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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Looking out my urban backyard, even in the middle of a bone chilling North Dakota morning, it's always a treat to see a few squirrels, redpolls, chickadees and other backyard birds scrounging around for a little midwinter food. I'm fortunate my kids love watchable wildlife even more than I do. Over the years, I've shown them the necessary components for winter wildlife habitat and food—such as leaving the corn and sunflowers in the garden.
Lake of the Woods
Those who visit Hayes Lake, Lake Bronson and Zippel Bay state parks to cross-country ski this year may not realize it, but the trails at these parks are now being groomed entirely by volunteers, thanks to a partnership between Minnesota state parks and trails and the nonprofit Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. The council has been working with the Friends groups at each park to recruit volunteers. All three parks are showcasing their trails with candlelight ski events in February. Hayes Lake held a candlelight ski event on Saturday.
Jessica Cossette of Detroit Lakes, Minn., released this 27-inch walleye Feb. 4 on Devils Lake. The fish was her "PB" -- personal best.
Tony Fladeland of Grand Forks shot this mule deer buck (left) and muzzleloader whitetail after drawing both mule deer rifle and muzzleloader resident tags. According to Fladeland, the mule deer buck scored 177 inches. “Spot and stalk at sunrise with .270 Ruger at 223 yards,” Fladeland writes. The 5x5 whitetail scores 153 inches, and Fladeland rattled it in to 53 yards from his ground blind while hunting with a CVA .50 caliber with open sights near Mountain, N.D.
Dan Tweeton of Detroit Lakes, Minn., released this 28-inch walleye Jan. 29 on Devils Lake. The fish, Tweeton's personal best, was his one and only walleye of the weekend after a couple of days and several hours of fishing, including the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department ice fishing tournament.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1148; or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Saturday: Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 5 to 8 p.m., Zippel State Park, Minn.; meet at the residence just behind the park office. Info: (218) 783-6252. • Saturday: Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.; meet at the Visitor Center. Info: (218) 754-2200.
A column idea popped into my head the other day that inspired me to see if I could come up with an alphabetical list of outdoorsy items, issues and events from A to Z that stand to be relevant this year. It took some doing, but here's my list. A: Is for April, a month that marks the unofficial beginning of spring and can't get here soon enough for many of us. A also is for asparagus, as in wild asparagus, as good of a vegetable as there is.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1148; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Jan. 21: Lake Region Sportsmen's Club annual coyote, fox and jackrabbit hunt. Registration from 6 to 8 a.m. at Cenex West, Devils Lake, with 6:30 p.m. check-in at Ty's Lodge, U.S. Highway 2 East, Devils Lake. Points awarded for coyotes, fox and jackrabbits; $10 per hunter. Info: Larry Weigel, (701) 351-4090.
So you want to go winter camping but don't want to sleep in a tent, burrow into the snow or make a quinzhee snow shelter? Fear not, there are options out there that are considerably easier, not to mention a whole lot warmer. In North Dakota, the state Parks and Recreation Department offers winter opportunities at a trio of state parks. Cross Ranch State Park near Center, N.D., has two log cabins and two primitive yurts available year round, and Lake Metigoshe State Park near Bottineau, N.D., has one primitive cabin and one yurt available year-round.