Our north woods are host to timber wolves, moose, coyotes, black bear, white-tailed deer, pine marten, fisher, and beaver. Lots of folks hope to chance upon one of these mammals, but you can increase your opportunity for sightings by considering a few points. First, look in the right place, at the right time, keeping in mind the season.For instance, look for white-tailed deer yarded up midday in clearings during winter when snow is deep.Second, become aware of signs and when to read them. Winter is an ideal time to learn animal tracking. Third, be patient and bring binoculars. From September 1 through the end of the year, wear a blaze orange cap or jacket, too, since several hunting season are open at this time. Stay at least 50 feet away – they are wild animals after all.
The thick foliage and bounty of summer make wildlife sightings tougher. Consider spring and fall, when migration, courtship rituals and feasting mean high activity levels. If you have questions, stop by a Forest Service Ranger Station. Wildlife is their business. Both the Tofte and Grand Marais Ranger stations [on Hwy 61] have a variety of animal mounts, too.
Top Moose Viewing tips
Drive backroads in May before the trees leaf out, when the moose are filling their bellies on fresh browse. Drive the same roads at dusk in early December when the moose come out to lick the [de-icing] salt off the roads.