlife office for assistance. For the name of the local wildlife manager, contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, or visit mndnr.gov/contact/locator.html.

For more information, visit mndnr.gov/livingwith_wildlife/bears.

Posted in News

Three Month Solo in the BWCA

Sound like fun to you? How about in the winter?

From Quetico Superior Wilderness-

A young man named Jon White recently spent three months alone in the wilderness, paddling in on November 1 and pulling a handmade toboggan out over frozen lakes at the end of January. He did the whole thing without a food resupply, and went two-and-a-half months without seeing another person.

White camped on Knife Lake and explored the surrounding area on snowshoes, using traditional techniques and gear. He tested his “bushcraft” skills by sleeping outside in -35 degrees F and leaping into the water through a hole in the ice during sub-zero temperatures.

And he recorded all of it. Starting on January 31, White has released a total of five videos.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in BWCA

Hammock Craft

While I don’t think I’m going to help them fund this device I do think it is a neat idea.  It would be great fun to be able to lie in a hammock over the water! It would be nice for car camping since you wouldn’t have to worry about finding enough sturdy trees for everyone in your group to put their hammock up. Check it out-

This is Hammocraft.

The Hammocraft has evolved from half a dozen different designs that we tested, tweaked, and tampered with over a period of 10 years. The Hammocraft is designed to sling up to 5 hammocks atop paddle boards, river rafts, kayaks, and even on dry land…essentially wherever or whatever you dream up as a hammock dock.

The Specs

The Hammocraft frame comes with:

  • High-quality aluminum poles (6061 T6 clear anodized aluminum)
  • Stainless steel corners (304 stainless steel corners with black UV resistant powdercoating)
  • Quick connecting spring clips (304 stainless steel spring clips) for easy setup and take down
  • Four Hammocraft nylon webbing straps with zinc plated cam buckles for attaching the frame to your floatable of choice
  • A carrying case for your Hammocraft frame

2nd Hammocraft™ prototype really took the concept to the next level circa 2008!


Posted in BWCA

Winter Adventure at Menogyn

What an amazing opportunity for these youth to experience the BWCA and winter on the Gunflint Trail. Through Wilderness Inquiry and Camp Menogyn a group of Somali-Minnesotan boys get to experience winter on the edge of the BWCA.  Read the full story here.

Here’s an excerpt-

More than 300 miles north of the Twin Cities, a group of 11 Somali-Minnesotan boys, ages 7 to 14 years old, arrives in an expansive forest within the Boundary Waters. Cell phone signals drop, and the boys breathe collective sighs of discontent. The van parks at the edge of Bearskin Lake, one of 1,175 in the Boundary Waters that are now frozen solid, making the area less of a boundary and more of a bridge.

Building bridges is what has brought them up here in the first place. The group includes four guides from Wilderness Inquiry—a nearly 40-year-old, Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to making the outdoors accessible for all, including people with disabilities and underserved youth—and two leaders from Ka Joog, a Somali youth advocacy group.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in BWCA

Summer is Coming

It will be awhile yet but before long we’ll have open water for paddling again. Get your trip dates on the calendar, I know I’ve got mine!

BWCA Bliss

Tagged with: ,
Posted in BWCA

Shakespeare on the Shore in Grand Marais

Any Shakespeare aficionados out there? We’re trying to find out and we’re hosting a Shakespeare Festival at Voyageur Brewing Company this weekend. If you’re looking for a weekend escape, then come on up for a visit!

Voyageur Brewing Company Presents Shakespeare on the Shore

Posted in News

Happy Spring!

Hoping your spring is off to a great start!

Here’s a great catch photo of Matt’s!

ice fishing bwca success

Matt’s great catch

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in BWCA
  • Although Spring is officially here we still have tons of ice to fish on! Come see for yourself, and maybe catch a... t.co/UFuP7hw1NV

Follow @bwcabloglady on twitter.

Pin It   

Receive this Blog via Email

Sign up for our online newsletter: