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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DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—Ask Gary Thompson why people break through the ice, and he'll say they usually don't do a good enough job of testing it before they venture out. There's more to "reading" ice than measuring how thick it is. The Eskimos have more than 100 different words for snow, Thompson says. And while his vocabulary for describing ice is less extensive, it's no less accurate.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn. — David Stone of Roseau, Minn., had quite a surprise Saturday afternoon, Jan. 6, while ice fishing near Brush Island of Lake of the Woods on Minnesota's Northwest Angle. Fishing in a permanent fish house, Stone was set up over 15 feet of water when he marked a big cloud of baitfish suspended several feet off the bottom on his electronics. Stone lifted up the line on the rattle reel mounted above the hole and gave it a couple of jigs. "He showed up high so I started to move my jig up, and he smoked it," Stone said, recalling the strike.
Deer hunters across most of northwest Minnesota will have more opportunities this fall, the Department of Natural Resources said this week in announcing its deer season regulations. In the far northwest corner of the state, the DNR has designated most deer permit areas as "managed," allowing hunters to use any combination of licenses to shoot as many as two deer, only one of which can be a buck. The only deer permit areas in the far northwest not designated as managed are 260, 203 and 208, where hunter choice regulations and a one-deer limit of either sex is in effect.
ST. PAUL — Plans to improve Minnesota's northern pike fishery with a system of zones and changes to bag limits and size limits has been put on hold after the proposed regulations hit an unexpected legal snag. As a result, the statewide pike limit for Minnesota inland waters remains at three with one longer than 30 inches in possession for this year, but the new regulation is on track to take effect in 2018.