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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NEAR PLUMMER, Minn. -- An early spring might be a welcome turn of events for hibernating bears, but it's worrisome for researchers seeking to find the animals in their dens for close-up study. Dave Garshelis and a crew accompanying him had already seen one bear bolt from a swampy nest Wednesday morning north of Bemidji. They didn't want the same thing to happen with the female bear denned up in this thicket near the border of Pennington and Red Lake counties.
Lake of the Woods Ice fishing remains in full swing, but look for that to change if warm weather persists. According to a report Thursday from Sportsman's Lodge, the lake still had nearly 4 feet of ice, Four-Mile Bay at the mouth of the Rainy River had 38 inches, and the river in that area had 33 inches of ice. Meanwhile, the Rainy River is opening farther upstream, and the Kuttes Access west of International Falls, Minn., is ice- and snow-free and open for launching.
Stuart McFarlane of Roseau, Minn., caught this 45-inch northern March 7 while fishing Buffalo Bay on the Manitoba side of Lake of the Woods. McFarlane said he'd been targeting pike with tip-ups for about an hour and a half without a bite when he switched to his lightweight walleye rod and 8-pound test. That's when the pike hit a white jig tipped with a small chub. Unfortunately, the fight took more than 10 minutes and completely wore out the pike, McFarlane said, and so the fish was kept.
Ken Vasek of East Grand Forks released this 29-inch walleye on Lake of the Woods.
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for March 9:
Walleye released 25-inch minimum • 30½ inches -- Bruce Mosher, Beltrami, Minn., Lake Winnipeg. • 27 inches and 26 inches -- Tom Rongen, Fertile, Minn., Lake Winnipeg. • 27 inches -- Barry Rongen, Dent, Minn., Lake Winnipeg. Walleye kept 8-pound minimum • 10 pounds, 2 ounces -- Mat Senger, Crary, N.D., Devils Lake. Yellow perch kept 1 ¾-pound minimum • 2 pounds, 13 ounces -- Brett Kenner, Leeds, N.D., Devils Lake. • 1 pound, 15 ounces -- Wyatt Jelinek, Pisek, N.D., Devils Lake.
NDGF increases elk, moose tags The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will be offering more elk and moose licenses than last year, but there will be no bighorn sheep season for the first time since 1983. A total of 301 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, 40 more than last year. Unit E1 has an additional 15 any-elk and 15 antlerless licenses, and unit E3 has an increase of 10 antlerless licenses.
Spend enough time ice fishing, and it's inevitable that a rod and reel or some other piece of gear is going to get knocked down the hole. What's amazing is how often the items are retrieved from the icy depths. Consider this latest example: Bruce Mosher of Beltrami, Minn., along with fishing buddies Tom Rongen of Fertile, Minn., and Barry Rongen of Dent, Minn., were set up on Lake Winnipeg on Monday afternoon, the Rongen brothers in one portable shelter and Mosher fishing nearby. Tom Rongen had just gotten done measuring and taking photos of a 27-inch walleye he'd caught and stepped into M
Q. Are snowy owls common around the Forks area? I've only seen three in my life, and two of those were last week alone. A. Snowy owls aren't uncommon around Grand Forks in the winter, although some winters are better than others.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148; or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Today: Final day of 50th annual Red River Valley Sportsmen's Show, Fargodome. Seminar speakers include Dave Csanda from "Lindner's Angling Edge" and walleye pro Ted Takasaki. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $2.50 for children ages 6 to 12, with children 5 and younger admitted free of charge. Info: fargosportshow.com. • Today: Family Fun Day, noon to 3 p.m., Larimore (N.D.) Dam Recreation Area.