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I caught a river otter on a trail cam recently at on of my hunting spots, just outside of the Twin Cities metro area, in Chaska. However, the hunting spot is miles away from any river but has a creek running through it that drains into a very large swamp, which I am guessing where it hangs out. Have lived and hunted here for over 30 years but have never seen one around here in the wild. The dimensions are hard to tell from the IR night shot and the fact that the camera is up a good distance in a tree and angled down slightly, but I estimate it is over 3 feet long based on the spot it is on. Has anyone else gotten pics of otters?
Otters travel a lot of dry ground more then one would think i did some work with otters and they do a lot of travel.
FWIW Ive heard a biologist say it takes 7 miles of river to provide for one pair of otters in Mississippi
I've seen more dead otters on the roads around here in the last 2 months than I've seen total in the rest of my life. They must be really getting numerous in this area.
Yep, I've seen them dozens of times while hunting along rivers in MN and ND. Cool critters! Amazing how graceful and fluid they seem in the water and how clumsy and awkward they are on land.
I found a young otter hit on the road last year around August/Sept. Cute little guy. He was up on a ridge but there was a large swamp 1/2 mile away. I later heard folks had trail cam pictures of them there.
I've gotten pics of mink several times, but never an otter. I've only seen them here where I live a few times. Supposedly, they are hard on the flatheads under the ice in the river in the wintertime. We had a pair that followed us for over a mile while we drifted downriver on our moose hunt in AK last fall. They can be very vocal, with whistles and chirps. Very cool animal.
I've seen a pair dead on Highway 7 by St. Boni a few years ago. Also, last year on my property close to Winsted I saw an otter swimming in the lake. Later after the 1st snowfall I had otter tracks on my dock. There certainly are more around.
Seen my first one as a road kill two years back, saw their tracks and slide marks going thru the snow several years back on a F&W area ..... We now have a trapping season for 'em, with strict quotas and regs on 'em .... Bobcats are next ...
I've had a similar thing happen to me in northern Michigan while hunting. It took me a minute to register what was running by because like you had said there were no major bodies of water for miles just a few irrigation ditches. After the fact I started asking around and it was explained that they can cover large areas of dry ground when they are searching for a new territory. Either way it is rare to see it and pretty cool that you had gotten a picture
Got bit by an otter once. Of course it was a sea otter the Adak residents had nicknamed Oscar the Grouch. He was on my dock and I tried to slip by to get on my boat when he lunged and bit my boot. Fortunately they were Sorrels and while he dented the leather, I wasn't hurt.
I believe FnW finally had to put him down. All otters are a kick to watch.
I see them daily , very common around me , they will fallow any water source even a ditch along the road . swamps and bogs near other water sources are big hangouts for them . I will set a cam up where I see them tomorrow if time permits.
River otters were introduced to Oklahoma to help control the beaver population and they're so abundant now that we've seen three different road kill otters near our ranch this past month alone. They just don't seem like an animal that you'd find in a semi-arid region.
My husband was deer hunting a couple years ago on a place we were leasing, sitting up on a hilltop nowhere near water. I'm talking high and dry, prickly pear cactus, cattle pasture...when he sees this weasel-looking animal humping along across the pasture. As it got closer he could see that it was an otter, just passing through. They just look out of place amongst armadilloes!
Otters are tough on farm ponds. People tell me they like to kill fish, not always for food, just for the sport of it. I've heard of small ponds being nearly wiped out by otters. Needless to say, I don't want one on my farm.
Through the years they became extinct in Ohio, but a while back the state reintroduced them and since they have returned to the point where there is now a trapping season for them...
"In 1986, the Ohio Division of Wildlife began a seven-year project to reintroduce the species to the state. Over this period, 123 otters were captured in Arkansas and Louisiana using modern foothold traps and were released in the Grand River, Killbuck Creek, Little Muskingum River, and Stillwater Creek. Since then, river otters have been sighted in nearly two-thirds of Ohio's counties and young otters or family groups have been seen throughout eastern Ohio."
On my farm we have a decent sized pond (southeast VA). The otters will spend most of the year in the river about a mile away. But when the river floods after heavy rains the otters will come to my pond because the water is clearer. There is no question that an otter can eat a lot of fish in a clear pond in a short period of time. Fortunately, I am allowed to trap them when in season.
Thought of this thread today as I headed out of CT, north to Worcester, MA. Almost in Worcester on I-395 (maybe 290), a real big otter lay dead on side of road. Haven't seen a road kill in many years, what a coincidence. On the same stretch of highway, at least half a dozen muskrats were DOA too.