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—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.
September is Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month, and while September days are numbered, the importance of being safe in a tree stand doesn't end Sept. 30. If anything, tree stand safety becomes even more important as deer gun and muzzleloader seasons approach. Every fall, it seems, hunters make news for all the wrong reasons after falling out of tree stands in accidents that could have been prevented.
WILLIAMS, Minn.—Curt Quesnell barely has a chance to get his boat up on plane before he reaches one of his favorite Lake of the Woods fishing spots on a crisp Monday morning in late September. So much for the adage that fishing always is better on the other side of the lake. For Quesnell, this side of Lake of the Woods near Long Point has been just fine, thank you very much. It's been that way for the past month, he says.
Barring a drastic change in weather patterns, dry conditions will play into hunting strategies this fall for duck and goose hunters, especially those who prefer hunting over water. The regular duck and goose seasons open Saturday, Sept. 23 in North Dakota and Minnesota. The first week of North Dakota's season is open to residents only; nonresidents can hunt beginning Sept. 30.
Hunter Dosch knows he's fortunate to only have 10 stitches in his right index finger and some cuts on his arms and a gash on one knee. It could have been worse. ... "I had a muzzleloader blow up in my hands," Dosch said, offering a short and sweet explanation of what happened. "Too much gunpowder. I'm about 100 percent sure of that."
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Henry Duray was new on the job as 22-year-old manager of Lewis and Clark State Park in northwest North Dakota when he walked into a store in Williston one day in 1976 to set up a charge account for the park. "The lady at the store wouldn't do it because she didn't think I was the manager — I was just way too young to be any kind of manager," Duray, 64, recalls. "I would need a letter from Bismarck saying who I was."
The past two weeks have been a blur as a combination of work and vacation took me everywhere from the Northwest Angle to the Twin Cities. On the work front, I was up at the Northwest Angle on Monday, Aug. 21, to report on an event celebrating the launch of a new border crossing system in this remote part of Minnesota that marks the northernmost point of the continental U.S.