Voyageur Quote:

 "I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.  So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
-  Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

 

   

September in the BWCA 

September in the Boundary Waters

 

 

 

 

September BWCA Bliss

 Dog Days of September

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Weather-

         Who would have guessed we would have summer in September on the Gunflint Trail this year?  The weather this September has been absolutely gorgeous with the average daily high temperature a whopping 73.75 degrees.  That is 7 degrees warmer than the average daily high in July of this year and warmer than May, June and August.  The sky has been blue and cloudless for the most part and the lakes have been calm.  Precipitation this September has been minimal with only .25 inches of rain falling to the ground.

     This September weather has been greeted with open arms by folks visiting Voyageur.  The warm sunny days and clear nights have been perfect for camping in the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park.  The lake water is warmer than it has been all summer and it's wonderful for an afternoon swim.

     The days are getting shorter and the sun is out less each day.  The leaves are beginning to show their fall colors and soon the paddling season will come to an end.

     That time isn't here yet and there is plenty of time to take a wilderness canoe trip.  September and October are wonderful months to experience the wilderness solitude of the canoe country.  Wonderful weather like we're experiencing is just an added bonus like frosting on a cake.

   

Gunflint Trail Moose

Frequent Visitor at Voyageur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota Moose

Sag Lake Trail Residents

 

 

 

 

 

Moose on the Gunflint Trail

Moose Meandering

 

 

 

 

Moose Mamma

Mom with Calves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moose on the Loose

Save the Gunflint Trail Moose

 

 

 

  

 

 

Save the Gunflint Trail Moose-

     One of the best things about living on the Gunflint Trail is seeing moose.  It doesn't matter that I've lived up here 17 years and have seen hundreds of moose I still get excited when I see one.  Guests who visit the Gunflint Trail are thrilled to see moose on their vacation and it's often the highlight of their trip.  There aren't too many places in the lower 48 states where you can see moose and that's what makes our Gunflint Trail moose so special. 

     The Minnesota moose population is on a decline and the reason remains unclear.  In Northwestern Minnesota the population is down to around 100 after once being in the thousands.  The moose population in Northeastern Minnesota is still around 7000 but is declining perhaps because of the increased deer population, warming trends or loss of habitat.   You can learn more about this online.

     The Minnesota DNR put together a Moose Advisory Committee comprised of 17 males and 1 female.  They met a number of times to address the moose population and toyed with the idea of making the moose a threatened or endangered species in Minnesota and voted to make the moose a Species of Special Concern.

     I do not know what the Species of Special Concern Title means for the Minnesota Moose.  I do know the DNR is again holding a moose hunt for residents of Minnesota.  Revenue for the DNR via license sales may be the motivation for holding a hunt.  If this is the case then I would like to see a special Minnesota license plate that has a picture of a moose on it that says, "Moose, A Minnesota Species of Special Concern." 

     I am not against hunting in general.  I think the DNR does a pretty good job of regulating herd sizes and issuing permits and licenses.  I can't even say I'm against moose hunting in Minnesota but I can claim the NIMBY Theory; Not in My Back Yard.  

     I do not want there to be a moose hunt on the Gunflint Trail.  We love our moose and even name our moose.  I've had moose follow me along on a walk before.  Moose are an important part of our tourism related revenue on the Gunflint Trail and no matter how much the DNR makes in license sales it isn't anywhere near what the resorts and outfitters could lose if the moose population plummets.

     The Gunflint Trail Corridor specifically Zone 74 should not be open for moose hunting.  According to the DNR, "This zone is 77 square miles in size and is entirely outside the BWCAW. The roads vary from paved all-season roads to rough logging roads. Special Note regarding Zone 74: Hunters should be aware that this zone has several resorts and high tourist traffic, much of it focused on moose viewing. Hunters need to present their sport in the best manner. This can be accomplished by exhibiting the highest levels of hunting skill, knowledge and ability while hunting areas remote from roads, resorts and private cabins." 

     Shooting a moose in the Gunflint Trail Corridor is like shooting a cow standing in a pasture.  These massive creatures are not afraid of humans or vehicles and are accustomed to being shot with a camera.  All year long people stop their vehicles, get out and watch the moose along the Trail.  Shooting a moose on the Gunflint Trail is not hunting and it is not a sport.

     Allowing a moose hunt on the Gunflint Trail creates a major conflict of interest.  More than once tourists have stood taking pictures of a majestic moose in a pond only to have a hunter pull up alongside of them, get out of their vehicle, walk down into the ditch and shoot the same moose.  There are plenty of other zones where hunters can actually hunt a moose and not subject tourists and locals on the Gunflint Trail to the hideous act of shooting a moose on the Gunflint Trail. 

     I am not in favor of there being a moose hunt on the Gunflint Trail and have let numerous folks in the DNR know this.  Unfortunately I am just one person but if there were many then maybe, just maybe we could convince them to Save the Gunflint Trail Moose.  If you're willing to help then please contact the DNR by clicking on the contact link.  My moose friends on the Gunflint Trail would really appreciate it and so would I.      

 

 

 Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom
1-888-CANOEIT
www.canoeit.com

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Leave No Trace-

     What do a pair of socks, a half-eaten package of Alpine beef stew, a partly burned empty package of Camel cigarettes and a 10 pound chunk of summer sausage have in common?  All of these and more were found at the last Boundary Waters campsite I stayed at. 

     The person who camped at this site before me did not care to Leave No Trace.  In fact, I'm pretty sure this camper wanted me to determine his or her age, rank and serial number based upon all of the personal evidence left at the scene. 

     It is disappointing to find a campsite in such a condition.  Not only did I have to pick up all of the garbage but I also had to carry it out with me.  I was hoping to have a lighter pack on the way out but I think it actually weighed more. 

     It is difficult to leave no trace whatsoever.  Inadvertently a twist tie gets dropped, a fishing weight disappears into the grass or a tent stake is left behind.  These are not conscious acts of slobbery like the major hunk of maggot covered salami I found.  It was quite obvious the camper didn't want to have to carry the weight of the meat so it was thrown into the woods.

     I hope this was an isolated incidence of disrespect.  Most campsites are in pretty good shape. Sometimes there are sunflower seed shells, cigarette butts or fishing line left behind but for the most part people are quite good about Leaving No Trace.  A big thank you to everyone who packs out a little extra garbage along with their own.

     When I found these random items at the campsite it got me thinking...  I wonder what the strangest thing someone has found at a Boundary Waters Campsite?  Do you have a story to tell?  If so, then please let me know so I can share it with all of you in my next newsletter. 

 

Northern Pike in the BWCA

Trolling for Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

fishing in the BWCA

Little Fish, Big Fight

 

 

 

Catch a Northern Pike-

     You know catching a Northern Pike is easy when I can go out and do it on my own.  All it takes is a fishing pole with some fishing line, a reel and a leader with a spoon attached.  A body of water with Northern Pike swimming around and a watercraft for trolling and dinner is on it's way.      

     The easiest method for catching a Northern with this set up is trolling.  Fish along the shoreline near weeds and downed trees in the water.  If there's a beaver lodge then give that a try too.  If you make a pass without any strikes then try again at a slower or faster speed.  Be sure to watch your lure as you reel it in because many times a Northern will follow your lure right to the boat. 

     Think you have bumped bottom or are getting snagged on some weeds? Think again.  Many times a Northern will bump your lure without getting hooked and it is planning to strike again.  Be patient and continue reeling in at the same speed to see if he'll be aggressive enough to get hooked. 

     Don't be discouraged when you get snagged or lose a lure, it's bound to happen.  If you think you're snagged then go back to where the snag is slowly keeping your line taut just in case it is a fish.  If you yank and pull before you're behind the lure then you'll just get the hook stuck deeper. 

     Northern Pike are fun to catch and great to eat from these cold clear lakes.  They can put up a good fight, jump out of the water and offer some easy catching fun for anyone.  Find out more about fishing for Northern Pike.

   

 

Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it.  

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew