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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There's a lot of "I seen it on the Internet" misinformation or fake news floating around out there these days, but a Facebook video post from the Kittson County Sheriff's Office in far northwest Minnesota caught my attention Friday morning. There's nothing fake about it. In the video, Kittson County Sheriff Steve Porter and Chief Deputy Matt Vig highlight the confirmed and suspected incidents in which officers from the department responded to reports of livestock either killed by wolves or missing and likely killed by wolves in the past year.
BAUDETTE, Minn.—There's no official opening day of ice fishing season—that's up to Mother Nature—but for the crew at Ballard's Resort on Lake of the Woods, the winter season officially started Tuesday morning, when they shuttled their first anglers out to rental houses set up on the ice north of Pine Island. Start slow. Play it safe. Ramp it up. There's plenty of winter up here in the border country, after all.
A peregrine falcon hatched in 2016 atop the UND water tower and named after Grand Forks birding authority Dave Lambeth has a new permanent home. In Winnipeg. David, as the peregrine chick was dubbed in June 2016 when he was banded by local raptor expert Tim Driscoll, now is a resident of Parkland Mews Falconry and Bird of Prey Education Centre, a facility on the outskirts of Winnipeg that runs a breeding and education program using birds of prey that recover from injury but can't be released back to the wild.
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. Meetings • Dec. 13: Min-Dak Border Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, 7:30 p.m., East Grand Forks American Legion, 1009 Central Ave. NW. Info: Loren Abel, (701) 741-1147. Christmas Bird Counts
Winter's abrupt arrival in early November brought the fall owl-banding campaign at Turtle River State Park to a screeching halt, but 105 saw-whet owls still were banded. Northern saw-whets, with big yellow eyes and heads that seem to take up half their bodies, are among the tiniest North American owls and migrate through the park every spring and fall. "We were hoping to go until Nov. 15, but we got snow Nov. 1, and that was it," said Tim Driscoll, Grand Forks raptor expert and licensed bander. Park naturalist Erika Kolbow assisted Driscoll with the banding effort.
He had the buck in his sights—"dead to rights," as he put it later—and everything was lining up for a perfect shot. The deer was standing broadside no more than 50 yards away, and the moment deer hunters wait for was at hand. He pulled the trigger. Click. ... And that was it. No loud boom. No cloud of smoke. No deer. We weren't there to witness this incident firsthand, but we could envision the cry of anguish that likely interrupted the silence of a northern Minnesota evening.
Authorities in Devils Lake say they haven't actually seen the mountain lion captured on a landowner's trail cameras three weeks ago on the west side of Six-Mile Bay, but there's no question the photos are legit as rumors about the cat continue to fly. "I'm pretty sure we have a cat here—or had," said Paul Freeman, northeast district enforcement supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake. "It has been quite some time. Is it still around? It's certainly possible."
As a Grand Forks catfish guide, Brad Durick uses technology to locate the whiskery denizens of the Red River's murky depths. These days, Durick runs a Humminbird Helix 10 G2N (which stands for "Generation 2 Networkable) depthfinder with MEGA Imaging on his guide boat. That's a big name for a unit with an abundance of bells and whistles, but suffice to say it does more than show water depth and blips on the screen that represent fish.
Lately, I've been intrigued by the growing interest in hunting and fishing methods that are more "retro" or "back-in-the-day." From recurve bows for deer hunting, to fishing with a hook and bobber in the summer, to spearing through the ice in winter. There's something to be said for hunters and anglers who understand the heritage and realize that while modern technology, gear and gadgets are fine, they aren't afraid to try tactics and techniques that were successful in the past.
A fisheries input group is set to begin meeting this month to provide feedback to the Department of Natural Resources on the next five-year fisheries management plan being drafted for the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods. Nearly 30 people applied to serve on the 14-person volunteer committee, which includes representatives from county government, area businesses, resorts on the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods and anglers from outside the area, said Phil Talmage, area fisheries supervisor for the DNR in Baudette, Minn.