Baddest animal in the whole damn woods, badder then old King Kong, meaner than a junk yard dog. That's the Badger. While fishing the Maple River, I had a face to face meeting with a knuckle-head Badger. It had all the makings of a Keystone Cop flick. I chased him...He chased me. With his nose curled up and barring his teeth, I rethought my position and fled.
The badger is a member of the weasel family. This puts it among the most aggressive hunters and fighters in the forest. They seam to fear nothing and size doesn't matter. They will fight anything from a bear to a wolf over food. They are known to take over a large kill like an elk, they dig a den right under the carcass and defend it against all comers. The badgers short legs keeps him from getting into deep trouble as wolves and coyotes will out maneuver the badger while feeding on a kill. His low to the ground defense gives him an advantage and his thick hide and fur act as armor.
The badger is 15-20 pounds. His northern range is the great plains to above the Canadian border slightly over lapping the Wolverines southern territory. The Wolverine and Badger are related, both are vicious, the Wolverine, larger with longer legs will range over a 100 square miles, while the short legged Badger stays within a 100 acre area. The badger is nocturnal making him hard to locate. However traveling through rural farm lands his work can be seen on the side of the road as he digs in the sand for ground squirrels and woodchucks or ground hogs. The badger has gained much respect, Wisconsin is known as the Badger State, at the University Of Wisconsin he is their mascot. In Washington DC, a badger named Josiah once live in the White House, guest of our most well known Naturalist President, Teddy Roosevelt. The President enjoyed watching the Badger bite the heals of his distinguished visiting dignitaries.
One personal note, I exchanged badger stories with a MiDNR officer, his take was...if he is called to a location in which an animal is a nuisance and realizes it is a badger he gets right back in his truck and tells the people "get a professional pest controller", I agree!
Sweet Is The Lore That Nature Brings