Staff Directory 10644341

Dennis Anderson

Columnist | Outdoors
Phone: 612-673-4424
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Outdoors columnist and editor Dennis Anderson joined the Star Tribune in 1993 after serving in the same positions at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for 13 years. His column topics vary widely, and include canoeing, fishing, hunting, adventure travel and conservation of the environment.


Anderson was born in North Dakota, but grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Minnesota, Morris and a master's in journalism from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where his focus was communications law. He and his wife, Jan, along with their Labrador retrievers, live on a small farm in the St. Croix River Valley. As time allows, Anderson competes on cutting horses.
Recent content from Dennis Anderson
Frank Taylor gave guests a lesson in bird biology during a mist-netting and banding session in 2017 on the North Shore.

Anderson: Minnesota falconer is still raptor-crazy after all these years

Game Fair: Frank Taylor is in his 38th consecutive year at the event.
Dave Olfelt, a 31-year employee of the DNR who grew up in south Minneapolis, was promoted to Fish and Wildlife Division director last month.

Anderson: New DNR Fish and Wildlife director has faith he can tackle issues

In a Q&A, Dave Olfelt said: 'I know I'm in the driver's seat' He also discusses his outdoor interests and management of the Fish and Wildlife Division.

Anderson: DNR asks anglers to keep fewer sunfish - especially larger ones

Pelican Lake still has sunfish. But not in the numbers or size it once did.
Chuck and Loral I Delaney have owned and promoted Game Fair in Ramsey near Anoka for 38 years. Game Fair runs two three-day weekends, Aug. 9-11 and Au

Anderson: It's game on at Game Fair for Chuck and Loral I Delaney

From humble beginnings 38 years ago, the Delaneys built the Game Fair into major outdoor event in state
Brady Rudh, with a bowfish (his favorite species) during research work for the University of Minnesota.

Anderson: This young man has vision, and we're all better for it

Cottage Grove wunderkind Brady Rudh could do a lot of things; he loves the science of fisheries.
At the annual Ruffed Grouse Society hunt this fall in Grand Rapids, wingshooters will be required to test any grouse they harvest for West Nile virus.

Anderson: Why are young ruffed grouse seemingly dying more?

People in the woods during June and July have reported seeing "usual" or "average" numbers of grouse broods in recent years. But the young birds don't seem to survive until fall.
Road construction has plagued the Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame, imperiling its future.

Anderson: Fishing museum, hall of fame in Little Falls needs help to survive

Road construction since May 13 has made the 21-year-old establishment a challenge to find.
Bob Nasby of St. Paul navigated alongside the new St. Croix River bridge in search of smallmouth bass.

Anderson: Right partner, right weather and some well-coached fishing casts

Fly rods at the ready, Dennis Anderson and Bob Nasby motored along on the St. Croix atop ageless red and white pines that clutter the river bottom in search of smallmouth bass.
Bud Grant, Sid Hartman and Cookie Mohr (wife of Gophers coach Max, who took the photo) showed off the sort of fish that kept Grant coming back to Wisc

Anderson: A fishy record-chasing tale involving Bud Grant

The present muskie mark has stood for 70 years, but the Hall of Fame Vikings coach nearly caught a bigger one.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Litchfield Wetland Management District project leader Scott Glup says habitat work in his seven-county region has been

Anderson: Persistent rains affect landowners, habitat, wildlife

Litchfield area is good example of damage, and situation doesn't bode well for fall hunters.
Trevor Unruh, left, Riley Mcalpine and Ryder Beckman drew down on a few blue-winged teal in the 2016 Minnesota duck season.

Anderson: Actions, not plans, needed to save Minnesota's game birds

The Minnesota DNR in early September will release updated versions of its duck and pheasant plans.
Seen on Dallas Hudson’s phenology outings: the brown wood nymph, a butterfly.

Anderson: Phenologist-friend's eyes are open to nature – and its fragile connections

Outing near Akeley, Minn., is reminder of abundance and threats.
The proposed National Loon Center in Crosslake, Minn., continues to clear development hurdles for eventual construction on lakeside property controlle

Anderson: Loon center idea gains energy as it moves forward

Private fundraising is the next hurdle in Crosslake.
Don Anderson, Dennis Anderson’s dad, on Gunflint Lake in the late 1940s after he returned from World War II.

Anderson: On Father's Day, when I think of my dad, he's fishing

Memories spring, especially from Grandma and Grandpa's place in Frazee.
Anderson: Duck stamp designs should feature nature, not hunting

Anderson: Duck stamp designs should feature nature, not hunting

By far, the stamp program is the longest-running and most successful habitat conservation effort in the nation's history. Why mess with it?
Beaver Creek Valley State Park’s namesake stream flowed clear Tuesday before a violent thunderstorm struck the area.

Anderson: Southeast Minnesota has its own treasures

It doesn't get top billing like "Up North" but its oaks and aspens, basswoods, maples and elms are as inspiring as any northern coniferous forest.
Don Fraser endorsed sweeping protection for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — and it cost him politically.

Anderson: BWCA conflict of the 1970s left many in its wake

Former Minneapolis mayor Fraser, who died June 2, is no exception.
Brock Haugrud, left, 28, of Duluth, and Toby Halley, 26, of Northfield, Minn., are river fishing friends.

Anderson: There's no limit on friendships landed while fishing

Because fishing can provide lifelong learning opportunities — and challenges — it can change lives.
Rick Webster, Braden DePaulis, and Jon Olson, left to right, of the Spartan Angling class with a sturgeon on a class trip.

Anderson: Class project isn't only landing a whopper; it's landing outdoors stewards

Northern Minnesota teacher wins grant to start class at high school.
Duluth packs, cruise-ready canoes and open water were signs that spring has finally come to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — and paddlers

Anderson: After 25 years, a return to Ensign Lake in the BWCA

A once-bustling motorboat route has quieted, but canoe trek to Ensign Lake provided fruitful
Dave Rorem with some of his charges.

Anderson: Retriever trainer has learned from the best, gone on to teach the best

Dave Rorem has learned from the best of his peers, taught the best retrievers.
A wildlife official looked for evidence that a deer had come from a game farm during a culling by federal sharpshooters..

Anderson: Legislature is turning a blind eye to CWD in Minnesota

Whenever the Legislature finally, and mercifully, ends its business in St. Paul, its lack of decisive action to contain chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Minnesota's 1-million-animal-plus white-tailed deer herd will be among its major failures.
A tricked tom had more interest in the doings at the blind than near the seductive decoy.

Anderson: What's predictable about turkey hunting? Plans will change

The tom was tricked, but it still had the last laugh.
Even though the fishing opener at Paradise Resort on small Moose Lake near Bemidji was the main event, there was plenty of wildlife and birds to be ob

Anderson: Keeping eyes open in North Woods is like going on a safari

Even though the purpose of the trip to Beltrami County was for the fishing opener, plenty of wildlife and birds in the area were their own spectacle.
Catching walleyes was a family activity Saturday for Aaron Hobbs, who presented his catch to 3-year-old son Erik while Graden Harms, 10, manned the ne

Anderson: Generous limits a big fishing-opener draw on Upper Red

One of 10 large Minnesota lakes that together yield about 40% of the state's walleye harvest, Upper Red continues to amaze fisheries managers and anglers.
Patty Johnson of the Twin Cities has learned to enjoy the wonders of muskie fishing since joining Women Anglers of Minnesota. A boat owner, Johnson is

Anderson: Women's groups breathe new life into Minnesota fishing

While the number of fishing licenses sold in the last 10 years has declined, the sport's two major women's fishing groups have grown significantly.
On a spring day on which Lake Superior waves relentlessly pounded Minnesota’s North Shore, Dave Zentner of Duluth cut a solitary figure while fishin

Anderson: Angler rewarded for taking on cold North Shore streams

On a decidedly un-springlike day, fishing for steelhead had again begun.
Officers, clockwise from top left: Chelsie (Leuthardt) Grundhauser, Kyle Quittschreiber, Ed Picht and Eugene Wynn.

Anderson: DNR conservation officers are enduring a dark period in their ranks

To have four deaths in previous eight months might be unprecedented, says DNR's enforcement director.
Jen Heyer, center, and her class hold "Wilderness Wednesdays."

Anderson: Kindergarten teacher brings a surplus to offset the nature deficit

During the week of Earth Day, let's focus on a Eden Prairie teacher who is bringing the outdoors into teaching.
Dick Alford is a retired high school teacher, administrator and coach who has hunted turkeys just about everywhere in the world they can be hunted, in

Anderson: At 80, Alford is back in the hunt after scary fall

Nearly two years after a nasty slip on the ice left him in rehabilitation centers for 77 days, Dick Alford is in search of his 299th wild tom.
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake

Anderson: Some state legislators would again dip into trust fund for outdoors

Public beware: Some again want to dip into lottery-fed environmental fund.
Andy Lang, right, was joined on his property by Jon Schneider of Ducks Unlimited.

Anderson: Landowners in Minnesota - and elsewhere - creating a movement

Some of the conservation efforts involve land purchases by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the DNR or various conservation groups. More commonly, the lands are accessed through easements.
Snow geese and Ross's geese.

Anderson: The splendor of migration captured the attention on road sprint to Montana and back

Trip to buy a fifth-wheel covered Dakota country witnessing that rite of spring.
Minnesota and Wisconsin members of the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited gathered last Saturday along Parker Creek between Roberts and River Fal

Anderson: Wisconsin group gets to work on state's most popular rivers

In the 100 years that John Phillipps' family has owned land along Parker Creek outside of River Falls, perhaps never have so many unrelated people been on his property

Anglers on Upper Red Lake will be allowed to keep bigger walleyes

Anglers can keep four walleyes with one longer than 20 inches — or, if they choose, four walleyes under 20 inches.
Arnold Krueger of rural Le Center, Minn., cleaned one of 58 wood duck houses in his yard. Many wood ducks in Minnesota are dependent on well-maintaine

Anderson: Wood duck enthusiast has nesting boxes prepped for new season

Arnold Krueger, 90, has 58 wood duck boxes in his yard near Le Center and it's in the early spring when these birds are among the first waterfowl migrators to arrive in Minnesota.
Warm, sunny days last week followed by cool nights are ideal conditions to for sap to start running from tapped maple trees.

Anderson: Tapping into an early spring rite with an almost cultish following

However tangled our plan, the old syrup-making ways still resonate.
Crappies are among Minnesota’s most sought-after fish. But some advocates say limits and other management guidelines aren’t keeping up with the an

Anderson: Fish, and fishing industry, are starved for advocates

New group taking a plunge into role of Minnesota fishing's long-sought comprehensive voice

Anderson: 'What else are you going to do in winter?' Anglers made their point

More appeared to get out fishing — and stay out.

Seasonal change wreaking havoc on Minnesota's outdoors

Wildlife and anglers alike suffer in the deep snow and flood conditions.
Trevor Lo, fishing for the University of Minnesota, won the national collegiate bass fishing title in 2015. He’ll appear at the Northwest Sportshow

Anderson: Younger anglers to offer tips, guidance at Northwest Sportshow

A look at the profiles for four young and kind-of-young Minnesota anglers who will appear at the Northwest Sportshow.
Bemidji elementary school students watched trout eggs put into a special school aquarium as part of a special environmental education project through

Anderson: Minnesota Trout Unlimited, Great Waters Expo remind us fishing has a message beyond sport

Trout Unlimited and fly fishing expo are platforms for a unifying message.
Carl Gottlieb Uber came to Hartford, Wis., in 1854 from Europe to continue the family tanning business. Three of his four sons are shown in this 1900-

Anderson: Uber Glove and Tanning continues its rich tradition

The Uber family name has been restored to one of the last businesses of its kind in the United States.
Melissa Bachman stars and produces "Winchester Deadly Passion" on Sportsman Channel.

Anderson: Minnesota native has forged reputation with outdoors TV show

Melissa Bachman knew she wanted hunting to be part of her adult life -- and went after it.
Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, has shown an interest in the state's legacy recreational pursuits and natural resources management.

Anderson: Environmental education might be solution to making natural resources relevant

Amid societal changes, the focus has to be on meaningful education. And there are efforts out there.
About 4 percent of Lac qui Parle County is in public ownership. Those lands and waters are valued year-round by a variety of wildlife, especially duck

Anderson: Wildlife, water — or more crops? Both sides have their points

The Minnesota DNR and the Lac qui Parle County Board are squabbling over the state agency buying two parcels of farmland
In this undated file photo, a pheasant walks through the snow in the winter in Minnesota.

Southern Minnesota pheasants coping well with latest blizzard

A tour of areas surrounding Marshall on Monday revealed "quite a few pheasants coming out of winter cover to feed'' in open areas.
After years of catch-and-release angling, management of Mille Lacs walleye has the lake ready for a season that can support 150,000 pounds of harveste

Anderson: Numbers are right to open Mille Lacs walleye harvest

A majority of the lake's current 14-inch-plus walleyes were hatched in 2013, a "year class'' that is old enough now to be "exploited.''
Will Steger is about to return to the site of his spring trip of 2018: the arctic tundra of Canada.

Anderson: True north is adventurer Will Steger's truth every day

Yet, with another spring outing to the Barren Lands awaiting, he has a hard time explaining his incessant wanderlust.
Shelby McEntyre, 25, of Ely prepares to stake out three teams of sled dogs after arriving on Basswood Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildernes

Anderson: Dogs do the heavy lifting on anglers' BWCA deep-snow ventures

It takes a different animal to fish the BWCA in winter — and a rugged team to get there
There will be 140 teams (rider, horse, skier or snowboarder) at the Canterbury Park skijoring competition.

Anderson: Event at Canterbury Park takes equine competition in extreme direction

Rodeo pals reconnect to put on skijoring event.
“It’s important to remember that a plan is not an outcome,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “We want [the new plan] to be more action or

Anderson: Minnesota DNR officials promise duck plan by fall

Paul Telander, the agency's wildlife section chief, said he and other state waterfowl managers will meet with conservation group leaders as early as this month.
Judy Holmquist regularly fishes the St. Croix River in winter with her husband, Roy. But they usually occupy separate shacks while on the ice — two

Anderson: Out ice fishing together, but alone, on the St. Croix

Roy and Judy Holmquist love the sport — but prefer to keep it yards apart in their fishing shacks on the river. They have a unique tale of fishing love.
Circle of friends: Minnesota state Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, spoke Thursday at the Capitol at the Rally for Public Lands.

Anderson: Advocates of public land and waters gather at Capitol rally

Amid the glad-handing and backroom deals that are routine in St. Paul when legislators gather, scores of regular people trudged through snow Thursday to advocate in the Capitol rotunda for what was theirs.
Trevor Unruh, left, Riley Mcalpine and Ryder Beckman drew down on a few blue-winged teal during the 2016 Minnesota duck season opener.

Anderson: Duck plan on deck? Minnesota needs it to come together - quick

It's true: the long-awaited update to the Department of Natural Resources' 50-year duck plan hasn't yet been started.
Minnesota Department of Resources Conservation Officer Mitch Boyum has been named the 2019 DNR Conservation Officer of the Year. He is shown with his

Anderson: Conservation officer has proved worthy of DNR's highest accolades

Mitch Boyum proves worthy of one of the agency's highest accolades.
Nearly 10,000 anglers competed in the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday on Gull Lake. Prizes were awarded for the 150 biggest fish

Nearly 10,000 compete in Brainerd's big ice fishing contest

Organizers of the 29th Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza were pleasantly surprised by the big turnout despite predictions of bad weather.
What appears as a long long for the portable bathrooms is actually a line of successful fishing contestants waiting to register their fish on Hole in

Anderson: Brainerd Jaycees are focused on fishing fun at main event, not drama

Event is ready to move past allegations of cheating by some participants last year.
Invasive species such as zebra mussels and diseases affecting deer and other wildlife are among the threats to the outdoors at a time when fewer are p

Readers tell how they would solve conservation problems

We asked how to solve conservation problems, and you answered pointedly
Minnesota's deer hunting tradition is threatened by shrinking numbers of hunters and faltering license sales, and disease is also playing a role. Zebr

Anderson: Minn. needs ideas for saving its natural resources, quickly

Conservation of Minnesota's natural resources is in a lot more trouble than many realize. If actions aren't taken in the next 10 years or so, the outdoors lifestyle that historically has been a hallmark will go the way of the horse and buggy.
Thousands gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol Mall for the Rally for Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water on April 2, 2005. As many as 6,000 attended t

Anderson: Habitat funding amendent was a bet that paid

With the dawn of another legislative session, it's worth reminding how the 2008 amendment changed everything.
Hunters and anglers, whose numbers are dwindling, are carrying most of the financial load for outdoor pursuits. That means seeking other funding sourc

Anderson: A shift in the foundation for conservation

As hunter and angler numbers dwindle, new sources of support are needed to replace them.
OnX Hunt with waypoints and windspeed.

Anderson: onXmaps phone app is a big deal in the field

Precision of onXmaps came to fore on a mule deer hunt in Montana.
Gov.-elect Tim Walz on Thursday entrusted Sarah Strommen with the state’s most visible cabinet position, and the one with the hottest seat. Strommen

Anderson: Strommen's task is to find a better way for Minnesota's natural resources

We're failing our lands and waters in Minnesota; from new DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen on down, it's time to reverse the course.
Duck plan — what duck plan? For eight years under the administration of commissioner Tom Landwehr, the Department of Natural Resources has not produ

Anderson: Key issues in conservation in 2019

Several important natural resource issues will demand the attention of Minnesota conservationists in the coming year.
Winnie Zahradka posed with her 25 inch walleye that she caught during the 2015 Minnesota fishing opener at Lake Mille Lacs

Anderson: Readers' reactions to trophy photos raise broader questions

The largest issue and the most interesting one, is why in the first place hunters and anglers take photos of themselves with their quarry.
Hunting partners John Dzik, left, and Scott Herzog of the Twin Cities area strategized about ways to walk-and-post a southern Minnesota farm grove in

Anderson: Rabbit hunter hunts rabbits and grooms rabbit hunters

Hunter swayed a contemporary decades ago and now grooms grandsons in cottontail game.
Wendell Diller shot and retrieved a Canada goose in river backwaters made accessible by early winter ice. The retrieve came with complications for ano

Anderson: River ice gives way, but goose hunting party comes prepared

Party overcomes mishap, and a prized Canada for Christmas brings a new recipe into play
Showing coonhounds was commonplace for Marilyn LeBlanc and Leon Swing.

Anderson: This was a late love affair, with coonhounds at the center

Bluetick hounds were part of this late love affair.
Randy Schmiesing has converted much of his farmland land to wildlife cover. But he, along with other Minnesota farmers, still experiences water proble

Anderson: In lieu of runoff system, farmer's excess water part of habitat

Randy Schmiesing, 60, like most every farmer past or present in west-central Minnesota, has a complicated relationship with water. This is especially true in Eldorado Township, where Schmiesing lives, because land there is nearly table-top flat.
Tim Anderson, with his Gordon setter, Sam Elliott.

Anderson: Nothing breaks this Minnesotan's fever for the outdoors life

Saddled with a broken arm, Tim Anderson's story is instructional, perhaps even inspirational.
Bemidji-area fishing guide Matt Breuer posed with one of his favorite wintertime catches: a monster burbot.

Anderson: Catching a burbot a thing of beauty for one guide

A Bemidji-area fishing guide, Matt Breuer has enjoyed a lifelong love affair with a fish many Minnesotans find too ugly and serpentine to even like.
Trevor Anderson, peering through binoculars, joined his dad, Dennis, to hike into the vast badlands region of eastern Montana seeking mule deer.

Anderson: Hunt in eastern Montana's badlands offers hard times, good times

Packing out 200 pounds of mule deer? Only one way to handle it: 'We should enjoy it'
Then-gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz talked with owner Randy Voss as he shot on the sporting clay course Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 at the Caribou Gun C

Anderson: Dearth of outdoors reps on Walz's transition team is worrisome

There remains concerns among some sporting types that they are being taken for granted.

Deer harvest in Minnesota down from 2017, especially in northeast

The state's opening day kill was down 11 percent, and the harvest on Sunday of the season's first weekend was off 7 percent.
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