With some frequency there have been sightings of cougars in the upper Midwest, but the last mountain lion taken in Minnesota, according to the DNR, was in Becker County in 1897, although it acknowledges reports of sightings north of Duluth.
The above picture was taken last year in Franklin (near Milwaukee), but it turned out to be a Photoshopped joke that a company sent out to customers.
The story behind this next picture, however, reveals the extent that game officials will go to in investigating something like this:
Said the Wisconsin DNR:
These are probably unretouched photos, but evidence suggests they may be contrived, and most certainly weren’t taken in Wisconsin. The deer in the top picture is a mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) which is only found in the western United States. The shrubs are clearly western vegetation and the trees are most likely lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) another western species. In addition, several other things about the photos make them suspicious. The chances of getting both a deer and cougar in the same trail camera frame at the same time is extremely remote. Also the deer seems totally unaware of the cougar immediate behind it. This suggests a staged photo.