Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. 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. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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Lake of the Woods
Deer and other wildlife continue to weather the winter of 2018-19 fairly well in North Dakota and Minnesota, but that could change if cold and snowy conditions persist through March and into April, wildlife managers say. "It's a traditional Minnesota winter—the problem is we've gotten used to the other ones," said John Williams, northwest region wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji.
The brutal weather of the past couple of weeks has reminded me how much easier it is these days to postpone outdoors excursions until conditions improve. Time was, that rarely happened; I usually went anyway. No more. I've written about this in the past, but the most extreme example of braving the elements I've experienced occurred Jan. 25, 1987, when two of us spent the day ice fishing on Lake of the Woods.
They call themselves the Sailorettes, and this group of Grand Forks-area women is proving that ice fishing isn't just a "guy thing." If the photos are any indication, these women know how to have a good time on the ice during annual winter trips to Lake of the Woods, and they catch plenty of fish in the process. The ice fishing trips have become a winter highlight, said Stacey Flesche, Grand Forks, a founding member of the Sailorettes; this year's trip was the fifth annual.
To get an event in the Outdoors 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. Fishing
A wayward mule deer that was shot last month along U.S. Highway 59 north of Thief River Falls after authorities determined it was acting strangely has tested negative for chronic wasting disease. That was expected, said Doug Franke, area wildlife supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Thief River Falls. In addition to lymph node samples that were tested for CWD, the brain was removed and sent to the University of Minnesota veterinary lab to be tested for brain worm or other diseases, Franke said Wednesday.
Back in early November, Mick McCoy of Neche, N.D., shared a photo of a rooster pheasant that was hanging around in his yard with a flock of local wild turkeys. Neche, in Pembina County, isn't exactly prime pheasant country, but the rooster would spend his days with the turkeys and then head off somewhere on his own to roost for the night. That went on until early this winter, but then the rooster disappeared and McCoy hadn't seen him in weeks. Until Monday morning.
Scott Jensen admits he was nervous going into this year's Arrowhead 135 winter race in northeast MInnesota, given all the hoopla about the dreaded polar vortex and forecast record cold temperatures. That's understandable when you're gearing up for a 135-mile wilderness ride on a fat-tire bike from International Falls to Tower, Minn. "It was sort of a sense of foreboding," said Jensen, 57, a Grand Forks attorney and fat-tire bike enthusiast. "We woke up Sunday morning up in International Falls, it was 44 below, and my car wouldn't start."
As an avid outdoorsman with more than 17 years in the hunting and fishing retail industry, Brad Olson knows a thing or two about having fun and selling fun to others. So, when Olson, who worked at Cabela's in East Grand Forks from November 2000 until February 2018, had an opportunity to help a fishing buddy launch a small company making soft plastic tails for fishing, he didn't hesitate to venture into new waters.
To get an event in the Outdoors 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. Banquets • Feb. 9: Red River Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 29th Annual Big Game Banquet, Alerus Center Ballroom, Grand Forks. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 7. Info: Paul Eslinger, (701) 202-0196. Fishing