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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Lake of the Woods The wait for ice fishing has begun, but recent warm weather delivered a slight setback. According to Sportsman's Lodge near Baudette, Minn., several bays are frozen, and shore ice and some sheets of ice have formed on the main lake. Based on extended forecasts, the resort predicts ice fishing on the lake will begin Friday, Dec. 1. Historically, resort fish houses get out on the lake about Dec. 10, according to Lake of the Woods Tourism. Upper Red Lake
Kinsley Oslund, 10, of Grygla, Minn., shot this 6-point buck near Wannaska, Minn., on the opening day of Minnesota's firearms deer season. This was the first year she could shoot a deer, said Kinsley's mom, Lindsay Oslund, who submitted the photo.
Tommy Dion (from left) of Jamestown, N.D., Hayden Helgeson of Grand Forks and Alivia Helgeson of Grand Forks arranged their 20 geese to form the number 20 during a late October hunting trip to Saskatchewan with their dads, Jeff Dion and Cal Helgeson.
Tyler Riopelle-Tonkin, 13, an Argyle, Minn., eighth-grader, shot this 16-point buck near Argyle during the October youth deer season in northwest Minnesota while accompanied by his grandpa, Bill Riopelle. "This was his first true year of deer hunting," his mom, Kimberly Riopelle-Tonkin, writes. "After a long weekend spending time with his grandfather, he had the perfect deer. All the waiting was worth it. Tyler took aim at the perfect deer and it was a one-shot kill. And we don't know who was more excited -- Grandpa or Tyler."
Survey pegs drop in mule deer production The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's fall mule deer survey indicated fawn production in 2017 was lower than last year. Biologists counted 2,548 mule deer in the aerial survey in October, down from 3,003 in 2016. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.32, down from 0.48 in 2016, was lower than the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.76 was down from 0.90 in 2016 and the long-term average of 0.91 fawns per doe.
To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. N.D. Game and Fish Advisory Board • Nov. 27: District 4 (Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh counties), 7 p.m., Red River Archers indoor archery range, 2001 N. 42nd. St., Grand Forks. Personnel from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department will be on hand to discuss hunting and fishing issues and answer questions. Events
I'd barely gotten into the woods when I saw the two dogs, German shorthair pointers working the brush to perhaps flush out a ruffed grouse for the father and son whose voices I could hear nearby. The dogs saw me and stopped in the middle of the trail, not quite sure what to think about the intruder who now stood in front of them. They stood their ground but didn't bark. In my experience, GSPs—as German shorthairs often are called—aren't known for their aggressiveness so I wasn't particularly concerned. Still, I wasn't about to take any chances.
It had to happen sooner or later, Mitchell Benson figured: A deer would walk within shooting range and he'd be able to activate the trigger of his crossbow. He figured correctly. When a small buck walked into view late Sunday, Oct. 8 on a food plot his family had planted and cared for south of Karlstad, Minn., Benson made the opportunity count. So ended a quest that began some two years earlier, when Benson was able to deer hunt for the first time since a May 2006 accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Preston Lundbohm, 12, of Roseau, Minn., shot this buck in Roseau County during the opening weekend of Minnesota’s firearms deer season. Click on the image to see the complete photo.
When Tommy Sullivan transferred to Grand Forks Air Force Base in 2012 from Edwards AFB in California, he bought a new .30-06 rifle in hopes of drawing a tag for North Dakota's regular deer gun season, which opens at noon Friday. He's still hoping. "I haven't even shot at a deer with it yet," said Sullivan, 31, a technical sergeant who lives near Thompson, N.D. As deer gun licenses become more difficult to draw—a trend that coincided with loss of habitat and declining deer populations—more North Dakota hunters are taking up archery hunting.