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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DNR: Snowmobile trails open Dec. 1 Much of northern Minnesota received its first significant snowfall last week, and many snowmobile enthusiasts are rushing to take their first ride of the season. Despite the early snow, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds snowmobilers that most of the state's snowmobile trails are not yet ready for riding. Minnesota's snowmobile trails officially open Dec. 1 each year, but several conditions must be met before trails are open and ready for travel:
Another firearms deer season is in the books in Minnesota and North Dakota, and hunters in both states encountered generally balmy weather during their time afield—with the exception of the snowstorm that hit parts of the region Nov. 17 and 18. Deer gun tags still are hard to come by in North Dakota, and Minnesota's deer herd remains in recovery mode, although without question on the rebound.
Tristan Werre, 14, of Grand Forks, shot this mule deer buck, "The 9MM Buck" (his first buck), in the Badlands of western North Dakota while hunting with his dad, Darrin...
Stuart Rice (left) and his grandson, Hunter Rice, of rural Roseau, Minn., shot these mule deer bucks Nov. 22 in Wyoming. Click on the image to see the complete photo.
Andy Eickenbrock of Grand Forks shot this 10-point buck west of Bemidji during Minnesota's firearms deer season. This was his first year of deer hunting. Click on the image to...
NORTH OF BEMIDJI—Standing at the highest point of Buena Vista Ski Area, where the waters from Lake Julia to the north and west drain into Hudson Bay, and Larson Lake to the east and south flows to the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to see why Suzanne Thomas and others in her family love this place and eagerly share it with others. The view, quite simply, is breathtaking here at the Continental Divide. "Isn't it pretty?" Thomas, a third-generation family member to run Buena Vista Ski Area, said Monday afternoon. "We can see nine lakes from the top."
Mary Kay Franklin of Angus, Minn., submitted this photo of Tom Franklin at sunrise with the 160-inch class whitetail buck he shot during the recent firearms deer season. Click on...
Q. A few weeks ago, you blogged about deer hide donation box locations in Minnesota. What happens with those hides after they are donated? A. The boxes you mention are part of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association's Hides for Habitat program, which marked its 30th anniversary in 2015. The philosophy of the program is simple: Successful hunters donate the hides from deer they shoot and place them in drop boxes set up in communities across the state. MDHA chapters then collect the hides and prepare them for sale.
Data sheds light on Red River fish Fisheries personnel from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last week retrieved three hydroacoustic receivers, or "listening units," anchored along the U.S. side of the Red River this past summer to monitor the movements of fish fitted with special transmitter tags. The tagging study is part of a cooperative project underway in the Red River Basin between agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
There's something magical about a hunting camp in the north woods, a point that was driven home several times again during this year's deer season. Whether it's a rustic shack pieced together over the years or a deluxe cabin with all of the comforts of home, deer camps offer a tradition the likes of which few other outdoors experiences can match. It's about family, friends, stories, camaraderie and—yes—even the occasional bit of good-natured ribbing. Deer camp is a gathering place with a significance that goes far beyond the shooting of a buck or a doe.