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.
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Last week brought an influx of rough-legged hawks to our area that was both larger and earlier than expected. Matt Spoor alerted Grand Cities Bird Club members to the phenomenon. He reported seeing 35 rough-legged hawks in the grasslands areas northwest of Grand Forks last Sunday. I got in on the party, though I didn't see nearly as many hawks as Spoor, probably because I started late and didn't put in as much time or cover as many miles. During the week, I saw rough-legged hawks along my route to the state capitol in Bismarck.
Ted Takasaki is one of North America's foremost authorities on walleyes and how to catch them. A native of Chatsworth, Ill., a small farm town about 100 miles south of Chicago, Takasaki, 59, attended the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he graduated with a degree in engineering. "A lot of good that did me," he joked.
LAKE BRONSON, Minn.—With daytime temperatures near 45 degrees, it wasn't exactly a polar expedition, but nine students from Heritage Christian School in Karlstad, Minn., spent two nights recently winter camping at Lake Bronson State Park in northwest, Minnesota. The state park near the town of Lake Bronson is about 80 miles northeast of Grand Forks.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—A small audience gathered Thursday night in Thief River Falls to hear area and regional staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources make their case for increasing hunting and fishing license fees.
How do you feel about spending more money for hunting and fishing licenses in Minnesota? That question promises to come up a fair bit over the next few weeks as state lawmakers grapple with Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to raise hunting and fishing license fees. As colleague Sam Cook of sister paper the Duluth News-Tribune reports in a story on the cover of today's Herald section of Northland Outdoors, the DNR's Game and Fish Fund, which pays for the bulk of fish and wildlife management in Minnesota, is expected to go into the red in 2019 without an influx of additional dollars.
There's something magical about a hunting camp in the north woods, a point that was driven home several times again during this year's deer season. Whether it's a rustic shack pieced together over the years or a deluxe cabin with all of the comforts of home, deer camps offer a tradition the likes of which few other outdoors experiences can match. It's about family, friends, stories, camaraderie and—yes—even the occasional bit of good-natured ribbing. Deer camp is a gathering place with a significance that goes far beyond the shooting of a buck or a doe.
LAKE OF THE WOODS COUNTY, Minn.—A deer camp in the now-defunct town of Carp, Minn., might not be the traditional setting for an afternoon gathering of senior women, but gather they did Thursday afternoon at "Buttercup's Bungalow." Now just a memory southwest of Baudette, Minn., Carp once had a store, gas station and post office. The area is sandwiched between Beltrami Island State Forest to the west and Pine Island State Forest to the east.
The question has no easy answer, no right or wrong. The question is intensely personal: Why do you hunt? For some, it's the chance to spend time outdoors and experience nature up close and personal. Others say hunting offers an opportunity to get together with friends and family. The kill ultimately factors into the equation somewhere in the mix—that's the essence of hunting, after all—but it's not necessarily at the forefront, and the reasons run deeper than that. No two answers are the same. And that's the way it should be.
FERGUS FALLS —A Fergus Falls man who grows giant pumpkins is hoping to earn a place in the Guinness World Records. Rick Swenson says he plans to launch a giant...
BELTRAMI — A forest fire that broke out Wednesday north of Minnesota’s Hayes Lake State Park in Beltrami Island State Forest was listed as 30 percent contained Thursday afternoon and...