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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GRAND FORKS, N.D.—It's official: The peregrine falcon that flew into town last week is Marv, the patriarch of Grand Forks' peregrine clan the past couple of years. Named after Marv Bossart, a Fargo TV personality who died in 2013, Marv was hatched that same year in Fargo and showed up in Grand Forks to mate the next spring. Tim Driscoll, Grand Forks raptor expert and licensed bander, said avid birder Dave Lambeth got a photo of the peregrine perched on the UND water tower. The photo shows the bird's leg bands, Driscoll said: black over red, and H over 72.
I spent only one day fishing Lake Winnipeg this winter and have gotten my fix of the big lake vicariously through the experiences of others. If there's a common theme, it's the scarcity of larger walleyes, the giant "greenbacks" that have drawn anglers to Lake Winnipeg by the thousands in recent years. Catching walleyes this winter on Lake Winnipeg hasn't been a problem most days, from what I've been told, but those big "Master Angler"-size walleyes measuring 28 inches or longer have been conspicuous by their absence.
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.
BISMARCK—North Dakota anglers, trappers and spring light goose hunters need new licenses for the 2017-18 season starting Saturday, April 1, and license buyers who use the Game and Fish Department's website will notice a new look to the online licensing system. The online system allows customers to buy, renew or apply for licenses. New licenses are available today, both online and at more than 140 vendors throughout the state.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—As comebacks go, I don't know how it could have been any better. Last Sunday in many ways was a day to celebrate. The weather was about as perfect as you could ask for on an early March day. The sun was shining, the sounds of passing Canada geese filled the air, and the relentless wind that had made being outside the previous day miserable was a thing of the past, if only for a day. Anyone fortunate enough to be outside last Sunday truly received a gift. The fishing wasn't bad, either. That's where the comeback comes into play.
MANDAN, N.D. — Charges have been filed in connection with two deer poaching incidents that occurred in November and December in or near the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in Morton County, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said. According to Bob Timian, enforcement chief for Game and Fish in Bismarck, the Morton County state's attorney's office has filed criminal complaints against four men identified in two separate incidents of illegally possessing deer in North Dakota.
EDINBURG, N.D.—An animal shot illegally west of Edinburg in Walsh County in northeast North Dakota has been confirmed as a gray wolf, and charges are pending, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says. Paul Freeman, northeast district warden supervisor for Game and Fish in Devils Lake, said he received a call Feb. 19 from a witness who'd seen an animal shot along Walsh County Road 9. Freeman responded to the site and put down the wounded animal.
GRAND FORKS — The winter of 2016-17 started out on a dicey note for wildlife managers, who feared the impact of heavy snow and prolonged cold on species such as deer and pheasants. At the same time, fisheries managers braced themselves for winterkill, which can occur when snow builds up atop the ice and underwater plants produce less of the dissolved oxygen fish and other aquatic life need to survive. After a nasty December, the consensus in early March is things could have been worse if not for prolonged mild stretches of unseasonable weather in January and February.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is proposing modest increases in the number of elk and moose licenses available for the 2017 hunting season. According to Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for Game and Fish in Bismarck, the department is proposing to offer 389 elk tags statewide, up from 332 last year. The department is planning to offer 247 moose licenses, Williams said, up from slightly more than 200 last year. The department's elk and moose proclamations are at the governor's office awaiting the signature of Gov. Doug Burgum, Williams said.
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.