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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: February 2013
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « January 2013 | March 2013 »

2/28/13 - Cindy recently found a dead otter on Sawbill Lake. It was near a hole in the ice that otters maintain through the winter. The snow was tromped down all around the carcass, but a light snow had obscured the tracks. We'll never know what happened, I guess, but it was likely killed by either a wolf or lynx. - Bill

The sad end of a drama on Sawbill Lake. Notice the raven wing prints in the snow.

This is the hole that the otters use for lake access, about 20' from the body.

Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

2/21/13 - Long time Sawbill friend, Devin Nelson, sent along this great picture from his canoe trip last October. - Bill

Smoke Lake, second week of October, 2013. Photo by Dave Livsay.

Here it this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

2/20/13 - There is an irruption of Boreal Owls occurring around Sawbill right now. Boreal Owls used to be fairly common around here, but their numbers have been dwindling in recent years. An irruption is an influx of a species into an area where they aren't normally seen. It usually happens when the prey species population crashes in the owl's home range.

Due to the fact that they are here because they are starving, it's not uncommon to find dead owls during an irruption. I found the owl below in the canoe yard while I was plowing last weekend.

A sad little visitor from the north.

2/19/13 - The President's Day weekend has come and gone. It is one of the busiest times for winter camping every year. This year was a relatively light year for camping with only 10 cars on the parking lot.

I received a few good pictures from a Cook County trail camera over the weekend. It's located in a spot where wolves seem to mark their territory.

Wolf approaches the territory marking on a trail.

Rolling in the scent.

Later that same night, two wolves inspect the spot in passing.

2/15/13 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.


2/11/13 - We had a nice, old fashioned snowstorm last night. Nine inches of snow fell in about 4 hours, giving us a total of 28" of snow on the ground. All winter, the trees have been covered with snow, so it remains one of the most scenic winters that I can remember.

Dave and Amy Freeman, former Sawbill crew (and they will be guiding for us this season!) are close to finishing their epic 11,700 mile North American Odyssey by kayak, dog sled and canoe. They are currently doing a 40-mile portage in Florida between the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers. - Bill

What a 40 mile kayak portage in Florida looks like.

After more than 10,000 miles of paddling, Amy's feet aren't hardened for all day hiking.

Here is the most recent edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

2/6/13 - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today that this year's moose census in northeastern Minnesota showed a faster than expected decline in the population. As a result, they have canceled the Minnesota moose hunting season indefinitely. Even though the biologists make a pretty good argument that the "bulls only" hunting season doesn't have much impact on overall moose numbers, I think they've done the right thing here. Here's the link to the news story on Minnesota Public Radio's website.

As I was writing this post, an oversize load truck with a giant chemical tank on it's flatbed pulled in and promptly got stuck.

The intersection at the end of the Sawbill Trail is not big enough to allow oversize loads to turn around. This has been proven many times.

Just after this was taken, the driver went for it and got stuck.

We got it out the old fashioned way: shoveling, pulling with one pickup, pushing with another pickup and rocking it.

On a lighter note, Chief of Sawbill Outfitter Security, Phoebe Fern Hansen, was on a stakeout this morning, protecting Sawbill's most precious asset. - Bill


2/4/13 - Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was conducting moose research along the Sawbill Trail. They are shooting moose with a tranquilizer gun from a helicopter and then outfitting each drowsy moose with a radio collar. Of course, they also take the opportunity to take various samples and measurements.

The radio collars will notify the researchers when the moose dies and they will attempt to get to the moose very quickly to perform a field autopsy. Ultimately, they hope to discover why the moose population is declining in Minnesota.

As of today, they have collared a total of 84 moose. The goal is 100. - Bill










2/2/13 - Last summer we had a visit from some Norwegian filmmakers who are producing an interactive website highlighting the descendents of Norwegian immigrants on Minnesota's North Shore. "Lutefisk Hotel" is a collective of young journalists from the Oslo area who specialize in multimedia story telling. Their project here is titled "The Norwegian Riviera."

The Norwegian Riviera - Official teaser #1 (HD) from Lutefisk Hotel on Vimeo.

Two of the filmmakers are back to continue work on the project and they have been staying in our crew house for the last few days. It's been fun having them around and they are promising to set aside time to go snowshoeing before they head home at the end of February.

Kristian Balsrod and Anton Ligaarden with Sawbill's hunds, Phoebe and Roy.

Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « January 2013 | March 2013 »

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