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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PULASKI TOWNSHIP, N.D. — Things are hopping on this crisp November afternoon as members of the Duray and Kasprick hunting clan get together to mark a seasonal rite of work and pleasure. It's sausage-making time, and this 24-by-24-foot heated shop east of Warsaw, N.D. — an area rich in Polish heritage and tradition — is absolutely bustling with activity.
Turkey will take center stage at dinner tables across the country Thursday when Americans sit 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.
GRAND FORKS — As a parent with a passion for sharing the outdoors with his kids, Cal Helgeson is frustrated. Given the potential challenges young deer hunters in North Dakota face after drawing their two youth deer hunting tags, he's probably not alone.
GRAND FORKS — When Tommy Sullivan transferred to Grand Forks Air Force Base in 2012 from Edwards AFB in California, he bought a new .30-06 rifle in hopes of drawing a tag for North Dakota's regular deer gun season, which opens at noon Friday, Nov. 10. He's still hoping. "I haven't even shot at a deer with it yet," said Sullivan, 31, a technical sergeant who lives near Thompson, N.D.
This isn't a deer hunting story, as such, but as memorable buck encounters go, it ranks right up there for Paul Edman, Richard Edman and Dan Edman—three brothers who grew up in Warren, Minn., and were attending Bemidji State University at the time. Dan Edman, who teaches construction electricity at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks and still lives in Warren, reached out to share the story of the day back in the early '70s when he and his two older brothers rescued a buck in distress. Without their help, the deer likely would have perished.
Hunters who were fortunate enough to draw a North Dakota deer gun license this fall should have a decent shot at bagging a deer, officials say. In that sense, the deer season outlook is similar to the past couple of years, said Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck. North Dakota's 16½-day deer gun season opens at noon Friday, Nov. 10 and continues through Sunday, Nov. 26.
GRAND FORKS—Andy Schoneich isn't a duck hunter, but he loves wildlife and does the occasional woodcarving when he gets the time. Developing a passion for the old wooden decoys that duck hunters used before the days of molded plastic was a natural progression. "There's a large number of collectors of the old wooden hunting decoys," Schoneich said. "Some of these decoys have exceeded $1 million and sit in some pretty prestigious collections."
GRAND FORKS—Be careful out there, motorists in Grand Forks County. Critters are on the move, and you never know what's going to run across the road. The latest unusual collision of wildlife and wheels occurred about 6:30 a.m. Friday, when a motorist hit and killed a bear on Grand Forks County Road 33, about halfway between Manvel and Gilby, near the intersection of County Road 3, authorities say.
Lake of the Woods
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Bull elk aren't common near Grand Forks, but a motorist hit one Saturday night, Oct. 8., on U.S. Highway 2 west of town A game warden shot the injured animal Sunday morning in a cornfield on the north side of the highway. The collision occurred at mile marker 351 near Dave's Total RV Repair, said Blake Riewer, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Grand Forks. Riewer put the animal down and issued a permit for the motorist to possess the elk.