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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MICHIGAN, N.D. — For whatever reasons bears decide to wander where they don't normally wander, a bear decided to wander into Michigan, N.D., and has caused quite the buzz since Wednesday night, June 6, when photos started showing up on social media. Seth Smaage of Michigan took the first photos of the bear about 5 p.m. Wednesday, when it was standing just west of the Leading Edge Equipment John Deere dealership north of U.S. Highway 2 in Michigan, and the photos then were posted on the Community of Michigan, ND Facebook page.
Early next month, we'll load up, six of us, in two pickups for a very long drive into the wilds of northern Saskatchewan. We'll cross into Canada northwest of Minot and wind our way north through small prairie towns that will pass in the blink of an eye. We'll drive through larger communities such as Estevan and small cities such as Regina and Prince Albert, where we'll cross the Saskatchewan River and leave the prairies in the rear view mirror.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — Ask Tom Watson to describe a good hiking trail, and he'll say it depends on the person using the trail. There's no right or wrong answer. "The old saying is, 'Another person's ceiling is another person's floor,'" said Watson, of Appleton, Minn., a longtime freelance outdoors writer and author of several books on trails, camping and paddling. "There's a trail out there for pretty much everybody and for young and old alike."
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—Rob Horken might best be remembered as "Ernie the Angler," his longtime alter ego who did weekly summer fishing reports on WDAZ-TV Channel 8 in Grand Forks, but in retirement, Horken keeps his feet in the fishing waters by building custom fishing rods. Any size, any color, Horken probably can build it. The retirement gig is keeping the owner of Rob's Rod Repair and Custom Built Fishing Rods busy in his East Grand Forks shop. As busy as he wants to be, at least, and that's just the way Horken likes it.
BAUDETTE, Minn. — This is a rant — about those new-style gas containers equipped with safety features that make it impossible for most of us to dispense the gasoline they're designed to hold. How do I hate them? Let me count the ways. Someday, I'd like to find the people who developed these safety features and turn them loose on a remote northern Minnesota highway. Then, I'd like to see them try to pour fuel from one of their devil cans into a car that has run out of gas.
ON LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn. — Anyone who says walleye fishing — or any kind of fishing, for that matter — is an equal opportunity pastime wasn't in Jason's Laumb's boat on the opening weekend of Minnesota's 2018 walleye season. Despite weather that was about as close to perfect as you could ask for on a Minnesota Fishing Opener, the Black Cloud loomed large, at times, for a couple of fishermen in our crew. I was one of them.
LANCASTER, Minn.—A wildfire that broke out early Tuesday afternoon in Clow Township about 10 miles northwest of Lancaster and later jumped the border into Manitoba was about 70 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, officials said. According to Christi Powers, an information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, air crews Wednesday morning, May 16, estimated the size of the fire at 1,300 acres in an area that's about half forest and half grasslands. A cabin was confirmed destroyed by the fire, Powers said.
If there was such a thing as a perfect weather forecast going into the Minnesota Fishing Opener, it would look a lot like the predictions on tap for Saturday and Sunday across northern Minnesota from the National Weather Service. Fishing season for walleyes and northern pike officially gets underway at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, and some 500,000 anglers are expected to hit their favorite lake or stream in pursuit of Minnesota's state fish, the walleye. Walleyes and pike have been off-limits on Minnesota inland waters since late February.
ROSS, Minn.—Two months after winning the lottery, Debbie Kujava and her brother, Dennis Kujava, are adjusting to their new lives as millionaires. The winning Lotto America ticket Debbie bought as part of a Jackpot Bundle on Tuesday, March 13, at Holiday Stationstores in Roseau, Minn., was worth $22.8 million, and the $13.5 million cash option she chose was whittled down to $9.4 million after the required tax withholding. The odds of winning were about 1 in 24 million, Debbie Kujava says. She kept it quiet until March 19, when Lotto America made it official.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — If just the thought of forest tent caterpillars is enough to make your skin crawl, there's favorable news in the woods this spring as trees begin leafing out across the region. This year's tent caterpillar season looks pretty meek across Minnesota, forest experts say. "It's hard to know exactly, as it is every year, but we're not poised for a major outbreak or anything like that," said Mike Parisio, forest health specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji. "I'd say we're in for a pretty typical year."