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DATE: Early august of 1998-1st sat. of month
COUNTY: Baraga County
LOCATION DETAILS: Baraga Co. Michigan. 25 miles south-east of village of L'anse. Only a few logging roads in area, do not know if any are named.
NEAREST TOWN: L'anse
NEAREST ROAD: unnamed forest roads -
OBSERVED: We were scouting for bear hunting, looking for likely blind locations, and sign. had walked in from trailhead 2 or 3 miles, over very rough terrain. While crossing a blown-out beaver dam, we observed 3 sets of very fresh tracks in mud. Largest were 15-16 inches in length, while the 2 smaller sets were 8-10 inches. The mud was newly exposed, quite soft, and would have filled in quickly if tracks were more than a few hours old. This is a very isolated area, the nearest year-round maintained road is 10 miles away, and it is a gravell road. The tracks were very defined, and had very long strides(4+ feet for the larger tracks). The surroundng area was a series of steep rock ridges and hills, with a small stream, heavily dammed by beavers, winding thru. You could see where the tracks left the mud and climed the hill, and it was in an area that would be extremely difficult to walk due to steepness, and loose rock.
This entire incident left my friend and I both quite shaken, and we left the area as quickly as possible. No other sightings or incident occured, but we had noticed a distinct feeling of being observed shortly before seeing the tracks, and this had never been felt by either of us before, even though both of us have seen bear and other wildlife many times.
ALSO NOTICED: nothing qualitative, just strange feeling of being watched-this was VERY disconcerting due to the distance we were from our truck.
OTHER WITNESSES: looking for bear tracks in mud of recently exposed pond bottom.
ENVIRONMENT: Dense forest of spruce, pine and some hardwoods. Area is very isolated and rugged, with steep hills and cliffs to 500 feet above valleys. This is some of the most remote land you will find in the lower 48, likly not 10 homes within 20 miles in any direction. only roads in general area are dirt logging roads, and most are impassable due to non use.