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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CROOKSTON, Minn.—Nick Genereux's taxidermy studio is filled with head and full body mounts of all sizes and varieties. It's also filling up with awards. Owner of Outdoor Addictions Taxidermy in Crookston, Genereux recently won Taxidermist of the Year and Judge's Choice Breakthrough Best of Show awards in the Masters Division of the Minnesota Taxidermy Guild's annual convention and competition March 30 through April 2 in Rochester, Minn. As Minnesota taxidermy awards go, that's as good as it gets.
A story is beginning to emerge on the peregrine falcons that have taken up residence in a nest box atop an elevator on the south side of Crookston. Regional raptor expert Tim Driscoll of Grand Forks said he was able to get the number of the male peregrine's leg band Friday afternoon, and the bird is Jack, a Fargo-hatched peregrine Driscoll banded in 2014. Jack is named after Fargo radio host Jack Sunday, Driscoll said. The female peregrine in the Crookston nest box isn't banded, and her origin is uncertain, but she's at least 2 years old, Driscoll said.
National Park Week begins Saturday and continues through April 23, and the annual event offers an opportunity to learn more about these recreational jewels and what they have to offer. Summer is peak season for national parks, but the outdoor opportunities are available year-round.
POLK COUNTY, Minn. — Thursday afternoon was perfect for burning. And learning. Light and variable northeast winds and plenty of sun made for a pleasant afternoon to be outside serenaded by chorus frogs and wood frogs waking up from their winter slumber in the wetlands of Chicog Wildlife Management Area between Crookston and Fertile, Minn. But for the crew gathered at the WMA, there was little time to enjoy what nature had to offer. That's where the burning and learning came into play.
There are lots of signs of spring. No one of them is definitive, but taken together they are completely convincing. Probably the most familiar of these signs is the arrival of the western meadowlark, the state bird of North Dakota and five other states. The meadowlark is instantly recognizable and its song is loud and distinctive. The sound brought relief and joy to winter weary settlers on the wide open prairie.
It's funny how people drift in and out of our lives sometimes. That's also true with hunting and fishing partners. I can think of a half-dozen people with whom I shared numerous trips afield, only to gradually lose contact. Some of them live within walking distance. That is nobody's fault, and it didn't happen because of disputes or disagreements; it just happened. For whatever reason, it works that way sometimes.
ROOSEVELT, Minn.—A much-anticipated boat ramp on the south shore of Lake of the Woods near Rocky Point north of Roosevelt remains on hold despite plans that have been in the works since 1999, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says. According to Kent Skaar, Acquisition and Development Section leader for the DNR in St. Paul, lack of funding and delays in required state and federal Environmental Assessments are the main stumbling blocks to moving forward with the project.
NOME, Alaska — There were times, Chuck Lindner admits, when he had to dig deep to continue the 350-mile bicycle trek in which he'd immersed himself during the depths of the brutal Alaskan winter. The fourth day was probably the roughest, he said. Walking and pushing his fat tire bike up a rugged mountain pass into a sustained headwind of 50 mph and a wind chill factor of 50 below zero, Lindner says he averaged about 1 mph. There was no pedaling that day, and Lindner covered 19 miles in about 17 hours.
ST. PAUL — A lot of good things are happening this summer at Minnesota state parks, but additional funding is necessary to ensure services and facilities continue at current levels. That was the message Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails for the Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, had Thursday.
ST. PAUL — Plans to improve Minnesota's northern pike fishery with a system of zones and changes to bag limits and size limits has been put on hold after the proposed regulations hit an unexpected legal snag. As a result, the statewide pike limit for Minnesota inland waters remains at three with one longer than 30 inches in possession for this year, but the new regulation is on track to take effect in 2018.