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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Walleye populations in state and tribal waters of Red Lake continue to do well, almost five years after a harvest moratorium was lifted and fishing resumed. Members of the Red Lake Technical Committee met Dec. 9 in Bemidji to get an update on the status of the big lake's recovering walleye population. And the outlook, in a word, is good. "Everything looks great," said Pat Brown, tribal fisheries biologist for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.
The Wetlands, Pines and Prairie Audubon Sanctuary near Warren, Minn., will continue to operate as a single facility, and the new board of the Agassiz Audubon Society that oversees the nature center will begin the search for a site director in the new year. There had been some question about the future of the sanctuary earlier this year after a dispute between the local Audubon board and Audubon Minnesota -- the state affiliate of the National Audubon Society -- and the Omdahl family that donated land for the sanctuary. Eldor Omdahl, and his wife, Stella, in 1981 began donating 640 acres -- 4
FERTILE, Minn. -- Logan Wilebski was 5 years old the first time he picked up a duck call. He was riding with his dad in the pickup one day and started digging through the glove compartment when he got bored. And even then, his dad, Todd, recalls, Logan took to the call like a duck takes to water. "He picked up that duck call, and it was, 'Wow!'" Todd Wilebski said.
With little fanfare, a small but devoted group of Grand Forks-area birdwatchers will take the field next Sunday to participate in one of North America's oldest outdoor holiday traditions, the annual Christmas Bird Count. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Grand Forks count, but the history of Christmas Bird Counts actually dates back much farther.
One of the more unusual -- and potentially lucrative -- ice fishing tournaments in recent history is scheduled for early January on Manitoba's Lake Winnipeg. The North American Ice Fishing Circuit, a tournament series known mostly for panfish events in the Upper Midwest, has scheduled a competition Jan. 9 on Lake Winnipeg.
A Red River Valley fishing club has been named to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. FM Walleyes Unlimited Inc. will be formally inducted Thursday night at the Kelly Inn in Fargo, with none other than "Mr. Walleye," Gary Roach, doing the honors. The special presentation ceremony begins at 7 p.m. According to Kyle Agre, who serves on the FM Walleyes board of directors, the club is being inducted in the Organization/Corporate or Government Entity category of the Hall, which is based in Hayward, Wis.
Whether it's seriously shopping or just adding items to that ever-growing "buy it someday" list, few things are more fun for the outdoors enthusiast than browsing through the sporting goods stores and catalogs. Good thing, too, because Christmas is just around the corner. During the course of the year, we receive hundreds of press releases from companies marketing all sorts of outdoorsy gadgets and gizmos.
Dave Genz, inventor of the Fish Trap portable ice fishing shelter, is widely known as the "Father of Modern Ice Fishing." He is an innovator who helped carry ice fishing from the days of sitting on a bucket and hoping for the best to an approach that relies heavily on mobility and electronics -- in Genz's case, the Vexilar flasher unit -- to see what's happening below the ice and trigger more fish into striking. These days, Genz, who turned 63 Saturday, travels the "ice belt" promoting the sport of ice fishing and the products that have helped make the winter pastime more enjoyable.
Every ice fishing season brings its share of new products, some that make a splash on the market and others that fade quicker than the winter sun at dusk. Talk to any ice fishing expert, and it's difficult to get a read on the good from the bad because many of them are sponsored by tackle companies.
Less than a week had passed, according to the calendar, but the woods had undergone a dramatic change in those few short days. Just like that, the seasons had shifted from autumn to winter. A friend and I had made the trek north to try and match our skills with some late-season ruffed grouse. Deer season had passed in this part of northern Minnesota, and we'd likely have the woods to ourselves. The white that blanketed the ground, though, would change things. I've hunted ruffed grouse, with varying degrees of success, since I was old enough to carry a shotgun.