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.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 months
The sun was shining after a couple of gray, dreary days, and my checklist of chores didn't include any jobs that wouldn't keep. There was only one thing to do: Grab the shotgun and hit the woods for a couple of hours before dark, a reality that descends all too early this time of year. You daydream about days like this, when you can't be "out there" to enjoy them. Now I was "out there." It was perfect.
Q. Do nightcrawlers work in the winter ice fishing? A. They wouldn't be my first choice. It would depend on whether you even could find nightcrawlers to buy because they're not a traditional ice fishing bait. Not in this part of the world, at least. Most wintertime anglers use minnows for walleyes and pike, and waxworms or spikes for perch and panfish.
When it comes to conversations about hunting and fishing, it's pretty easy to understand when someone relates they caught a 5-pound walleye or bagged a limit of mallards. For me, those references bring to mind a stream of different fish and fowl I've seen, caught or shot for a comparative point of reference.
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. N.D. Game and Fish Advisory Board • Dec. 5: District 1 (Divide, McKenzie and Williams counties), 7 p.m., Rough Rider Center, 2209 Wolves Den Parkway, Watford City, N.D. Advisory board member: Jason Leiseth, Arnegard, N.D., (701) 586-3714.
I'm a big fan of slow cookers. They're easy to use and allow me to "cook" without actively tending to whatever I'm making. It's as simple as preparing the ingredients, placing them in the slow cooker and letting time and cooking do the rest. Best of all, cleanup is minimal—especially for those who use slow cooker bags (one of the greatest inventions of the modern era, in my opinion).
Mother Nature is playing it cruel instead of cool with ice fishing fanatics again this year, and it looks as if the popular winter pastime is going to be off to another late start. More than one longtime angler has said this is the latest freeze-up they can remember. And it's going to take more than a few days of low temperatures in the 20s—that's what's on the horizon for the next few days—to put safe ice on lakes across the region. Sigh. ... Now, the good news. ...
Wildlife managers in North Dakota and Minnesota use a variety of surveys to gather population indices for coyotes and other furbearers. The surveys tally trends rather than population estimates. Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, said the department conducts three surveys to get a statewide perspective on coyotes:
Mike Liane has been trapping for more than 50 years, but the veteran outdoorsman says he didn't trap coyotes in North Dakota until the late 1980s. "I haven't trapped coyotes all my life because we haven't had coyotes all my life," said Liane, who lives northwest of Devils Lake and is president of the North Dakota Fur Takers Association. "I used to take 200 fox a month trapping and catch maybe one or two coyotes. They were almost like a trophy animal."
Newell Ueland of Thompson, N.D., shot this mule deer buck Nov. 19 in southwest North Dakota. Ueland, 76, said it had been six years since he drew his last mule...
For some ice fishing diehards, the extended fall increases the temptation to venture onto hard water before the ice is safe. It's best to have a plan for dealing with mishaps just in case, and the United States Swim School Association recently shared this list: Brace yourself: The immediate reaction is to gasp for air, but breathing in freezing water increases the chances of drowning. Keep calm: Do not panic or flail your arms; this will release more body heat. Keep your head above the water and grab onto the ice in the direction you came from.