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. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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Barring a drastic change in weather patterns, dry conditions will play into hunting strategies this fall for duck and goose hunters, especially those who prefer hunting over water. The regular duck and goose seasons open Saturday, Sept. 23 in North Dakota and Minnesota. The first week of North Dakota's season is open to residents only; nonresidents can hunt beginning Sept. 30.
Several miles of an extensive, multi-use trail system being developed in Beltrami Island State Forest will be available to grouse hunters and others this fall, but additional trail work is on hold until the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources completes a required Environmental Assessment Worksheet. The EAW is required for any new trail longer than 10 miles on DNR lands, said Charlie Tucker, assistant manager of Red Lake Wildlife Management Area at Norris Camp south of Roosevelt, Minn.
Hunter Dosch knows he's fortunate to only have 10 stitches in his right index finger and some cuts on his arms and a gash on one knee. It could have been worse. ... "I had a muzzleloader blow up in my hands," Dosch said, offering a short and sweet explanation of what happened. "Too much gunpowder. I'm about 100 percent sure of that."
By the numbers, at least, ruffed grouse hunters in Minnesota should be in for one of their best seasons in years. Spring drumming counts in the heart of Minnesota's grouse range in the north were up 57 percent from last year and appear to be moving toward the peak in their 10-year cycle of boom-and-bust.
The past two weeks have been a blur as a combination of work and vacation took me everywhere from the Northwest Angle to the Twin Cities. On the work front, I was up at the Northwest Angle on Monday, Aug. 21, to report on an event celebrating the launch of a new border crossing system in this remote part of Minnesota that marks the northernmost point of the continental U.S.
WALKER, Minn.—The northwest wind was howling; screaming, in fact. On that point there could be no dispute. When you fish big water such as Leech Lake, though, you make the best of what Mother Nature throws you, and that was Toby Kvalevog's mindset on this August afternoon muskie excursion.
It was a beautiful late-summer evening, and we were grilling up some venison brats and sitting down to enjoy a cookout on the deck washed down with a couple of cold Samuel Adams Octoberfests. The arrival of Sam's Octoberfest is an anticipated event on the calendar because it's yet another sign that fall—the most anticipated time of year for many outdoors-lovers—is just around the corner.
NORTHWEST ANGLE, Minn. — The solar eclipse was the big attraction Monday, Aug. 21 across most of the country, but here at the northernmost point of the Lower 48, where the eclipse was obscured by clouds, people gathered for a different reason. With the waters and islands of Lake of the Woods as a backdrop, about 60 people attended a ceremony Monday afternoon outside Young's Bay Resort to mark the launch of a new border-crossing pilot project that aims to streamline the process for checking back into the U.S. from Canada in this remote part of Minnesota.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn.—Bob Brott and his cousin, Gary Soucie, had just wrapped up a great day of walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods near Garden Island on Monday afternoon, July 31, when their day took a big turn for the worse. Fortunately, they lived to tell about it. As Brott recalls, they'd caught a limit of 17- to 19-inch walleyes, and he was steering his 1974 Glasspar powered by an 88-horse Evinrude outboard into a stiff southwest wind for the 15-mile trip back across Big Traverse Bay to Long Point, where they'd launched.
Deer hunters across most of northwest Minnesota will have more opportunities this fall, the Department of Natural Resources said this week in announcing its deer season regulations. In the far northwest corner of the state, the DNR has designated most deer permit areas as "managed," allowing hunters to use any combination of licenses to shoot as many as two deer, only one of which can be a buck. The only deer permit areas in the far northwest not designated as managed are 260, 203 and 208, where hunter choice regulations and a one-deer limit of either sex is in effect.