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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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department continues to take comment on a plan to implement a limited otter trapping season in November, and barring something drastic, the season will be part of the small game and furbearer proclamation the department sends to Gov. Doug Burgum in mid-July. "That's when we would finalize it, but with the way it's looking right now, it doesn't appear there's a lot of concerns," said Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for Game and Fish in Bismarck. "We plan on moving forward with it unless we hear differently."
DENHOFF, N.D.—Duck eggs might not be a deer's favorite food, but at least one small whitetail buck found them to his liking last summer. A video camera strategically placed next to a duck nest caught the burglarizing buck in the act; he devoured the eggs—shells and all. Seeing is believing, as the old saying goes. "I've never heard of anything like that before," said Nick Conrad, a UND senior who will be graduating this spring with a bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife biology. "That's something I never knew."
To get an event in the 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. Events • April 7-8: Thief River Falls Archery Club 3D shoot, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, Thief River Falls Curling Club on the Pennington County Fairgrounds. Indoor 3D shoot firing at full-size animal targets. Open to anyone. Championship round $15, and a fun round with no trophies is $10. Info: Mike Vertina, (218) 689-1613.
There are lots of signs of spring. No one of them is definitive, but taken together they are completely convincing. Probably the most familiar of these signs is the arrival of the western meadowlark, the state bird of North Dakota and five other states. The meadowlark is instantly recognizable and its song is loud and distinctive. The sound brought relief and joy to winter weary settlers on the wide open prairie.
Mark Lowe (center) of Bismarck caught this 32-inch, 12-pound, 10-ounce walleye March 26 on Lake Winnipeg. Lowe released the big greenback after a couple of quick photos. Names of Lowe's two fishing partners weren't immediately available. Click on the image to see the full photo.
Lake of the Woods Ice fishing is winding down, and anyone venturing out should use extreme caution, regardless of what part of the lake they're fishing. Anglers targeting pike through the ice reportedly have done well with tip-ups. Pike fishing on Lake of the Woods is continuous. Much of the focus now has shifted to the Rainy River, which is open into Four-Mile Bay where the river enters Lake of the Woods. All of the main ramps along the river, including Wheeler's Point, now are open to boats of all sizes.
Chip Olson of Drayton, N.D., caught this 31-inch "greenback" walleye recently on Lake Winnipeg. The fish, which had a 19-inch girth, was released. Click on the image to see the full photo.
We're running low on nice fish photos, and certainly some of you anglers out there must have photos of a walleye, pike or fine finned specimen you'd like to show off. Ice fishing is winding down across the region, but there must be some big fish photos from previous excursions floating around out there somewhere. Or if you've made a trip to the Rainy River this spring and hooked into a big walleye or even bigger sturgeon and have a photo to share, we'd like to see it and share it with other readers.
Just like the infamous "I'll be back" line from the "Terminator" movies, the female peregrine by the same name is back in Grand Forks for another nesting season. Grand Forks birding authority and avid photographer Dave Lambeth got a confirmation on Terminator's band number Friday. The photos weren't clear enough to run in print, Lambeth said, but they clearly show the "T over 2" band number that confirms her identity.
If you're out and about and see a bald eagle nest in North Dakota, the state Game and Fish Department would like to hear about it. Sandra Johnson, conservation biologist for Game and Fish in Bismarck, said the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings. Eagles are actively incubating eggs in March and April, and it's easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size. Johnson estimates the state has about 215 active bald eagle nests, possibly more.