Wolverines in the Upper Midwest

Repost site.

This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Rediscovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the Upper Midwest. Until recently, wolverines had been extinct in the Upper Midwest for 85-200 years.

However, one was photographed recently in Michigan. Furthermore, there have been some tantalizing sightings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and even a few in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri in recent years. It is distinctly possible the wolverines may be reclaiming some of their historical territory in the Upper Midwest. If so, this is fascinating indeed.

Wolverines in Michigan

In 2004, a wolverine was photographed in Ubly, Michigan, 90 miles north of Detroit. They were extirpated from Michigan almost 200 years ago. DNA testing of this wolverine showed that it was from Alaska. How it got from Alaska to Michigan is anyone’s guess. On March 14, 2010, this wolverine was found dead in Sanilac County, Michigan, south of where it was originally sighted in Ubly.

There have been other sightings in Lower Michigan. In November 1958, a wolverine was seen near Cadillac, Michigan by a boy who was deer hunting.

A wolverine was sighted around 1998-2000 in Tawas, Michigan.

In August 2009, a wolverine was spotted by motorists twice in short period of time just outside of Alpena, Michigan which is on the shore of Lake Huron in the far north of the Thumb near the Upper Peninsula.

In November 2009, four people spotted a wolverine outside of West Brach, Michigan in the north of the Thumb south of Huron National Forest.

These wolverines could have come down from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because there are wolverine sightings there. Or possibly they could have come from Southern Ontario near Port Huron, though that area is densely populated. There is known to be a population in Ontario, albeit in the northern part.

The sightings on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have been in Delta County, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula. I assume that the Upper Peninsula population came from Ontario, possibly across the St. Mary’s River, if it freezes over in wintertime.

There was also an unverified wolverine sighting in the UP on November 21, 2001 at 3 PM, crossing Highway M-64 1 mile south of

A forest road in Delta County, Michigan. This road is in Escanaba State Forest. A wolverine was sighted here in an unverified sighting sometime between 1999-2004. During this period, there was about one wolverine sighting a year in Michigan, all from the Upper Peninsula.
The forests here have been changed massively from 100 years ago, when most of the White Pine was logged off. I assume what we have here is Eastern second-growth forest coming back in after the old growth was logged off. This second-growth explosion is fueling an increase in wildlife numbers, especially deer, all over the East Coast.
Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This area is located at the far east end of the UP near Ontario. The town of Paradise is nearby, as is Whitefish Bay. If the St. Mary’s River is frozen over, wolverines may well come down from Ontario to the UP. The part of Ontario near Sault Saint Marie is pretty sparsely populated. An unverified sighting of a wolverine was reported here in 2002.

Wolverines in Minnesota

In the late 2000’s, there was rash of wolverine sightings around Babbitt, Minnesota, which is near Ely in the far northeastern part of the state near Canada. A tiny lynx population has recently also been confirmed there. The sightings around Babbitt appear to be genuine. one documented sighting in Northeastern Minnesota in 1965, but details are lacking. In 1974 there was a report of a wolverine in a hay field in North-Central Minnesota, near the North Woods. There was also a sighting on Koochiching County on the Minnesota border with Canada in 1982. That sighting was deemed credible.

In early 2008, there have been reports of dog and horse kills in and around Rollag, Minnesota lately. Certain things about the killings indicate that a wolverine may be doing this. Rollag is far to the north, getting up near the North Woods. It is east of and not far from Fargo, North Dakota.

There is also a report of a wolverine captured on a security camera in 2005-2006 at a Ford dealership in the town of Zumbrota in Southeast Minnesota. This land is very much prairie.

In 1991, a baby wolverine was seen dying by the side of the road on Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota. The motorists did not know how rare it was or else they would have kept the carcass. In 1999, a wolverine was spotted by a canoeist in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota on the border of Ontario, Canada.

In November 2004, a wolverine was seen eating a gut pile from a dead deer near Askov, Minnesota.

In 2005, a wolverine was spotted in the Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

In Summer 2006, a fisherman fishing in the Narrows between Big and Little Cut Foot Sioux Lakes in Northern Minnesota saw a wolverine. He was able to watch it for 15 minutes until it caught his scent and left.

In Summer 2008, a wolverine was spotted in the forest of Eagles Nest, Minnesota, south of Ely and north of Tower. In Fall 2008, a hunter spotted a wolverine in the Black Brook Swamp east of Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

In 2010, a deer hunter saw a wolverine in Douglas County, Minnesota. Another wolverine was photographed near there five years later. In July 2010, a wolverine was seen by a motorist at night on US 53 ten miles south of International Falls, Minnesota. In Summer 2010, a wolverine was seen outside of Chisholm, Minnesota near Superior State Park.

In July 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 232 near Lake Nichols close to Cotton, Minnesota.

On January 12, 2012, a wolverine was spotted somewhere in Southern Minnesota. Someone went out to their car late at night, and a wolverine was by the garage. Tracks were found the very next day.

On July 12, 2012, two hunters saw a wolverine while driving on the Dick’s Parkway road 13 miles south of Warroad, Minnesota. The GPS location was given as 48 42.131, -95 20.566.

On October 20, 2012 at midnight, a wolverine was seen on someone’s driveway in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

At 6 PM on On October 13, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Superior National Forest crossing Pike Lake Road on the east side of Pike Lake between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minnesota. This is seven miles from Lake Superior.

On June 6, 2014, a wolverine was spotted in Jordan, Minnesota in a corn and alfalfa field. It was running away from a neighbor’s elk ranch. Two men observed it for a full two minutes. The areas consists of open farm country with some random tree lines.

On June 13, 2014 at 2:30 in the afternoon, a wolverine was seen crossing Road 327 in Watowan County, Minnesota. It was seen two miles east and six miles north of Saint James, Minnesota on the Watowan River.

On April 30, 2015, two wolverines were seen running, one behind the other, just east of Rush City, Minnesota in the Saint Croix River Valley.

In May 2015, a wolverine was photographed by a trail cam in Douglas County, Minnesota. I have seen the photo and felt that it was interesting but inconclusive. I showed the photo to a wolverine expert, and he also said it could be a wolverine, but it was unclear enough so it was inconclusive.


Old State Route 52 north of Zumbrota, Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that wolverines inhabit such terrain. Wolverines are recolonizing their old habitat on the US prairie. Why?

Many have questioned whether wolverines were actually common in prairies or if prairies merely served as population sinks. It is looking more and more like prairies are a natural home for wolverines, strange as it may seem. If these reports are accurate, it means that wolverines are re-colonizing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly also Iowa, which is fantastic news!

Prairie Island (Sioux) Indian Reservation near Zumbrota, Minnesota. Is it possible that wolverines in the past preyed on the vast buffalo herds of prairie, perhaps especially on dead buffaloes?

Wolverines in Wisconsin

The occurrence of the wolverine in Wisconsin is rare but documented.

On an unknown date, a wolverine was spotted on Peshtigo Brook Fire Road where it joins Kitzinger Road near Gillett, Wisconsin.

In May 1978, a wolverine was spotted by a boy and his father while walking along the Oconto River in Oconto County eight miles west of Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. The boy was able to observe it for one minute.

A man grew up in Land O’ Lakes in far Northern Wisconsin on the border with Michigan in an area known as the North Woods. This is an area of very thick, wild forest and swamps. There are many wolves, bears, and possibly wolverines in this part of Wisconsin.

In 1982, the man saw three wolves in his front yard. In 1990, he and his friends treed 22 different bears in a single day while training bear dogs. They also had a frightening standoff with a wolverine on that day. From about 1983-1995, when he engaged in frequent deer hunting, the man saw one or more wolverines every year.

In September 1990, a wolverine was seen several times over two weeks. The last time the man saw one was in 2006 near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. All sightings took place between 1983-2006 in the North Woods approximately between Rhinelander and Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The bear density in this region is said to be incredible, or at least it was 10 years ago (Bangs 2009).

In the early 1990’s, a wolverine ran in front of a man’s car in Marinette County, Wisconsin.

In 1998, Jeffrey Wiitala saw a wolverine in Taylor County, Wisconsin while trout fishing on the Big Rib River at a distance of about 25 feet. It paid no attention to him and leisurely lumbered off into the brush.

A wolverine was photographed on top of a woodpile in Green Lake County, Wisconsin in recent years. The disposition of the photo is unknown.

There are also recent sightings in the Black River Falls area and to the north in Wisconsin from 2000-2007.

A 2003 sighting in Lafayette County in the far south of the state was regarded as credible by the the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

In 2004-2005, a wolverine was spotted in Niagara, Wisconsin in the fall on opening day of deer hunting season.

In Winter 2006, Mary Ann Ludwikowski of Weyerhauser, Wisconsin. In addition, Mary Ann found a dead wolverine roadkilled in her driveway. She gave it away to a man.

In October 2007, Ludwikowski and Sheri Bodecker of Weyerhauser, Wisconsin about 2 miles west of Weyerhauser. It crossed Hwy 8 and proceeded to run northeast through a large field. The wolverine that crossed the road in front of us was on a full run, but it frequently turned to look at us. We watched it run through a 40 acre field for about two minutes.

In 2010, a roadkilled wolverine was found by the side of the road in Green Lake County, Wisconsin.

In November 2010, a father and son saw a wolverine while sitting in a deer stand north of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

In March 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing Highway 53 between New Auburn and Bloomer, Wisconsin.

On July 29, 2011, a wolverine was seen crossing the highway on US 20 east of Sac City, Wisconsin.

On November 25, 2011, a deer hunter saw a wolverine run by his blind south of Gillette, Wisconsin.

In Fall 2011, a wolverine was seen twice in a one week period by two hunters in northern Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, one mile south of Brown County. Over the next year, a wolverine, suspected to be the same one as before, was seen in area.

On November 6, 2012, a wolverine was spotted by a man and his girlfriend hunting deer on their farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. They observed it for half a minute. A wolverine had been seen in the area 20 years before in the early 1990’s.

In July 2013, a wolverine killed a woman’s two cats at a home at in Wisconsin at Highway 53 and I-94 Highway 9 miles form Eau Claire and 6 miles form Osseo. A few days later, a neighbor came within three feet of a wolverine. Three weeks before, a nearby tavern owner said he had seen a wolverine on a county road. Around the time the woman’s cats vanished, neighbors in the vicinity started seeing their pets disappearing. Before the cats were killed, it had been eating the woman’s cat food for some time.

On August 28, 2013, a man saw a wolverine running away from a trash bin at a gas station in Elk Mound, Wisconsin.

On June 13, 2014, a wolverine was seen in a field only two miles north of Independence, Wisconsin.

North Dakota

There have been a few unverified sightings of wolverines in North Dakota recently.

In 1988, two wolverines were seen along the Little Missouri River in the Badlands of far Western North Dakota by a very experienced fur trapper.

In 1992, a man saw a wolverine in Central North Dakota while hunting sharp-tailed grouse. It was about 50 yards away.

In 2004, there was an unverified sighting of a wolverine near Minot. The observer watched it for a good five minutes.

On June 23, 2013, a wolverine was seen in the Turtle Mountains in far Northern North Dakota on the Manitoba border.

In February 2015, mailmen spotted a wolverine on their route near Rugby, North Dakota. That is 50 miles east of Minot and 60 miles south of the Manitoba border with Canada.

South Dakota

There have also been wolverine sightings in South Dakota in the past 60 years. There was a verifiable wolverine sighting in the south-central portion of the state in 1961 (Aubry et al 1967). From 1998-2016, an 18 year period, three wolverines were seen in Lake County, South Dakota. One was an adult and two were juveniles. The adult was severely mauled by people’s dogs.

On July 12, 2012, someone saw a wolverine near Nisland, South Dakota on the Belle Fourche River in Western South Dakota 25 miles from the Wyoming border. Their neighbor had seen a wolverine shortly before the sighting. People 10 miles northwest of Nisland said that they had seen a wolverine earlier.

Wolverines in Iowa

A female wolverine was Wolverines in Nebraska

Incredibly enough, there have been a number of wolverine sightings in Nebraska in recent years.

It makes sense because wolverines are native to Nebraska, at least in the more mountainous parts to the north. In the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife in the University of Nebraska Natural History Museum, there is a mounted specimen of a wolverine that was shot on Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska in the 1880’s. That area is in far Western Nebraska on the North Platte River only 20 miles from the Wyoming border. This part of Nebraska borders on Southeastern Wyoming, which is known to have wolverine populations.

In particular, wolverines have been repeatedly sighted in and around Antelope and Knox Counties in far Northeastern Nebraska near the Missouri River and the South Dakota border. This area is near Louis and Clark Lake and the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation.

In this area, there have been many sightings along the Verdigre and Niobrara Rivers. For instance, in Summer 1998, a number of people spotted a wolverine near Verdigre, Nebraska. One was seen chasing a deer out of a draw in the middle of a hay meadow.

In April 2012, a fire and range ecologist spotted a wolverine running away after a cedar burn operation in a steep area near Scotia on the North Loup River. This is about in the dead center of Nebraska.

On October 29, 2014, a wet wolverine that seemed to have been swimming somewhere was seen in a pasture in Central Nebraska near Doniphan between Hastings and Grand Island. This is quite close to the Platte River where it may have been swimming. The area is between Lincoln and Platte, Nebraska.

There has also been one sighting north of Gordon in Northwestern Nebraska on the headwaters of Wounded Knee Creek near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This area is east of the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, now the scene of a famous fight over selling booze to Pine Ridge Indians.

Wolverines in Missouri

Incredibly enough, there have even been wolverine sightings very close to Missouri.

On October 28, 2011, a man spotted a wolverine emerging from a cornfield and crossing State Highway E just south of Highway 13. This is hilly farm country. This area is in Eastern Nebraska not far from the Missouri River and is close to the place where the borders of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri all meet. There are a number of good sightings in both Nebraska and Iowa, so it is possible, though bizarre, that wolverines may exist in Western Missouri.

Grey Wolves in Massachusetts and Michigan!

The first grey wolf in 94 years was seen recently in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It was a lone male. The UP, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have healthy populations. The Black Bear and wolf populations in Minnesota have shown dramatic increases in recent years, and there is now a healthy population of over 25 lynx in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for the first time in 30 years.

In other great news along similar lines, an Eastern grey wolf, the first in 160 years, was detected in Massachusetts. It killed over a dozen lambs before the farmer shot it to death. The killing was probably justified, but it is unfortunate that the first wolf in the state in over 150 years got shot to death. There will probably be more wolves coming to the state after this one, though.


Aubry, K. B., McKelvey, K. S., and Copeland, J. P. 2007. “Distribution and Broadscale Habitat Relations of the Wolverine in the Contiguous United States.” Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 7: 148-158.
Bangs, Ray. 2009. Personal communication.
Haugen, A. O. 1961. “Wolverine in Iowa.” Journal of Mammalogy 42: 546-547.
Zimmermann, W. J.; Biester, H. E.; Schwarte, L. H.; and Hubbard, E. D. 1962. “Trichinella spiralis in Iowa Wildlife during the Years 1953 to 1961.” The Journal of Parasitology, 48:3:1, pp. 429-432.

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89 thoughts on “Wolverines in the Upper Midwest”

  1. I stumbled across your collection of wolverine blog posts and wanted to share my experiences…
    During the 80’s, I was a kid growing up in northern Wisconsin, near Land O’ Lakes, on the Michigan border. Lots of thick, thick woods and swamps. Lots more wolves, bears, and wolverines than people think. I still remember Christmas ’82, the year we’d gotten a little sweet black lab puppy, when we saw three huge wolves in the front lawn….
    Later in high school, maybe 1990, with bear dogs in training, we once treed 22 different bears in a single day, and that afternoon, even had a scary standoff with a wolverine. The density of bears in the northwoods was unreal…
    Of course I spent a lot more time in the woods than most people do, but over a dozen years or so when I was frequently deer hunting, I saw wolverine almost every year. There was one year, maybe 1990, that we saw one several times over a couple weeks in the fall before deer bowhunting season. The last wolverine I saw, summer of 2005 or 2006, was near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Absolutely magnificent, terrifying animals to encounter in the wild. — rb

    1. Fisher are common in that area, and are often mistaken for wolverine. It was probably fisher that you were seeing.

    2. Tracks in my father-in laws yard, Wolverine, we are avid game hunters in mid-Michigan, extended gate, moves on 4s at a time, 4-toe, almost looks like a bear but small, and the black bear doesn’t move in the track pattern left in the snow. Don Mount Pleasant, MI.

  2. A few years back a friend of mine was muzzleload hunting for whitetails in Minnesota the end of november 2004 or 2005. He witnessed a wolverine eating a gut pile from one of the deer he killed. He said it was unmistakebly a wolverine. I believe him because he’s a pretty good artist and has a good eye. We’ve also been hunting together all our lives, and he has the same appreciation for animals as I do. He could probably draw one hellava sketch of a wolverine. This would’ve been just outside of Askov, Minnesota. I live in Coloardo now and I would love to see a Wolverine especially down in the San Juans where I spend all lot of time hunting elk. Those mountains are so unexplored I would’nt doubt there being a population down their!

  3. I live in southwest Iowa, I am an avid hunter and farmer. 2 years ago I saw a wolverine while spot spraying thistles. I reported the sighting to the DNR, they expressed their doubts. Since that time I have spoken to 4 other people that have seen what they thought was a wolverine in our area. There is no hard evidence that wolverines live in our area, but the possibility that one has passed through or stayed around for a short period is very real to me.

  4. Interesting article. Two years ago (summer of 2008) in the forest in Eagles Nest Township south of Ely, MN and north of Tower, MN, I came across what I thought to be a wolverine. I was on an ATV and the animal crossed the trail about 30 or 40 yards in front of me. I contacted the local DNR office to describe it, and they basically said there were no wolverines in Minnesota, and that it was likely a fisher. After reading up on both animals and watching all of the videos I could find online of both animals, I still think it was a wolverine…I think it was too big to be a fisher.

  5. I saw a wolverine in Iowa several weeks ago. The area is Canton, Iowa – near the Maquoketa Caves. It was around 6:00 a.m. The area is heavily wooded. I saw the animal clearly in profile as it descended down a dead tree and jumped into the underbrush.

  6. I also have a sighting of a wolverine broadside to me while hunting in fall of 2008. Longtime hunter near the Black Brook swamp which is East of Camp Ripley, MN. I would say this is prime habitat for a number of species, wolves and other predators on deer that get stuck in swamp. Well known for even the elusive bobcat as well has been sighted for several years and captured on camera in our hunting area.

    1. Last July we were traveling about 10 miles south of International Falls on US 53. The rest of us were sleeping, but he swore that he saw a wolverine cross the road. He has hunted out West, and has seen them out there. Is it possible he’s not nuts, as we have all thought for years?
      Allen Ryen

  7. I saw a wolverine several years ago in an area very like the first photo on this page, in the Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Detroit Lakes in Minnesota. It was clearly, unequivocally a wolverine–an amazing sight.

  8. Saw what was clearly a wolverine near Miltona, Minnesota while deer hunting in my woods.. Watched it a good five minutes and used binoculars to see it very clearly. Earlier this summer a friend of mine who was walking in my woods came across a carcass of what he thought was some kind of large cat. His description of the fangs and snout made me think it could have been a wolverine, but I did not get a look at the carcass the animal was pretty badly decomposed. I would be very happy to have a wolverine or two in my woods and hope to see this animal again.

  9. I was driving into town with a friend north of Alpena, Michigan in August 2009, and we saw a wolverine on the road.
    We stopped and watched it for a few minutes, it showed no fear of us and we drove on after it left the road.
    We also saw this wolverine on the way back home in the same area. This time we watched it until it walked back into the woods.
    At a glance I knew it was a wolverine since it looked like a badger, but had no stripes on it’s face.
    The yellow and dark brown fur, arrogant demeanor and awkward gait all convinced me.
    I questioned a Michigan DNR officer a few months ago about this in light of their claims of no wolverines existing here anymore and he explained to me that they refer to “documented” sightings and admitted that he knows they live here and are simply not eager to be near humans.
    They have plenty of land here to patrol so they will be around for a long time, whether we see them or not.

  10. My 14 year old son and I are in a tree stand deer hunting North of WI Dells and just saw a wolverine. What a thrill!

  11. Late September of 2009 south of West Branch Michigan saw a wolverine just before dusk at less than seventy five feet away. It turned and left as quickly as I did but saw the snout and tail clearly even as I wondered if it could be possible. Was preparing to put gas in generator at the time and startled me to put it mildly. Earlier in the week four of us had spotted unidentified animal at one hundred yards. There were many small clawed areas in the ground that were unusual and never here in the past.

  12. On our way home from New Auburn WI to Bloomer WI, (Chippewa County)on HWY 53 at ~9:30 pm, An animal crossed the road.
    The markings were mostly brown/tan with black on the back & tail.
    The area was wooded & swampy
    It appeared to be a Wolverine, the hair was a bit long to be a fisher.

  13. My fiance and I recently moved to chisholm MN from Alexandria MN. The area here is mostly state parks and forest area. In summer of 2010, we where on our way out to superior state park, to do some hiking. We occasionally take a gravel road just to see where we will come out at. We stoped on the side of this narrow road, it was to wet to drive down it, as we where going back to our car, I saw a wolverine. It came up onto the narrow road, stoped to look at me, then it took off into the brush. It stood there long enough for me to figure out what it was. I have since told people about it, and everyone says we don’t have them in MN, that I must have seen a racoon or skunk. It was to big for eather one of those, and was more a solid color than something with stripes etc. So thank you for showing others it is possible.

  14. I came across your article, and thought I would share my sighting of a wolverine in August, 2008. My Wife and I stumbled upon a wolverine in the garden of the Big Bay Lighthouse, in Big Bay , Michigan. We initially thought it was a bear cub, but we quietly observed it marking some areas of the garden with its scent. At one point, it approached to within 30 feet or so. We definitely saw a striped marking on the back, and it walked with club feet. Then it just calmly walked off into bush.
    We mentioned the sighting to locals, who thought he may have been chased out of the Huron Mountains, as phosphate mining had recently begun. A Biologist I spoke with thought he may have wandered down from Ontario.

  15. Yesterday, my husband just saw one cross the road ( 232) on the way into Lake Nichols, Mn up by Cotton. About 20 years ago, we were on the same road and came across a baby wolverine that had been hit by a car. From a distance, we thought it was a cat or puppy and slowed up to see what we could do. It was dying and I remembered how amazed we were to see one as we had heard they were rare, and how sad we were for this little creature. Even a baby wolverine is cute. I suppose if we had been thinking, we would have saved the carcass to show the DNR.

  16. 2 other people and I think we have spotted one walking across county road V68, just about 1/4 to 1/2 mile north of Highway 3 in Fayette County going west towards the little Wapsipinicon River. This is North of Fairbank, Iowa about 10 miles. I watched the way it walked, and it had a bushy tail and was really dark. I looked up wolverine on youtube and it appears this is exactly what we saw.

  17. We just had a wolverine cub on our deck. I was inside the house and only 5 feet from where it was walking around our grill.

  18. Just today, driving the back roads of western Missouri, I saw a large wolverine loping out of a cornfield and across State Hwy E, just south of Hwy 13. (This was @ approximately 39°55′ N, 94°14′ W, maybe 5 miles or so SE of the Missouri River.) It’s hilly farm country, not @ all the habitat where you’d expect to find a wolverine.
    Slow as he was to cross the road, I was able to get a very good look @ him. I really didn’t know what I was looking @ when I saw him. Something alien, perhaps maybe a fisher cat or some member of that family? But he looked more like a scrawny bear than a weasel and my subsequent Internet image search removed any doubts.
    He had tan flanks, brown legs, a tan face & a brown muzzle. He appeared to be about 2 1/2 feet long. He had a loose, shaggy coat but his fur wasn’t anywhere close to the thickness I’ve seen in pictures. This made him appear less stout, much longer in the legs & torso than I would have imagined a wolverine to look.
    I was confused to see that their range barely reaches the northern edges of the US but now that I’ve read (@ this site) about wolverine sightings in Nebraska and Iowa, I’m more convinced than ever. Western Missouri is a reletively short ride on an engorged, fast-flowing river from those areas. Well, in any case, my sighting has left me feeling a lot more curious and even a little blessed. Thank you.

  19. I just saw one deer hunting south of Gillett WI! Ran by my tree about 15 yards away. Jet black with a blonde ring around the neck, was a huge one. Just missed a picture i was too slow digging the phone out.

    1. I was about 20 miles North of there, on The Peshtigo Brook fire lane about 1 mile north of where it joins Kitzinger Road. It hauled so quickly I couldn’t confirm colors but it lope was unmistakable – Front legs, then back legs. It was jet black but moved like a rifle shot. All these years I was wondering what it was.

  20. I am pretty convinced a wolverine has been by our home in Southern Minnesota a couple of days ago(1/14/2012). My son went out to his car late at night and heard a snorting type noise by the garage and then it sounded like it was running to him. He took off to the house, but it was dark, so he never saw it. The next day we found prints about as big as a fist with what appeared to be extremely long, pointy claws. The tracks led up to his car and throughout the yard. After looking up tons of animal tracks, I found the wolverine’s – they looked just like them. So I searched wolverine sounds and as soon as I played it, my son said that was it! That is what he heard.

    1. I believe I saw a wolverine near Cadillac, Michigan in November of 1958. I was only 14 years old and deer hunting alone on our own property. A medium sized animal and very dark in color trotted below the slop I was sitting on. It was very near me within 100 feet. I was quite frightened due to his fierce appearance. I have seen pictures of wolverines since and it looked very much like that. I will never know for sure but it is quite exciting to think I may have been fortunate enough to actually see one. In truth I was very frightened.

  21. In in 1998 I worked the summer at my grandparents farm near Verdigre Nebraska. A few people claimed they had seen a wolverine including my uncle that summer. My cousin and I were on a 4 wheeler out in a remote hay meadow that had a long rugged draw running through the middle. We topped a knoll and saw about 150 yards away a large deer bolting out of the draw being chased by what looked like a small bear. We stopped the 4 wheeler to watch. It was considerably smaller than the deer, fairly short to the ground and ran very similar to a bear. It was obviously trying to make a meal out of the deer. After watching it run out of sight we went back to the house and looked at some pictures of wolverines and both of us confirmed without a doubt we saw a wolverine that day.

  22. In western South Dakota, on the Belle Fourche river 25 miles from the Wyoming line, my son spotted a wolverine today. Our neighbor saw it a while ago, and thought it looked like a monkey or something. So our son viewed videos online of wolverines, and confirmed the lope of it, and size also. Other folks 10 miles north west of us also have seen a wolverine on their place. We are on the plains, grassy, hay fields, year round smaller river, and lots of deer around here.

  23. While driving South of Warroad, MN on 12-Jul 2012, on a dirt road, to look for Whip-poor-will, we came across what looked like a small Black Bear on the side of the road. We had passed it going about 30 mph. Bob said “did you see the skunk on the side of the road”. I said “I saw a black animal but did not think it was a skunk”. We turned around and approached the animal. Looking at it with binoculars, we could tell it had no stripe on the back and was too large to be a skunk. The outstanding feature was the white hair on the rump of the animal as it wandered away from us down the road. Bob said “I think it is a Wolverine!” I’d never seen one before, but after looking at images of a wolverine on the web, I’m sure it was a wolverine. We made a GPS mark at the location (48 42.131, -95 20.566). This is on “Dick’s Parkway” 13 mi South of Warroad, MN.
    Additional information about the animal. It had shinny eyes when it turned to look at us. Very large feet. Muzzle that was sort of a straight line from the top of the head to its mouth. It sort of wobbled left and right as it walked down the road away from us. We saw it for maybe 2-5 minutes before it went off the road to the West. We were so fascinated that I forgot to photograph the animal.

  24. I know that a Wolverine was seen and photographed in Fonanelle in Adair county in s.w. Iowa just last week

  25. I usually see 4-5 wolverines a year. Most people think they are fishers but they are definately wolverines. just saw one yesterday eating some cheetos the kids left on the lawn. unreal sight.Hopefully he comes back for some more snacks.

  26. My family and I own land in northern Manitowoc County 1 mile south of Brown County. While bow hunting opening day last year my brother Tom and his friend Dennis saw a wolverine in the woods also the next weekend too. Since then its only been spotted once but I can tell you Dennis doesn’t hunt in the woods anymore he’s afraid of that wolverine.


  28. some of these sightings r real,but some seem like there describing fisher and badgers,people should read or carry a mamal field guide.

  29. Was up in the Turtle Mountains of ND this weekend. Saw what appeared to be a larger mammal and after reviewing pictures we are pretty sure if was a Wolverine.

  30. Back in May of 1978, walking along the Oconto river, about 8 miles west of Crooked Lake Wisconsin (Oconto county), I was able to observe a wolverine for a minute or so at pretty close range, about 25 to 40 yards. I was 12 years old and had no idea what I was looking at. I knew it wasnt a fisher or a bear. My dad came around the hill, and it ran off. Niether of us could figure out what we just saw. After discribing the color pattern, the size, and the unusual way it ran, my grandfather said wolverine. I looked it up in the encyclopedia, and the picture was a perfect match. Even though the range of the wolverine was not suppose to be in Wisconsin, there is no mistaking a wolverine at close range.

  31. I live 9 miles from Eau Claire, WI & 7 miles from Osseo, WI. My home is located 80′ from Hwy 53 & 1/4 mile from I-94. My family owned 2 cats. Recently I noticed I was going through a lot of cat food & my cats were quite thin so instead of feeding them in my garage, I GED them near my front door and ON my balcony (20″ high w no steps). We went on vacation and pur neighbor fed our cats. Upon return, we didn’t see them for day but kept feeding them. One night I was chatting on the phone in the dark and stepped onto my balcony for a cigarette. My balcony shifted which scared me because my cat does not weigh enough foe that result. I stepped back in, shut the door and turned on the light. There in the corner of my balcony under a plant was what I thought to be s hovering racoon. Well, my cats never returned but the food was being eaten. Then my neighbors mentioned their animals were disappearing. My heart hit my throat because I realized something hurt or killed my beloved cats as it had been a week.or so since I’d seen them. My neighbor mentioned seeing a being and requested I Google “Fisher Cat” & “Wolverine”. To my dismay, that is exactly what I saw on my balcony that night. A nearby tavern owner said he saw a wolverine on a county road just up from our property 3 weeks ago. I’m convinced that’s what it is killing our pets. Until we trap it, we aren’t taking any chances to let our small children play outside. My husband said he saw what he thought to be a Fisher leave his tree stand on our property last fall during deer season. Our neighbor said he was feet away from what appeared to be a wolverine just days ago. Well, my cats are dead and I don’t fond that “fascinating” in the slightest. I do now know why they were taking the trouble to climb up my green house walks onto my garage and jumping to my balcony daily and nightly almost not leaving…for protection and to get on higher ground. It’s one thing to be in the wild but to be brave enough to stream cat food from my front step and stand merely inches away from me on my balcony….not safe or “fascinating”. Pure disheartening and scary.

  32. Typo. My balcony is 20′ from the ground w no steps and my cats had migrated to my balcony by climbing the green house to garage and jumping the gap to my balcony sleeping, eating and littering there for safety. Just wanted to make that clear that the wolverine or fisher was not going there for safety but was stealing food and possibly hunting my cats.

  33. I was stopped at a stop sign near the small town ( population perhaps 300) when across the road old hwy 12 , I spotted alarge animal about the size of a medium dog leaving the garbage bin of the only gas station,variaty store in town. It had a strange lope at first as it crossed a long field.Then it broke into a flat out run as it crossed the rest of the field into tall brush and trees. It was black with white on its face and lower body. Itwas not fat but not skinny either and had a bushy tail. When I returned home I immeditly went to the large pictorial book of North American animals and studied all the animals that was close to the one that I had seen. The only on that matched the animal that I seen was the Wolverine.Every one I told this to reacted like i was talking sasquatch, so I havnt talked about it until now.The small town was Elk Mound Wis

  34. I had the good fortune of seeing a wolverine cross Pike Lake Road on the east side of Pike Lake, about 8 miles inland from Lake Superior, between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minnesota. While there are some private homes in the area, most of the region is encompassed by the Superior National Forest. The time was near 6pm on Oct 18 on a gray, overcast day. As with most witness accounts, the length of viewing was a fleeting few seconds. It moved fast! It appeared about 3 feet from nose to tail-end, dark brown in coloration, Most distinctive for me was the large bushy tail, oval-shaped as viewed from the side. Nothing else I can think of comes close to resembling the creature I saw. Plenty of game in the area as well as rivals, bear and wolves that I’ve previously spotted.

  35. During the summer of 2006 I was fishing in the Narrows between Big and little Cut Foot Sioux lake in northern MN. I saw a Wolverine come down a steep hillside toward the water and watched it for about 15 minutes until the wind changed and it caught my scent. I have seen many pictures and documentaries about them and this one was as beautiful as I imagined.
    Lucky me.

  36. We saw something in our pasture west of our home. Had been in water, so it looked alittle different. But was nothing we had seen before.. but wolverine was what it looked like. Scared me to death. Didnt know there were any around. We are in central ne, between hastings and grand island.

  37. Just today a friend and I watched a wolverine cross a field adjacent to my home, between freshly planted corn and alfalfa (still only 3-4″ tall.) From a distance of about 100 yard we first saw it “prancing” away from the neighbor’s elk farm, headed our way. When it saw me approaching it stopped and held its position for about 2 minutes. That was long enough for me to get within 50-60 yards, and grab a rifle from the house so I could see it through the scope. Initially I thought it was a coyote, but my friend knew almost instantly what it was and warned me to get our dogs in the house. We have 2 Irish Terriers – about 40-45 lbs with long legs.
    The wolverine was taller and longer than them, clearly NOT a Fisher. It was a solid dark brown in color. It spotted me and ran across the field, in my direction. The run was similar to an otter, undulating front to rear. When it reached our property corner, i couldn’t see it though the scope any loner and dropped the rifle, not to see it again as the view was obstructed by tall grass and a wooden fence. I called the DNR who claimed none had been spotted in MN since 1922. Clearly he doesn’t get out much. The DNR told me the same thing 4 years ago when cougar tried to eat my guinea fowl.
    I live near Jordan, MN, in open farm country spotted with random tree lines, but mostly open fields.

  38. I believe I saw a wolverine today two miles north of Independence Wisconsin. It was in the middle of a field, and as I pulled over to watch it, it stopped and looked at us. It had the odd humpback look and ran off after it looked at us. I am very familiar with wildlife and have seen bears in the wild in Wisconsin, and coyotes, and foxes on a regular basis. This animal was as large as a coyote, very dark brown-black, with longer rough looking fur.

  39. I’m no expert but I believe I saw a wolverine crossing the road (county rd 3/27) in Watonwan county MN on June 13th about 2:30pm. It was 2 miles east and 6 miles north of St James, MN near the Watonwan river. I’ve seen Wolverines at the Minnesota zoo before. But it looked like the wolverines I have seen playing a hunting game called Deer Hunter 2014. Dark in color low to the ground. I had never seen one in the wild before so I looked it up online. Not knowing it was a rare sighting. I’d be interested if anyone else has seen one in the area?

  40. While paddling in the BWCA on the gunflint trail side near the Ontario border, I saw a wolverine in 1999. It had the distinctive stripe and was much larger than a fisher. I saw it running on an island as I paddled parallel to shore on a clear and sunny day . There was no mistaking what it was. As an avid hunter and fisherman who reads biology books for fun, and who is very familiar with all members of the weasel family, I really wish I had a camera on me to take the photo of a wolverine in Mn. Trust me, it was there.

  41. Wolverines were native to Nebraska, at least in semi-mountainous parts of the Panhandle, and along the Niobrara River, which crosses the entire northern part of the state from west to east. In the Hall of Nebraka Wildlife in the University of Nebraska Natural History Museum there is a mounted specimen identified as having been shot on Scott’s Bluff in the 1880s.
    About 3 years ago this spring, a large group of us were Rx burning 1,400 acres of steep, cedar-infested rangeland near Scotia on the North Loup River. Seen at a distance of about a quarter mile exiting the burn unit were two creatures I couldn’t place as any known species. My private thought then was they looked more like wolverines than anything else.
    Dr. John Ortmann, Range and fire ecologist, Ord, NE

        1. You mentioned the Knox County/Verdigre Creek area in NE Nebraska. Some years ago I heard a second-hand story from a Game and Parks biologist about one of his co-workers having followed a wolverine down a back road in that area. I would consider him a credible witness.

  42. I just saw two wolverines tonight Just east of Rush City Mn in st Croix river valley. There was two of them running right behind the other. Looked like the fishers I have on my property, but twice the size, much bigger than the badger Ive seen.

  43. I have a game photo of what appears to be a wolverine in Douglas County, Minnesota taken this spring. The head, tail,body shape, and side stripe match. A guy I know that lives about five miles from where I got the photo told me about ten years ago that one had chased him to his back door. It seems there may be a breeding population in the area.

    1. Is that photo in a digital format or can you scan it into a computer? If so, you can send me a copy of the photo so I can run it on my site? This might have legs.

      1. It is digital. I had three photos. One of the tail, nose, and front 1/3 of the body. I deleted the nose and tail photos before I realized what it might be. The tail was the bushy tail of a wolverine carried low. The creature reached up and turned the trail camera down at the ground after the body shot. I guess it was shy. This photo was taken in the same general area that Tom Akenson that posted above saw one while deer hunting in 2010. Probably within five miles of his sighting. What address do I send it to?

  44. I actually saw the one in Ubly MI before it was spotted there. It was walking through a parking lot in Farmington Hills MI when leaving work. I had no clue what it was until I saw the pictures. There are wooded areas nearby which he was probably traveling through. I have also seen plenty of deer an a cougar once. It’s a densely populated area so it was surprising to me but there is plenty of food there. At the time the only phone I had was a cheap little flip phone with no camera so no real proof but it gives an idea of the track it may have followed.

  45. I have lived in Lake County in South Dakota for 18 years. I have seen 3 Wolverine. 2 were juveniles, one adult.
    One was cornered in my tree strip and severely injured my lab and pittbull.

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