Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. 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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As a bush pilot carrying freight, passengers and mail from Warroad, Minn., to the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods -- the northernmost point of the Lower 48 -- Don Hanson made the 90-mile round-trip flight hundreds of times during a flying career that lasted more than 40 years. He also made quite an impression on those who knew him. Known for his trademark stogie, Hanson, of Warroad, Minn., died March 12 in the Warroad Senior Living Center.
Rainy River The river now is open past the Frontier Landing about 20 miles east of Baudette, Minn., and both the Frontier and Birchdale ramps have been cleared of ice and are accessible to larger boats, Clementson Resort reported Thursday. Fishing reports have been limited since the nasty weather earlier in the week, but anglers before that were catching walleyes and sturgeon. With nicer weather in the weekend forecast, look for fishing to pick up again.
The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the deaths of two bull elk that were illegally shot and killed near Grygla, Minn. Part of Minnesota's smallest elk herd, the elk were killed in an area that has been closed to hunting since 2012. A recent aerial survey tallied 18 elk in the Grygla herd, down from 20 last year and 28 in 2013. The DNR's management goal for the Grygla herd is 30 to 38 elk. "Our investigation found that these elk had been shot and left," said Lt. Pat Znajda, district enforcement supervisor for the DNR in far northwest Minnesota.
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for March 23: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended training at...
Fargo angler sets cisco record A Fargo angler caught a cisco Feb. 28 that broke a North Dakota state record that had stood for nearly 15 years. Jack Fletcher reeled...
KOOCHICHING COUNTY, Minn. -- We have suspicions, but we'll probably never know for sure what we heard that night. It was an odd, sort of high-pitched sound that echoed through the trees. For lack of a better description, it was kind of a "yeep!" noise, a single call that overtook the chorus of coyotes howling away on the other side of the road last Saturday night as we sat by the fire at a friend's hunting camp. The "yeep!" started at dusk, and it wasn't scary.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed increases of $4.6 million and $4.9 million for Minnesota's state park system in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. According to the Department of Natural Resources, the increases would be added to the annual state parks and trails operation budget of $34.6 million. "Parks and trails give people a reason to travel. They are a cornerstone of Minnesota's $13 billion tourism industry," said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR's Parks and Trails Division.
North Dakota deer hunters shot about 26,300 deer for a success rate of 60 percent during the 2014 deer gun hunting season, the state Game and Fish Department announced this week. Game and Fish offered 48,000 deer gun licenses in 2014, the lowest number since 1980, and all licenses were issued. Hunters spent an average of 4.4 days in the field. Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 60 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 56 percent. Mule deer buck hunters fared better, with a success rate of 82 percent.
Targeting rough fish such as carp with a bow is a popular springtime activity -- especially during high water years -- and a new kit from bowfishing equipment maker Muzzy includes everything for first-timers except the fish. The Muzzy Addict Bowfishing Kit features a new 58-inch-long recurve bow with a 40-pound draw weight at 28 inches. The bow is a three-piece takedown design that is drilled and tapped for normal accessories and comes ready to shoot.
Spring in the Northland is a time of rebirth, a time of optimism, as winter loses its paralyzing grip on the landscape. Almost overnight, it seems, the warm sun and longer days trigger a welcome transformation. The calendar showed mid-March, but the weather felt more like mid-April -- or perhaps even mid-May -- last weekend when I joined a friend at his deer camp in northern Minnesota. There was no agenda, other than tromping around the woods to revisit old haunts, see what we could see and wind down the days with good food, conversation and a big campfire. Even "Up North" -- in this case,