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Photographer’s paradise right here in the Northland

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Photo credit: Moose Peterson

COTTON, MN -- Photographers from all around the nation are flocking to a small Minnesota town.

Sax-Zim Bog is a 300 square mile "magic mix" of bogs, meadows, and forest just outside of Cotton.

It's the perfect habitat for hundreds of animals, especially owls.

Moose Peterson traveled here all the way from California just to catch these owls on camera.

"I got lots of shots of owls. I got 22 or 23 species so far on camera," said Peterson.

He says it's been on his bucket list for decades.

"I've heard about Sax-Zim for 30 years, so I've finally got to go here for the first time this year," Peterson added.

He says the Sax-Zim Bog is one America's secret treasures in the world of wildlife photography.

"I heard about Sax-Zim from a biologist long ago, and it's actually kind of a national secret, locals know about it, but not enough come, because it's a marvelous place," he said.

Traci Chastanet, who lives near the Twin Cities, makes sure to drive up to the bog hoping to photograph the owls a few times each winter.

"It's great getting together with friends searching for owls. It's a lot of fun," said Chastanet.

She says wildlife photography is relaxing for her, but the search for the perfect shot is addicting.

"It's a really peaceful and exciting thing to see those animals and be able to watch them in their own habitat."

Peterson says the beauty of both the environment and the animals made for the perfect vacation.

"It's a great place to come and shoot landscapes and critters. The owls have been absolutely spectacular this trip. We've had barred owls, northern hawk owls, snowy. It's been a marvelous week."

Meteorologist Alex Libby

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