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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Two Grand Forks brothers and their parents recently returned from an Alaska fishing trip with a boatload of memories and enough fish and crab to satisfy their seafood cravings for quite some time. But more important, the trip allowed a family that's spent way too much time in hospitals and waiting rooms to escape the routine and enjoy life the way it should be enjoyed. Michael and Chris Massie, along with their parents, Jeff and Sheila, made the trek through the efforts of North Dakota's Hunt of a Lifetime chapter.
Lake of the woods Walleyes are hitting all along the south shore from the Lighthouse Gap to Long Point in 20 to 30 feet of water. Downrigging, jigging or drifting with live bait rigs all are working; there is no wrong way to fish walleyes right now. On the Rainy River, anglers are finding sturgeon, smallmouth bass and northern pike in the Clementson, Minn., area.
Minnesota's bear season opens Monday, and hunters who have ventured afield since baiting began Aug. 15 report mixed success in drawing bears to the sites. Steve Brasel, a Waskish, Minn., outfitter who operates Bear Paw Guides with his son, Tyler, said bears have been hitting about 75 percent of the bait sites they operate. That's not bad, he said, considering the abundance of blueberries and other natural foods this year. "I'm surprised," he said Tuesday. "We have so many blueberries this year, it's just unbelievable.
Dave Hendrickson was three cranks into his first cast of the afternoon when he hooked into a fish that's going to leave him wondering "What if?" for the rest of his life. And no, this isn't a tale about The Big One That Got Away. The fish is still out there, though, and that's part of the mystery. Hendrickson was casting a No. 7 perch-colored Shad Rap along a weedline on Lake Andrusia near Bemidji, when the behemoth hit about 3 p.m. Aug.
Jeff Essler, regional director for Ducks Unlimited's Great Plains office in Bismarck, and Scott Stephens, DU's director of conservation planning for the Great Plains regional office, recently talked ducks and other waterfowl issues in a telephone interview with Herald outdoors writer Brad Dokken in advance of the Grand Forks DU chapter's fall banquet Sept. 9. Here's an edited transcript of that conversation: Q. Goose season already is under way in North Dakota, and the regular waterfowl seasons are right around the corner.
Black clouds threatened rain in every direction Thursday night, but the bad weather missed the Dakota Hunting Club and Kennels southwest of Grand Forks. Good thing, too, because about 20 kids were there for a fun shoot to conclude the Grand Forks Park Board-4-H Shooting Sports' sporting clays program. If Thursday night was any indication, it's been a fun ride.
Proponents of a constitutional amendment to dedicate a percentage of Minnesota's sales tax for natural resources and the arts will visit the northern part of the state this week to make their case for why the funding is necessary. Minnesota voters Nov. 4 will decide whether to dedicate three-eighths of 1 percent of the state's sales tax for clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, parks and trails and the arts.
Last Sunday, in a column that appeared in the Insight section, Herald Publisher and Editor Mike Jacobs made an eloquent case for August as the best month of the year. The prairie is at its most beautiful, he wrote, colored by ripening grass splashed with rust and silver. Goldenrods and prairie asters are in full bloom, resplendent in their yellows and purples. Jacobs acknowledged his opinion about August probably was in the minority. He made a good case, though, and he almost convinced me.
Today's dedication ceremony for a new wildlife management area along the Red River northeast of Drayton, N.D., has been moved indoors. According to Lisa Tofte of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's district office in Devils Lake, the dedication ceremony for the 280-acre Dean C. Hildebrand Wildlife Management Area now will take place at 11 a.m. in St.