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Outdoors Notebook: Grand Forks teen wins top youth taxidermy awards at state event

In addition to Best Youth Entry, Braden Durick won First Place and Best of Category ribbons for his head mount of a coyote and a blue ribbon for his lifesize mount of a raccoon.

Braden Durick, 13, Grand Forks, with his winning Youth Division entries in the North Dakota Taxidermists Association's annual Competition and Expo, held Feb. 24-25, 2023, at the Bismarck Hotel and Events Center.
Contributed/Brad Durick

BISMARCK – Braden Durick, 13, of Grand Forks, won overall Best Youth Entry and Best of Category awards for his lifesize mammal mount of a squirrel during the North Dakota Taxidermists Association’s annual Competition and Expo, held Feb. 24-25 at the Bismarck Hotel and Events Center.

He also won First Place and Best of Category ribbons in the Youth Game Head category for his head mount of a coyote and a blue ribbon for his lifesize mount of a raccoon.

Durick is a seventh-grader at Sacred Heart School in East Grand Forks and has been studying taxidermy for less than two years.

– Brad Dokken



DNR names new Baudette fisheries supervisor

BAUDETTE, Minn. – Matthew Skoog is the new area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Baudette.

Marc Bacigalupi, regional fisheries supervisor for the DNR’s Northwest Region, announced the hire Feb. 16 in a memo to staff. Skoog, who was assistant area fisheries supervisor in Baudette for the past four years, replaces Phil Talmage, who transferred to International Falls, Minn., in August 2022 to become area fisheries supervisor there.

Skoog has a bachelor’s degree from Bemidji State University and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Before moving to Baudette, he worked three years as a stream fish biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

– Herald staff report

Wildlife Society honors Svedarsky

Dan Svedarsky, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Crookston, was recently honored with the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society’s 2022 Professional Award of Merit. The award was presented by President Tyler Harms, at the section’s annual meeting in Overland Park, Kan.

The award is presented to Wildlife Society members living in the eight north central states for outstanding professional accomplishments in wildlife conservation.

Dan Sverdarsky
Dan Svedarsky

“Dan Svedarsky has been an exemplary professional and asset to the wildlife profession for over 50 years,” Harms said. “Few professionals have had such a broad impact on so many different components of the profession as well as students and professionals in their learning and skill development. Dr. Svedarsky is exceptionally deserving of this recognition.”

Svedarsky started his career at the Crookston campus in 1969 and retired in 2018 as professor and director of sustainability after holding nearly every academic position at the institution. He started the Natural Resources program at UMC in 1969 and led development of the Wildlife Management and Natural Resources Aviation majors.


Over the years, Svedarsky has been advisor to more than 1,000 students and taught a wide variety of classes. He co-advised six master’s and one doctoral student as an adjunct faculty member at UND and North Dakota State University. To support these graduate students and other research, he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research and conservation of prairies through a joint appointment with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center.

He is perhaps best known in the research area for his work on greater prairie chickens. He was a founding member of the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary meeting this spring.

– Herald staff report

Minnesota fish house removal dates approach

ST. PAUL – Fish house removal deadlines in Minnesota are approaching, and anglers with houses on the ice should plan to bring the proper tools to remove their shelters safely, the DNR said.

Don’t leave wood blocks, insulation or trash of any kind behind on the ice. Trash and human waste sink to the bottom or wash up on shore, polluting the water, impacting aquatic plants and animals and threatening many species of water birds. Anglers should leave the ice like they found it and leave nothing but an impression behind.

Fish houses on inland waters in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota must be off the ice by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 6. In the northern one-third of the state – north of the east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along state Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border – the deadline is by 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 20.

Removal deadlines for houses on border waters are as follows:

  • Minnesota-North and South Dakota, March 5.
  • Minnesota-Canada, March 31.

Houses on the Minnesota-Iowa border were required to be off the ice Feb. 20, while the removal deadline for Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters was March 1.
Anglers can still use shelters after the removal deadline, but houses on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise must be occupied or attended.


More info: mndnr.gov.

– Herald staff report

Did you know?

  • Anglers in Minnesota needed new fishing licenses as of March 1. Minnesota’s 2022 licenses expired Feb. 28. Licenses for 2023 are now available wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov and by telephone at (888) 665-4236.
  • Walleye and sauger fishing on Four-Mile Bay of Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River is catch-and-release only from March 1 through April 14, the DNR said in a reminder. The rest of U.S. waters on Lake of the Woods is still open for harvesting walleyes and saugers through April 14th.
  • In partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Bellevue University in Nebraska, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever officially launched its Journey to Conservation Careers (J2CC) curriculum during the recent National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Minneapolis. The learning initiative is designed to introduce wildlife conservation as a field of study and career path. For more information about Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Journey to Conservation Careers, visit the website at pheasantsforever.org or contact Marissa Jensen at mjensen@pheasantsforever.org .
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its voluntary Conservation Reserve Program, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said in a reminder. Private landowners can apply at their local USDA Farm Service Agency office through April 7.

– compiled by Brad Dokken

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