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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MANDAN, N.D. — Charges have been filed in connection with two deer poaching incidents that occurred in November and December in or near the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in Morton County, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said. According to Bob Timian, enforcement chief for Game and Fish in Bismarck, the Morton County state's attorney's office has filed criminal complaints against four men identified in two separate incidents of illegally possessing deer in North Dakota.
GRAND FORKS — The winter of 2016-17 started out on a dicey note for wildlife managers, who feared the impact of heavy snow and prolonged cold on species such as deer and pheasants. At the same time, fisheries managers braced themselves for winterkill, which can occur when snow builds up atop the ice and underwater plants produce less of the dissolved oxygen fish and other aquatic life need to survive. After a nasty December, the consensus in early March is things could have been worse if not for prolonged mild stretches of unseasonable weather in January and February.
ST. PAUL — A lot of good things are happening this summer at Minnesota state parks, but additional funding is necessary to ensure services and facilities continue at current levels. That was the message Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails for the Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, had Thursday.
ST. PAUL — Plans to improve Minnesota's northern pike fishery with a system of zones and changes to bag limits and size limits has been put on hold after the proposed regulations hit an unexpected legal snag. As a result, the statewide pike limit for Minnesota inland waters remains at three with one longer than 30 inches in possession for this year, but the new regulation is on track to take effect in 2018.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson and three other members of Minnesota's congressional delegation are asking U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to update antiquated border-crossing technology at the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods.
Last week brought an influx of rough-legged hawks to our area that was both larger and earlier than expected. Matt Spoor alerted Grand Cities Bird Club members to the phenomenon. He reported seeing 35 rough-legged hawks in the grasslands areas northwest of Grand Forks last Sunday. I got in on the party, though I didn't see nearly as many hawks as Spoor, probably because I started late and didn't put in as much time or cover as many miles. During the week, I saw rough-legged hawks along my route to the state capitol in Bismarck.
Ted Takasaki is one of North America's foremost authorities on walleyes and how to catch them. A native of Chatsworth, Ill., a small farm town about 100 miles south of Chicago, Takasaki, 59, attended the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he graduated with a degree in engineering. "A lot of good that did me," he joked.
LAKE BRONSON, Minn.—With daytime temperatures near 45 degrees, it wasn't exactly a polar expedition, but nine students from Heritage Christian School in Karlstad, Minn., spent two nights recently winter camping at Lake Bronson State Park in northwest, Minnesota. The state park near the town of Lake Bronson is about 80 miles northeast of Grand Forks.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—A small audience gathered Thursday night in Thief River Falls to hear area and regional staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources make their case for increasing hunting and fishing license fees.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A Devils Lake angler has caught what likely will be the new world line-class record white bass on Devils Lake as recognized by the International Game Fish Association. Blake LaFleur caught the white bass Feb. 13 in 40 feet of water in the main basin of Devils Lake using 2-pound test line. The big fish weighed 4.27 and 4.32 pounds on separate scales and measured 18½ inches long with a 16-inch girth.