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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BAUDETTE, Minn. — There's no official opening day of ice fishing season — that's up to Mother Nature — but for the crew at Ballard's Resort on Lake of the Woods, the winter season officially started Tuesday morning, Dec. 12, when they shuttled their first anglers out to rental houses set up on the ice north of Pine Island. Start slow. Play it safe. Ramp it up. There's plenty of winter up here in the border country, after all.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Authorities in Devils Lake say they haven't actually seen the mountain lion captured on a landowner's trail cameras three weeks ago on the west side of Six-Mile Bay, but there's no question the photos are legit as rumors about the cat continue to fly. "I'm pretty sure we have a cat here—or had," said Paul Freeman, northeast district enforcement supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake. "It has been quite some time. Is it still around? It's certainly possible."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A peregrine falcon hatched in 2016 atop the University of North Dakota water tower and named after Grand Forks birding authority Dave Lambeth has a new permanent home. In Winnipeg. David, as the peregrine chick was dubbed in June 2016 when he was banded by local raptor expert Tim Driscoll, now is a resident of Parkland Mews Falconry and Bird of Prey Education Centre, a facility on the outskirts of Winnipeg that runs a breeding and education program using birds of prey that recover from injury but can't be released back to the wild.
He had the buck in his sights—"dead to rights," as he put it later—and everything was lining up for a perfect shot. The deer was standing broadside no more than 50 yards away, and the moment deer hunters wait for was at hand. He pulled the trigger. Click. ... And that was it. No loud boom. No cloud of smoke. No deer. We weren't there to witness this incident firsthand, but we could envision the cry of anguish that likely interrupted the silence of a northern Minnesota evening.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Authorities in Devils Lake say they haven't actually seen the mountain lion captured on a landowner's trail cameras three weeks ago on the west side of Six-Mile Bay, but there's no question the photos are legit as rumors about the cat continue to fly. "I'm pretty sure we have a cat here—or had," said Paul Freeman, northeast district enforcement supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake. "It has been quite some time. Is it still around? It's certainly possible."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—As a Coast Guard-licensed catfish guide, Brad Durick of Grand Forks uses technology to locate the whiskery denizens of the Red River's murky depths. These days, Durick runs a Humminbird Helix 10 G2N (which stands for "Generation 2 Networkable") depthfinder with MEGA Imaging on his guide boat. That's a big name for a unit with an abundance of bells and whistles, but suffice to say it does more than show water depth and blips on the screen that represent fish.
With his trademark red beard, contagious enthusiasm and gift for gab, Brian Brosdahl is one of the most recognized, sought-after personalities in the ice fishing industry. "Bro," as he's known to all, is a frequent seminar speaker, fishing guide and product promoter at ice shows, sports shows and promotional events throughout the Ice Belt, including the St. Paul Ice Show, which began Friday, Dec. 1, and winds down today at the St. Paul RiverCentre.
Officials from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department got an earful this week in Grand Forks from hunters frustrated with not being able to draw a deer gun tag in recent years. Some hunters said they've now gone more than five years without drawing a gun season tag. About 65 people, mostly middle-age-and-older men, filled the Red River Archers' indoor range Tuesday night for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's District 4 fall Advisory Board meeting. Game and Fish is mandated to hold the meetings twice a year in each of the state's eight Advisory Board districts.
GRAND FORKS—Raccoons displaying odd behavior symptomatic of distemper have been reported by homeowners near Larimore, N.D., and while nothing has been confirmed, the reports are a good reminder for people to make sure their dogs and other pets are vaccinated, experts say. Distemper—or canine distemper, as it's officially known—is a viral-borne illness similar to rabies.
Dr. Kayla Odegard, of Grand Forks, N.D., shot this moose with a bow Sept. 14 while hunting between Rock Lake and Sarles, N.D. According to her dad, Dr. Rick Odegard, she drew one of the once-in-a-lifetime tags the first time she applied.