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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While North Dakota's 2017 deer gun season is winding down, it still generates a fair amount of questions and conversation. The November issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine covered a few of the topics that I've heard about in the past few weeks. First off, this year's deer hunting season did open later than what a lot of people think is normal. The traditional deer opener has been the Friday before Nov. 11 for more than three decades years. That means the range for the opener, based on this rotating standardized approach, is Nov.4 through Nov. 10.
Turkey will take center stage at dinner tables across the country Thursday when Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving feasts, but many hunters will be giving thanks for the wild birds, which provide hunting opportunities in both North Dakota and Minnesota. "I used to love elk hunting, and then I got a taste of turkey hunting," said Kristi Coughlon, an information officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji and—you guessed it—an avid turkey hunter.
A coyote spotted Monday morning near 13th Avenue South and South 20th Street in Grand Forks hasn't been seen since, authorities say, but the Grand Forks Police Department still is asking the public to report any sightings of the coyote or others. According to a posting on the department's Facebook page, the coyote last was seen about 11 a.m. Monday and appeared to be either sick or injured.
The firearms deer season that closed Sunday, Nov. 12 in most of northwest Minnesota wrapped up a busier than usual hunting season for conservation officers, a DNR enforcement official said. Baiting, shooting from the road, tagging issues in which hunters either didn't tag deer or properly validate the tag, shining and trespassing were among the most common violations conservation officers encountered, said Pat Znajda, District 1 enforcement supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources. District 1 covers the far northwest corner of Minnesota.
As a parent with a passion for sharing the outdoors with his kids, Cal Helgeson is frustrated. Given the potential challenges young deer hunters in North Dakota face after drawing their two youth deer hunting tags, he's probably not alone.
To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. N.D. Game and Fish Advisory Board The North Dakota Game and Fish Department hosts these meetings twice a year in each of the state's eight advisory board districts. Department personnel will be on hand to discuss hunting and fishing issues and answer questions.
Still time to join youth rifle program There's still time for young shooters to sign up for the winter youth marksmanship program at the Forks Rifle Club, 2051 12th Ave. NE, Emerado, N.D. According to Steve Martin, a youth instructor at the Forks Rifle Club, upgrades to the indoor shooting range have delayed the start of the junior marksmanship program. It could be another three weeks or so before the winter program begins, he said.
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.