GRAND MARAIS, Minn. -- Gliding along the Old Logging Camp Trail on his skate skis, Jonathan Baumann coasted to a stop. He used a ski pole to point at a line of large paw prints in the snow.
"Wolf tracks," said Baumann, 22.
His sister, Brianna Baumann, 24, pulled up alongside to check them out, too.
There was no mistaking the tracks, not that they were a big deal to the Baumanns, whose family owns Golden Eagle Lodge on nearby Flour Lake. They see plenty of wildlife and tracks on these Central Gunflint Ski Trails where we were skiing on Monday north of Grand Marais. The trails lie in the heart of the Superior National Forest and Minnesota's wolf country.
The Finley (N.D.) Wildlife Club is planning to release 200 pheasants and offer free hunting on hundreds of acres of land near the community on Oct. 27. Finley is about 65 miles southwest of Grand Forks and 85 miles northwest of Fargo.
There are several possible reasons why candidates of all parties have chosen to largely conservation in their campaign platforms. Not the least of which is this: There’s really nothing to be gained by advocating for conservation.
Tim Driscoll of Grand Forks is a certified raptor authority and director of the Urban Raptor Research Project. He spends hours afield trapping and banding Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks and other raptors, collaborating with researchers in other parts of North America.
Stacey Lavelle of Christine, N.D., got this photo of a fisher off a game camera Oct. 2 in her yard about 100 yards from the house. The furbearing mammals have become more abundant across northeast North Dakota in recent years, especially along the Red River and its tributaries, and Lavelle’s game camera photo provides strong evidence they’re also expanding along the river to the south. Christine is about 25 miles south of Fargo.
While North Dakota produces more ducks than pheasants, I’d guess if you asked every hunter their favorite quarry, ducks might finish behind deer and pheasants — though a lot of people are avid participants in all three seasons.
Thanks to a mild winter and early spring, pheasant numbers have rebounded across North Dakota and neighboring states
Pheasant hunters have plenty of reasons to be optimistic this fall in North Dakota, where summer roadside surveys showed a 59 percent increase from 2011, according to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Brad Vollrath, Grand Forks, released this 51-inch muskie during a September fishing excursion on the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods. The big fish had a 24-inch girth, which puts it at more than 36 pounds based on length-girth estimates. Vollrath, who could be described as a “hardcore” muskie fisherman, released three muskies 50 inches or longer in September. The 50-inch mark widely is considered the trophy standard among muskie aficionados.
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