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—There could be more, but by all indications, only one peregrine falcon chick hatched in the nest box atop the UND water tower, where patriarch Marv and a new female of unknown origin set up shop this spring. "The good news is we have one baby; the bad news is we only have one baby," local raptor expert and licensed bander Tim Driscoll said Thursday.
MICHIGAN, N.D. — For whatever reasons bears decide to wander where they don't normally wander, a bear decided to wander into Michigan, N.D., and has caused quite the buzz since Wednesday night, June 6, when photos started showing up on social media. Seth Smaage of Michigan took the first photos of the bear about 5 p.m. Wednesday, when it was standing just west of the Leading Edge Equipment John Deere dealership north of U.S. Highway 2 in Michigan, and the photos then were posted on the Community of Michigan, ND Facebook page.
GRAND FORKS—The peregrine falcons nesting atop the University of North Dakota water tower appear to have at least one baby, observers say. Parents are Marv, the patriarch of Grand Forks peregrines since 2014, and an unbanded female that showed up this spring in place of Terminator, who had produced every peregrine chick since 2008 when she first nested in Grand Forks. Terminator didn't return to the nest box this year, so the speculation is she died.
Early next month, we'll load up, six of us, in two pickups for a very long drive into the wilds of northern Saskatchewan. We'll cross into Canada northwest of Minot and wind our way north through small prairie towns that will pass in the blink of an eye. We'll drive through larger communities such as Estevan and small cities such as Regina and Prince Albert, where we'll cross the Saskatchewan River and leave the prairies in the rear view mirror.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—Rob Horken might best be remembered as "Ernie the Angler," his longtime alter ego who did weekly summer fishing reports on WDAZ-TV Channel 8 in Grand Forks, but in retirement, Horken keeps his feet in the fishing waters by building custom fishing rods. Any size, any color, Horken probably can build it. The retirement gig is keeping the owner of Rob's Rod Repair and Custom Built Fishing Rods busy in his East Grand Forks shop. As busy as he wants to be, at least, and that's just the way Horken likes it.
The new North Dakota state record walleye Neal Leier of Bismarck caught Friday, May 18, on the Missouri River in Bismarck has been the talk of the fishing world for good reason. Big fish are fascinating, and news of them travels fast these days. Leier's 15-pound, 13-ounce walleye broke a record that had stood since 1959, when Blair Chapman of Minnewaukan, N.D., weighed in a 15-pound, 12-ounce walleye from Wood Lake in Benson County.
BAUDETTE, Minn. — This is a rant — about those new-style gas containers equipped with safety features that make it impossible for most of us to dispense the gasoline they're designed to hold. How do I hate them? Let me count the ways. Someday, I'd like to find the people who developed these safety features and turn them loose on a remote northern Minnesota highway. Then, I'd like to see them try to pour fuel from one of their devil cans into a car that has run out of gas.
ON LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn. — Anyone who says walleye fishing — or any kind of fishing, for that matter — is an equal opportunity pastime wasn't in Jason's Laumb's boat on the opening weekend of Minnesota's 2018 walleye season. Despite weather that was about as close to perfect as you could ask for on a Minnesota Fishing Opener, the Black Cloud loomed large, at times, for a couple of fishermen in our crew. I was one of them.
LANCASTER, Minn.—A wildfire that broke out early Tuesday afternoon in Clow Township about 10 miles northwest of Lancaster and later jumped the border into Manitoba was about 70 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, officials said. According to Christi Powers, an information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, air crews Wednesday morning, May 16, estimated the size of the fire at 1,300 acres in an area that's about half forest and half grasslands. A cabin was confirmed destroyed by the fire, Powers said.
If there was such a thing as a perfect weather forecast going into the Minnesota Fishing Opener, it would look a lot like the predictions on tap for Saturday and Sunday across northern Minnesota from the National Weather Service. Fishing season for walleyes and northern pike officially gets underway at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, and some 500,000 anglers are expected to hit their favorite lake or stream in pursuit of Minnesota's state fish, the walleye. Walleyes and pike have been off-limits on Minnesota inland waters since late February.