Gunflint Pines Resort Loses A Good Friend

I received this note from Shari Baker at Gunflint Pines Resort on the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais today about the loss of their family dog:

“With heavy heart, we must report that we lost Sota early this morning. We will
miss her greatly. She was a major part of our life here at the Gunflint Pines
Resort. She was the camp greeter and often could be found opening the door to
run out and greet the next guest as they arrived.
“She often guided guests on hikes to Lonely lake or High Cliffs. Many a guest
would start off hiking only to find her flushing the path in front of them and
waiting at the intersections to be sure they were on the right path. But many
a guest would also come back without her, distraught, only to have us ask how
long they were hiking. We knew that if they had taken a short hike, she had found
others to hike with before coming home. She was an excellent bird dog,
squirrel or chipmunk chaser and mouser. She was smarter than and had more
grace than many humans (I swear!) and was nothing but loving to everyone.
Sota was 11 years old and had a good life. She was loved and adored by many
children who returned each year only to ask where she was so they could pet
her belly.
“Sadly we feel we must also tell you that she was killed by wolves. At 3 a.m. this
morning, she had to go to the bathroom. Within minutes we heard them. We quickly
dressed and scared them off. It was too late. This happened within 30 feet of
the building. It is a testament to the severity of the wolf situation. We
understand that this was always a possibility and that the wolves are just
trying to survive. We also know there are those out there who will criticize
us for even mentioning the wolf situation, but those who do not live here
have no idea how large the population is.
“We used to have a deer herd of roughly 100 on the south shore of Gunflint Lake.
This year I have seen fewer than four. Please understand that we also love the
wolves and appreciate their need for balance in nature, but our position has
and always been and will remain this: If you are going to manage the moose, deer, small
game, etc., populations, you must also manage the wolf population. There is no
longer a balance in our area. The wolves are beginning to become desperate.
How long before they begin starving and become aggressive?
“Rest in peace Sota. Many will miss you!”

3 Responses

  1. Mark Lehigh

    Yes it is a tragedy that they lost their dog to a wolf. But responsibility ends with them. When people make a decision to live in an isolated area like the Gunflint Trail they must realize that the possibility exists they may come in contact with predators that call that place home. I first started going to the Gunflint Trail in 1968, first working for End of the Trail Lodge, Since then have gone back yearly to the family cabin on Sea Gull lake. I have never had a wolf on the property or any signs of a wolf.but have had yearly runins with black bears I am not foolish enough to believe they do not exist as have found evidence of the remains of deer taken by a wolf. But that area has never had an abundance of deer . Its not prime deer area and deer have been few and far between. I also have never seen an abundance of Ruffed Grouse. My point is if the Gunflint Trail is not a place where wolves can be accepted in a wilderness area then where is it. This is there home, this was the last area of safety they found when the state started the process of exterminating them. Everytime someone calls wolf some people are ready to take up arms and point fingers at one of natures beautiful and majestic animals. Failing to realize that people are the dominant predator on the face of the earth, not wolves.

  2. Matt

    I couldn’t side more strongly with with Bakers. The wolf problem is out of control. Though that may be hard to see within the confines of Washington DC, local breweries and Internet forums. Spend some time outside, you will see. RIP pooch.

  3. Rob

    The billboards on the way down to the cities used to show the “Wolf Tragedy” of a wolf in a trap, but the side that should be shown is when a newborn fawn is torn limb from limb before taking its first step, by a pack of hungry wolves. That is the side that the politicians and lawmakers need to experience. I feel sorry for the Baker’s loss, but it is situations like these that need to adhere in peoples’ minds and help lawmakers understand where the real problem is…the wolf population.

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