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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Less than two weeks from now, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a two-day conference to tackle the issue of declining participation in hunting and fishing. Set for Aug. 26 and 27, the conference at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minn., will include presentations from national and local experts and breakout sessions to address opportunities and challenges to recruiting hunters and anglers, the DNR said in a news release.
Walleye released 25-inch minimum • 27 inches—Allan Mosbaek, Devils Lake, Lake Irvine, N.D. • 25 inches—Duane Renisch, Valley City, N.D., Devils Lake. Northern pike released 32-inch minimum • 33 inches—Jeff Schneider, Bismarck, Devils Lake.
I don't have a Cobra Garage Storage Rack yet, but after watching a video of the racks being installed and used, I'd have to say it's just a matter of time. This is one of the most ingenious—and by the looks of it, easy to install—systems for storing fishing rods I've seen in a long time. It puts the storage right on the garage door, an unused space, so the Cobra storage rack will work in even the most cluttered spaces.
Continental duck numbers are down slightly from last year but statistically unchanged, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in its "2016 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations" report. Total duck numbers in the North American survey area were estimated at 48.4 million, down from last year's estimate of 49.5 million and 38 percent above the long-term average from 1955 to 2015. The estimate is based on surveys the Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service conducted in May and early June.
Hunting dog seminar set for Tuesday DEVILS LAKE—A seminar on hunting dog and safety tips is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at High Plains Equipment, U.S. Highway 2 E., in Devils Lake. Dr. Peter Tjelta, veterinarian, and Mike Liane, field trial trainer, will lead the session. Seminar topics include basic health care and first aid, field dangers, feeding and conditioning, transporting your dog, electronic collar basics and more. The Lake Region Sportsmen's Club is sponsoring the seminar.
NEAR GRAND FORKS—Little Gimma knows the drill. Fetch the frozen pigeon when the gray-haired man with the gentle voice throws it and then get showered with praise. It's all part of the game for the 5½-month-old British yellow Labrador, a first step down the road to becoming a well-rounded pet and hunting companion. "Go get it. That's a girl, bring it here—good girl, honey!" the man says as the enthusiastic pup brings him the frozen pigeon. He throws it again, this time a little farther, and the game continues.
Logan Hedlund, 11, of Roseau, Minn., caught and released this 26-inch walleye July 30 on Lake of the Woods. "He had that smile on his face all day," writes his dad, Andy, who submitted the photo.
Lake of the Woods Walleye fishing continues to be consistent, and limits remain common, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported in this week's update. Drifting on sand flats in the right wind, anchoring and jigging near or on rock piles and and controlled-depth fishing with crankbaits in 28 to 32 feet of water all have been producing fish.
One of the best lines I ever read to describe bad weather came from Ted Hall, who left a career as New York bureau chief for Time magazine in the 1970s to start a small newspaper in Ranier, Minn., called the Rainy Lake Chronicle. Hall had a remarkable knack for making the mundane aspects of smalltown life compelling to read, whether it was writing about the local dogs, a moose wandering into city limits or the weather. Weather talk, of course, is a prominent topic of small town coffee shops and watering holes everywhere.
The rainy, stormy summer of 2016 will go down as a banner season for blueberries in Minnesota's North Woods, and those who have been fortunate enough to get in on the picking will attest there's no comparison between wild blueberries and the store-bought variety. The options for preparing wild blueberries are numerous: blueberry pancakes, fresh blueberries and cream, blueberry syrup, blueberry sauce, blueberry muffins. ... And, of course, blueberry pie.