BWCA Lynx on YouTube

Bill Hansen, whose parents began Sawbill Canoe Outfitters in 1957 and who has built his outfitting business into one of the most respected in the BWCAW, had the pleasure of spotting two conversing lynx last week while driving down the Sawbill Trail. Lynx are seclusive but iconic predators of the boreal forest and rarely seen in the Quetico Superior. Quick thinking Hansen had the resourcefulness to pull out his smart phone and video the encounter. It is an amazing clip and the caterwauling lynx epitomize wild nature. Toward the end of the video viewers can observe the unusual gait of this astonishing creature. Lynx populations are linked to the population cycles of the snowshoe hare. In recent years, I have seen more snowshoe hares in the vicinity of Sawbill Lake than I have seen anywhere in the BWCA and that may explain this unusual sighting. Thanks to Hansen for putting the video on the web and giving fans of the Boundary Waters a rare look and a hope for a similar real life encounter on their travels in the Quetico Superior. You can watch the clip here, it has been getting many hits. I have only seen Lynx in the wild one time. Crossing the road in front of my truck about a mile out of Fort Resolution. This despite Fort Res and the Slave Delta as being one of the richest Lynx habitats in the world. In a big lynx year it was not unusual for skilled Fort Res Chipewyan trappers to catch over 100 lynx in a season. This was back in the 1970’s when prime NWT lynx pelts brought well over a thousand dollars each at the fur trader. Trappers would use a similar set for lynx as for a fox but had best success when the set was in an open area and unlike sets for fox or wolves, trappers relied more on sight than smell, often dangling the wing of a ptarmigan on a string. It did not take much of a trap to hold a lynx. When caught they would typically  lie flattened out and motionless on the barely disturbed set, so much so that trappers could mistakenly think the set was empty until they were quite close. The tufted ears, the luxurious fur, those big feet, you gotta love lynx, long may they wander.


Canada Lynx courtesy of Wikipedia


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