Young critters make debuts
It’s that special time of year when critters of all types are showing up along and on roadways across the Gogebic Range.
Driving past the Hurley K-12 school last Saturday, I noticed a doe about to give birth in the ditch. I didn’t want to startle the animal, so I drove down the road a bit and pulled over, taking a photo from afar.
The deer hopped into the heavy woods, a safer place to welcome its fawn into the world.
Quite a few fawns were spotted on the Iron County Board’s annual highway tour two weeks ago. Spotting wildlife on the tour is an added benefit for the participants.
On the way home from work two nights in a row, I nearly ran over porcupines waddling across U.S. 2 in Kimball. The quilled creatures may be experiencing a spike in numbers, or it may have just been a coincidence. They’ve also been turning up in roadkill along the highway.
I’ve heard from many people who have spotted black bears on the prowl, with some seeing multiple bears.
My first brook trout fishing venture resulted in an aggressive assault by an army of mosquitoes that cut my trip to about 20 minutes. I landed eight trout, but couldn’t stand the stinging punishment.
On that trip along the trail, I spotted a rarity on the Gogebic Range, a real live cottontail rabbit. I hadn’t seen a rabbit in the woods in a long time.
I also saw a turkey along the trail. I’ve seen about five times as many turkeys in the wild in the past several years as rabbits. I guess the big birds are imposing for predators, while the rabbits sure aren’t.
I know there’s been some sort of critter at the bird feeder in the front yard, most likely a raccoon, because a big brick of peanut butter disappeared overnight. I imagine a coon would be in heaven with that unexpected treat.
Baby grouse, turkeys and fawns are crossing roadways. Slow down and watch, but give them distance. They’re just learning what life in the Northwoods is all about.