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Boating in to hunt deer off Gunflint Trail


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I realize this is a deer hunting question, but it pertains specifically to the Gunflint Trail and border waters.

Anyone have any experience hunting the border lakes towards the end of the Gunflint? I mean putting the boat in the water and getting away from others - Sea Gull, Sag, Gunflint, Loon - I have a place to stay up there, but have not been out and about during deer season. Guess I'm attracted by the wilderness setting, and potentially the lack of other hunters. Are there many hunters up there?

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

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From talking to locals up on the trail deer numbers are way down due to the wolves. Sounds like a good idea but be prepared to sit long hours and see few deer. Hopefully a permanent resident up there can chime in and offer some better advice.

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I had the opportunity to hunt off the Sawbill for a few years. My buddy had a buddy who had a woods shack. It was wilderness and no one was anywhere close. I don't think we heard another shot, much less come across a hunter in the woods. We may have seen more moose than deer. (that may be changing big time, unfortunatly. While the deer numbers were down, and wolf tracks were everywhere, the experience was first class. Deer density much less than the Floodwood area we were used to. I believe the chance for a really large animal exists up there, but that does not mean it would have a huge rack. If trading a wilderness experince for seeing fewer deer is ok, then go for it for sure!

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Unless you plan to bow hunt(and maybe even then), the chances of ice during deer season are great. Consider that when going out for the day. A change in temp from AM to PM could mean the difference in open water or a good skim of ice.

A friend of mine has a family resort up the Gunflint. They have shot many high quality deer over the years. Both in body and rack size.

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Boating for whitetails can be a very dicey proposition in November. Even if you don't have to deal with ice, the water temps will kill you in the event of a capsize. There are better, safer methods to get your deer than by water. In the last 15 years, I know several different guys who lost loved ones to drowning or hypothermia while deer hunting. Duck hunting is tough enough. Now imaging hauling your equipment AND a big buck out of the woods and down the lake on a dark, windy, cold night. Personally, I'd rather walk that extra mile.

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Or, you can use good judgment and try not to shoot that big buck late in the day. Or, wait it out until the next day and complete all tasks in the daylight. No question regarding the dangers associated with late-season hunting...to say nothing about getting hit by a car while crossing the street.

Wilderness hunters assume the risks, with every intention of doing it all over again next year. My hunts involve a great deal more than pulling the trigger.

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