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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GRAND FORKS — 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.
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — The number of deer shot by Minnesota hunters after the first nine days of the firearms deer season is down about 9.5 percent from last year, preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources show. According to Erik Thorson, acting big game program manager for the DNR in Park Rapids, Minn., hunters through Sunday, Nov. 11, had registered 132,633 deer, down from 146,537 last year.
Minnesota hunters registered 62,702 deer, of which 36,149 were bucks, during the opening weekend of the state’s firearms deer season, according to preliminary reports from the Department of Natural Resources. That’s down about 14.5 percent from last year’s opener, when hunters registered 73,479 deer and 42,286 bucks during the first two days of season, the DNR said.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — If just the thought of forest tent caterpillars is enough to make your skin crawl, there's favorable news in the woods this spring as trees begin leafing out across the region. This year's tent caterpillar season looks pretty meek across Minnesota, forest experts say. "It's hard to know exactly, as it is every year, but we're not poised for a major outbreak or anything like that," said Mike Parisio, forest health specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji. "I'd say we're in for a pretty typical year."
BEMIDJI, Minn. — If you're one of those goofball anglers thinking it would be fun to go ice fishing on Minnesota's fishing opener, prepare to be disappointed. There very likely will be ice floating around some northern Minnesota lakes come opening day, but you'll need a boat to reach it. That annual rite of spring known as the Minnesota walleye opener kicks off at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 12.
North Dakota doesn't have the anticipation of a walleye opener because fishing season is continuous, but Lake Sakakawea is looking like the go-to destination for North Dakota walleye fanatics this open-water season, biologists say.
GREENBUSH, Minn.—A fire that broke out Sunday night in western Roseau County in far northern Minnesota was 90 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, officials say. Known as the "County Road 7 Fire," the wildfire burned about 4,000 acres of mostly grass and swampland habitat north of Roseau County Road 7 about 15 miles northwest of Greenbush, Minn., said Christi Powers, an information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, Minn.
GREENBUSH, Minn. -- Firefighters are working to control a large grass fire that started Sunday night about 15 miles northwest of Greenbush in western Roseau County. Known as the “County Road 7 Fire,” the fire had burned about 5,800 acres of grass and brushland as of Monday afternoon, said Adam Munstenteiger, area forestry supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Warroad, Minn.
Firefighters continue to battle a large grass fire burning east of Lancaster, Minn., in Kittson County. According to a Facebook post from the Lancaster Fire Department, the fire as of 3 a.m. Monday had burned 2,400 acres in Juneberry Township east of Lancaster and was on track to burn 2,700 acres if the entire field burns.
ON THE RAINY RIVER, Minn. — For people who fish, there's something about getting in a boat again after a long winter that's difficult to put into words. Excitement is part of it. So is anticipation. Anticipation for the sound of an outboard motor rumbling to life for the first time in months. Anticipation for the sound of water lapping against the hull of the boat, a sound as soothing as it is hypnotic.