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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DENHOFF, N.D.—Duck eggs might not be a deer's favorite food, but at least one small whitetail buck found them to his liking last summer. A video camera strategically placed next to a duck nest caught the burglarizing buck in the act; he devoured the eggs—shells and all. Seeing is believing, as the old saying goes. "I've never heard of anything like that before," said Nick Conrad, a UND senior who will be graduating this spring with a bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife biology. "That's something I never knew."
WASHINGTON—Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., is among a bipartisan group of senators to reintroduce the Sportsmen's Act, which aims to promote hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. Heitkamp, who is vice-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, introduced the Sportsmen's Act of 2017 along with other caucus leaders. Heitkamp and others introduced similar legislation in 2015.
Scott Forbes is a professor of biology at the University of Winnipeg who has been following changes in Lake Winnipeg's walleye population, the "greenbacks" that attract ice fishing enthusiasts north by the thousands every winter.
It's funny how people drift in and out of our lives sometimes. That's also true with hunting and fishing partners. I can think of a half-dozen people with whom I shared numerous trips afield, only to gradually lose contact. Some of them live within walking distance. That is nobody's fault, and it didn't happen because of disputes or disagreements; it just happened. For whatever reason, it works that way sometimes.
ROOSEVELT, Minn.—A much-anticipated boat ramp on the south shore of Lake of the Woods near Rocky Point north of Roosevelt remains on hold despite plans that have been in the works since 1999, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says. According to Kent Skaar, Acquisition and Development Section leader for the DNR in St. Paul, lack of funding and delays in required state and federal Environmental Assessments are the main stumbling blocks to moving forward with the project.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—It's official: The peregrine falcon that flew into town last week is Marv, the patriarch of Grand Forks' peregrine clan the past couple of years. Named after Marv Bossart, a Fargo TV personality who died in 2013, Marv was hatched that same year in Fargo and showed up in Grand Forks to mate the next spring. Tim Driscoll, Grand Forks raptor expert and licensed bander, said avid birder Dave Lambeth got a photo of the peregrine perched on the UND water tower. The photo shows the bird's leg bands, Driscoll said: black over red, and H over 72.
I spent only one day fishing Lake Winnipeg this winter and have gotten my fix of the big lake vicariously through the experiences of others. If there's a common theme, it's the scarcity of larger walleyes, the giant "greenbacks" that have drawn anglers to Lake Winnipeg by the thousands in recent years. Catching walleyes this winter on Lake Winnipeg hasn't been a problem most days, from what I've been told, but those big "Master Angler"-size walleyes measuring 28 inches or longer have been conspicuous by their absence.
NOME, Alaska — There were times, Chuck Lindner admits, when he had to dig deep to continue the 350-mile bicycle trek in which he'd immersed himself during the depths of the brutal Alaskan winter. The fourth day was probably the roughest, he said. Walking and pushing his fat tire bike up a rugged mountain pass into a sustained headwind of 50 mph and a wind chill factor of 50 below zero, Lindner says he averaged about 1 mph. There was no pedaling that day, and Lindner covered 19 miles in about 17 hours.
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.