Watch for moose on Gunflint Trail

With moose sightings getting more and more rare, Mid-Gunflint Trail residents have been delighted to see a moose cow and calves hanging around the Swamper Lake area. However, people were also very concerned, as the baby moose were napping in the road. Calls were made to Cook County Law Enforcement, requesting that temporary caution signs be erected warning motorists to slow down.

It isn’t exactly protocol to erect temporary caution signs, but Sheriff Deputies Julie Collman and Dave Gilmore agreed with citizens that something should be done. The road by Swamper Lake winds past the lake and around the terrain. A vehicle could easily come around the corner too fast and hit one of the little moose.

Deputy Gilmore contacted the Cook County Highway Department and County Highway Supervisor Russ Klegstad also agreed that something should be done. Klegstad checked the highway department’s sign inventory. All that was available was the typical moose crossing sign with a rendering of a big bull moose. Concerned that a sign with an adult moose wouldn’t pull at the heartstrings enough to slow traffic, Klegstad and Gilmore added “BABY MOOSE” to the yellow caution side.

Klegstad made the trip up the Gunflint Trail last week to install the signs. He said he wasn’t exactly sure where the deputies wanted them—until he got out of his truck. “There were moose tracks everywhere!”

In addition to the moose caution signs, Klegstad placed a number of orange barriers along the road leading up to the Swamper Lake area to try to slow vehicles. Klegstad noted that the scenic spot on the Gunflint Trail is not just a hazard for the moose, but for the many people that stop to watch them.

“It’s great to see them, but it really is a terrible spot,” said Klegstad. He said he hopes that the family eventually moves away from the road. Until then though, the “Caution BABY MOOSE” signs will be in place.

Drive carefully everyone!