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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Jeff Birchem, a retired Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who lives near Roosevelt, Minn., shared this trail camera photo from early November during Minnesota's firearms deer season. "This rough legged hawk thought he was king of the gut pile till this eagle came along," Birchem writes.
Jeff Birchem, a retired Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who lives near Roosevelt, Minn., shared this trail camera photo from early November during Minnesota’s firearms deer season. “This rough legged hawk thought he was king of the gut pile till this eagle came along,” Birchem writes.
FERTILE, Minn.—Dan Wilkens was in his 20s and recently married in 1969 when he and his wife, Pamela, bought a farm west of Fertile near the bottom of the Sand Hill River Watershed. Flooding was a recurring problem, Wilkens recalls, and water as far east as Maple Lake at the top of the watershed would inundate farmland to the west. Building a ditch system to alleviate the flooding presented challenges, Wilkens said.
Aiden Evitts, 11, of Roseau, Minn., had himself quite a day of fishing Saturday, Dec. 8, on Lake of the Woods catching 31-inch and 28½-inch walleyes about an hour and a half apart while fishing with his dad, John, north of Pine Island. Here's how family friend Bryan Mason described the encounter: "John got him and his son set up and then went to help a buddy get set up next to them. It was only a matter of minutes and Aiden was yelling from the portable, 'Dad, I got a big one, help!!'
Anglers on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River—including Four-Mile Bay—will face tighter regulations beginning March 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says. The DNR on March 1 will reduce the winter limit on Lake of the Woods from an aggregate of eight walleyes and saugers—of which no more than four can be walleyes—to an aggregate limit of six, with only four walleyes allowed. As always, anglers must release all walleyes from 19½ inches to 28 inches and can keep one trophy walleye longer than 28 inches.
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. Events Park vehicle passes are required for all events at North Dakota and Minnesota state parks. Vehicle passes are $7 daily and $35 annually in both states. • Dec. 9: Final day of inaugural Fargo Ice Fishing Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Scheels Arena, 5225 31st Ave. S., Fargo. Info: www.fargoicefishingshow.com .
Chronic wasting disease has been in the news again this week with the report that a deer in Houston County in far southeast Minnesota tested "presumptive positive" for the disease. In a news release Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said confirmation was expected, which will mean the first confirmed case of CWD in Houston County since testing began in 2002. Now, it appears CWD also is making inroads in North Dakota, where a deer in Unit 3A1 initially has tested positive for the disease.
The Roseau River Watershed District was named as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Watershed District of the Year on Friday, Nov. 30 during the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts' annual meeting in Alexandria, Minn. Stephanie Klamm, area hydrologist for the DNR in Thief River Falls, nominated the district for the agency's award. Accepting the award were Tracy Halstensgard, administrator of the Roseau River Watershed District, and Torn McCormack, Watershed District specialist.
Minnesota deer kill declines Minnesota hunters shot fewer deer during this year's firearms deer season, preliminary numbers from the Department of Natural Resources show. According to the DNR, hunters registered 148,019 deer through Nov. 18, down from 160,962 during the same time frame last year. Hunters shot 78,886 bucks, preliminary figures show, compared with 86,078 bucks last year. The firearms deer season ended Nov. 11 in 200- and 300-series permit areas of the state and continued through Nov. 18 in 100-series permit areas of northeast Minnesota.
They're calling it "Walleye Wars," and it's a fish-off, of sorts, between tourism groups on Devils Lake and Lake of the Woods. Reps from Lake of the Woods Tourism and the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the event Friday during a Facebook Live presentation from the St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show. The premise: Put one angler in a fish house on Devils Lake and one angler in a fish house on Lake of the Woods for a day and see who can catch the most fish.