Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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Fishing guide, outdoors communicator, product promoter and developer, and stage and TV host for the Cabela's National Walleye Tour are just a few of the titles on Chip Leer's resume. He soon will add member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame to the list. Leer, 56, of Walker, Minn., learned in mid-September that he is among the 2019 inductees into the Hayward, Wis.-based Hall of Fame. A fixture in fishing circles across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, the Minneapolis native recently talked about his career and upcoming Hall of Fame induction.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—It took some last-minute wrangling, but the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association's popular Hides for Habitat program will go on this fall as scheduled, officials say. That appeared unlikely earlier this week after a recent decision by China, which has tanned the hides in the past, to no longer allow hides to be tanned in the country.
FORT FRANCES, Ont.—Spend enough time outdoors, and you're going to get bit by bad weather eventually; it's pretty much unavoidable. Such was the case this past week, when I joined two others on a three-day fishing trip to northwestern Ontario. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give the weather a 3 and only because I'm feeling generous. The conditions we endured came as no surprise. The weather forecast in the days leading up to our trip called for clouds, wind, rain and perhaps even snow. The only thing missing was sun.
THOMPSON, N.D.—When Mike Olson placed fourth in the recent Cabela's National Walleye Tour championship on Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota, it erased any doubts the fishing fanatic might have had about competing against the top walleye pros in the country.
GRAND FORKS — There was a welcome development on the conservation front Thursday, Sept. 13, with news that the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed a measure to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually. This is a big deal for anyone who cares about public lands and outdoor recreation because the LWCF is set to sunset Sept. 30 unless Congress acts to reauthorize the fund. There's still work to be done, but the House committee's action looks to be a significant step to ensuring the conservation funding continues.
With the regular waterfowl season on the horizon in North Dakota and Minnesota, hunters could be excused for worrying about the impact of this year's dry conditions on their hunting prospects. By most accounts, such worries would be unfounded—at least in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Waterfowl season opens Saturday, Sept. 22, in Minnesota and in North Dakota.
ON LAKE OF THE WOODS, Ont. — It's just a bucket of rust now, a monument to an era when people tried to forge a living from this rugged part of Lake of the Woods, but the 1936 Dodge with suicide doors must have been quite the car back in the day. As he's done many times over the years, Joe Laurin stops at the small island in the Tug Channel on this perfect late-summer Saturday to show off the car for a visitor who's come to do some exploring.
ROSEAU, Minn.—Bears are nosy critters by nature, and a 150-pound black bear last week found out the hard way what happens when it sticks its nose into a 10-gallon metal cream can. Fortunately, thanks to the MInnesota Department of Natural Resources and Roseau Fire Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, this story has a happy ending.
The Poweshiek skipperling is a bland-colored butterfly that likely didn't create much of a stir when it was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species in 2014. But in the big picture, the listing of any native species — whether a high-profile animal or an obscure pollinator such as the Poweshiek skipperling — is cause for concern, officials say.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — After last year, Ted Dick could be excused for being gun shy about making predictions on ruffed grouse hunting this fall in Minnesota. The season for ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge opens Saturday, Sept. 15. Forest game bird coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids, Minn., Dick last year offered a rosy outlook on hunting prospects after spring drumming counts soared to a statewide average of 2.1 drums per stop, a 57 percent increase from the spring of 2016.