Doug Smith

Even if the fish aren’t biting, the ducks aren’t flying and the pheasants aren’t flushing, Doug Smith says any day spent outdoors is a good day. A Minnesota native, he’s been covering the outdoors for the Star Tribune since 1995. He considers walleyes fried over a campfire to be gourmet cuisine.


Seventeen appointed to new Lake Mille Lacs advisory group

Seventeen appointed to new Lake Mille Lacs advisory group

The DNR says members of the committee will contribute to the broader understanding of biological, social and economic aspects of the lake


Some hunters this weekend will be asked to have ducks tested for avian flu

Sam Olson, 14, of Minnetonka, scans the sky for ducks at dawn during Youth Waterfowl Day at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Shakope

The Department of Natural Resources will have field testing stations in Kandiyohi, Meeker, Morrison, Pope, Stearns, Swift and Todd counties.


North Dakota pheasants are up 30 percent

North Dakota pheasants are up 30 percent

Results mirror results in Minnesota, South Dakota.


Dayton says they'll be a walleye season this winter on Mille Lacs

Dayton says they'll be a walleye season this winter on Mille Lacs

Previously, the DNR said it would wait until an annual fall walleye survey was complete on Mille Lacs before determing whether winter walleye fishing could begin Dec. 1.


DNR seeks applicants for new Mille Lacs advisory group

DNR seeks applicants for new Mille Lacs advisory group

Deadline to apply is Sept. 24


DNR: Minnesota pheasant index up 33 percent over last year

DNR: Minnesota pheasant index up 33 percent over last year

However, the 2015 pheasant index is 39 percent below the 10-year average and 59 percent below the long-term average. Loss of habitat remains a concern.


DNR to consider changes to spring turkey hunting season

DNR to consider changes to spring turkey hunting season

Officials say it's time to reconsider current structure


Pheasant count up 42 percent in South Dakota

Pheasant count up 42 percent in South Dakota

Good news for the thousands of Minnesota pheasant hunters who head west each fall to chase roosters in South Dakota: pheasant numbers there are up.


State walk-in hunting program gets federal funding, will expand

State walk-in hunting program gets federal funding, will expand

A $1.67 million, three-year federal grant that funds the program has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials announced Monday.


Time to apply for fall youth hunts is now

Waterfowl, deer and upland hunts are available


DNR to allow bass sorting on Mille Lacs to boost tourneys

DNR to allow bass sorting on Mille Lacs to boost tourneys

The Department of Natural Resources announced a change in fishing regulations for Mille Lacs Lake that officials say will help attract more national bass tournaments to the area.


Mille Lacs walleye harvest could hit quota by end of month

Walleye bag limits will be tighter on Upper Red Lake this season.

Despite this year's low walleye population, DNR fishery surveys have shown this year that there may be good news on the horizon.


Invasive spiny waterfleas found on Lake Vermilion

spiny waterflea1

Not good news for Lake Vermilion: state officials have confirmed the popular northern Minnesota lake is infested with spiny waterfleas.


Duck bonanza? Federal estimates are at all-time high

A mallard duck takes flight.

Spring continental survey shows 49.5 million ducks


Ruffed grouse drumming counts unchanged from last year

Ruffed grouse drumming counts unchanged from last year

The annual spring drumming survey showed no statistical change in all regions of the state, the DNR said Monday.


Encouraging news for North Dakota pheasants

Ring-necked pheasant

Minnesota's pheasant hunters won't get a hint of next fall's pheasant population until after the DNR's August roadside counts, but there's encouraging news in North Dakota.


Numerous laws approved by Legislature will affect outdoor enthusiasts

Numerous laws approved by Legislature will affect outdoor enthusiasts

Hunters, anglers, boaters, trappers and more will be affected


Back-to-back record fish for Minneapolis angler

Back-to-back record fish for Minneapolis angler

Last year, Chad Wentzel landed a state record golden redhorse. A year later to the day, on the bank of the Root River in Fillmore County, he broke his own record.


Missouri angler: 'I then bear-hugged the fish'

Missouri angler: 'I then bear-hugged the fish'

A 65-pound striped bass is a state record and an even better story.


Bear guide convicted of poaching faces $4,000 in fines

Bear guide convicted of poaching faces $4,000 in fines

Minnesota bear guide pleaded guilty in Cook and Faribault county district courts to illegally hunting bear, deer and other animals.