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. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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Last week's column about a buck entangled with the antlers of another buck with only the head remaining near Walhalla, N.D., prompted an email from Grant Ubl of Waupaca, Wis., who shared a similar story. In the case of Ubl's story, a hunter even managed to track down and shoot the buck entangled with the head of a long-dead buck. Crazy stuff.
GRAND FORKS — We hadn't had our lines in the water more than 10 minutes when I felt a fish hanging on to my jig; the bite wasn't as much a "thunk" as a presence. It was May 13, the opening day of Minnesota's 2017 walleye season, and I hadn't felt the bite of a walleye since New Year's Day on Lake Winnipeg. Shoulder surgery in early January had put me out of commission for fishing and pretty much anything else outdoors-related most of the winter.
Turkey took center stage at dinner tables across the country when Americans sat down for their Thanksgiving feasts, but many hunters will be giving thanks for the wild birds, which provide hunting opportunities in both North Dakota and Minnesota. "I used to love elk hunting, and then I got a taste of turkey hunting," said Kristi Coughlon, an information officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji and—you guessed it—an avid turkey hunter.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn.—Bob Brott and his cousin, Gary Soucie, had just wrapped up a great day of walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods near Garden Island on Monday afternoon, July 31, when their day took a big turn for the worse. Fortunately, they lived to tell about it. As Brott recalls, they'd caught a limit of 17- to 19-inch walleyes, and he was steering his 1974 Glasspar powered by an 88-horse Evinrude outboard into a stiff southwest wind for the 15-mile trip back across Big Traverse Bay to Long Point, where they'd launched.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A Devils Lake angler has caught what likely will be the new world line-class record white bass on Devils Lake as recognized by the International Game Fish Association. Blake LaFleur caught the white bass Feb. 13 in 40 feet of water in the main basin of Devils Lake using 2-pound test line. The big fish weighed 4.27 and 4.32 pounds on separate scales and measured 18½ inches long with a 16-inch girth.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Nathan Lafleur says it never entered his mind to keep the massive northern pike he caught Wednesday evening while fly fishing from shore along a shallow bay of Devils Lake. Never mind the fact the fish had a 22-inch girth and measured 51½ inches, eclipsing the 48-inch length of the state record pike, which weighed 37 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught in 1968 on Lake Sakakawea. Lafleur says he never weighed the pike, but online length-girth estimates put the fish in the ballpark of 39 pounds. Yowza!
As the weather warmed up, so did the ice fishing, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported Monday. Ice roads along the South Shore are allowing half-ton trucks onto the lake when not towing a trailer, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Ice averages 14 to 17 inches thick. As always, stay on marked resort trails and check with local resorts for the most up-to-date ice conditions. Best fishing reports along the South Shore are coming from 24 to 34 feet of water, the report said.
Anyone who’s ever watched Noah Kuck in the field will attest to his uncanny ability to hear and identify birds. To call birdwatching a passion for the Fargo teenager would be an understatement.
There’s reason for optimism going into Minnesota’s deer opener, and the 400,000-plus hunters who hit the field for one of the year’s biggest outdoors “happenings” should see more deer on the landscape this year, thanks to a milder winter and conservative regulations last year, wildlife managers say. Minnesota’s firearms deer season opened Saturday. Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said conservative regulations again this year likely will result in hunters seeing deer they can’t shoot. One-deer limit
It won’t be available until October, but a new coffee table book set to hit the shelves commemorates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which was founded in 1916. Titled “59 Illustrated National Parks, Celebrating 100 Years of Wilderness and Wonder,” the book by Joel Anderson and his son, Nathan Anderson, features original poster illustrations, photography, facts and stories about America’s great wilderness parks and the people who protect and preserve them. The U.S.