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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There was good news this past week for people who visit the Northwest Angle when U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has selected the area for a pilot project aimed at simplifying the border-crossing process. The pilot project will benefit tourists returning to the remote part of Minnesota after venturing into Ontario by snowmobile or boating into Ontario waters and stepping foot on Canadian soil.
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 • May 27: Taking Flight: Spotting Spring Birds, 8 to 10 a.m., Itasca State Park. Minn. Bring binoculars and bird field guide books. Park has a limited number of binoculars to lend. Info: (218) 699-7251 or by email at email@example.com .
Rich Longoria, Grand Forks, caught this 28½-inch walleye on Devils Lake. He released the fish after a few quick photos.
If Spiderman was a fisherman, his walleye senses would be absolutely tingling with anticipation at the prospect of wetting a line Saturday. It's the Minnesota walleye opener, and as events on the outdoors calendar go, the annual piscatorial happening is big stuff—and big business.
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 • May 20: Roseau-Lake of the Woods Sportsman Club fish fry and membership drive, 4 to 7 p.m., Warroad Eagles, 56720 state Highway 11, Warroad, Minn. Besides a fish fry, there will be door prizes, meat raffles, 50/50 raffles, raffle for a gun, games and entertainment. Join the club or just enjoy a fish dinner for $12. Info: Natalie Otterson, (218) 242-1259.
Now that he's had a few days to look back on the 2017 North Dakota legislative session, the director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says he'd probably give the session a B+ in terms of its impact on hunters and anglers. If not for a few contentious issues, Terry Steinwand says he'd be tempted to give the legislative session an A. Game and Fish tracked 28 outdoors-related bills during the session, 11 of which passed both chambers and were signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum.
RED LAKE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, Minn.—Traffic noise isn't a problem, but a forest full of sounds competes for Gretchen Mehmel's ears on this crisp Monday morning. Pileated woodpeckers hammer away with a percussive cadence as they bore into trees for a morning snack. Hermit thrushes, white-throated sparrows and swamp sparrows offer melodic contrasts with their trills and calls. Not to be outdone, spring peepers and chorus frogs are in full voice, as well.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • May 11: Grand Forks Audubon, 7 p.m., East Grand Forks Campbell Library. Ben Walker, a wildlife biologist at Rydell and Glacial Ridge national wildlife refuges in Polk County, is guest speaker. Open to the public. Info: Matthew Spoor, firstname.lastname@example.org .
The ice went out early, walleyes have spawned, and the stage is set for a great Minnesota fishing opener. Come 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 13, walleyes take center stage. Henry Drewes, northwest regional fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji, said the early spring means anglers might not find as many walleyes in traditional current areas, where the fish stage to spawn, as they would in a normal opener.
I'd come to Norris Camp, headquarters of Red Lake Wildlife Management Area, to spend a few hours in a ruffed grouse blind and tag along on an early morning drumming count survey. Little did I know I'd experience another spectacle of nature in the process. Growing up in northwest Minnesota, I had heard ruffed grouse drumming in the woods literally hundreds of times but could never catch the show in person. Male ruffed grouse make the sound while standing on a log, tails fanned out like feathered rudders, and rapidly beating their wings in hopes of attracting a mate.