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
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.
Kent Harris, left, and Tony Berg, boith of the Twin Cities area, were among hunters who felled mature bucks when the Wisconsin deer season opened Satu

Anderson: Some luckier than others on Wisconsin's opening day

Unlike years past on opening day of Wisconsin's firearm season, no bucks entered into the scope this time on Saturday morning. But not all were shut out.
In this 2016 photo, Bill Illetschko, a bow hunter, was practicing at the city-run archery range in South St. Paul

Anderson: Calm, not restlessness, an asset in bow hunter's pursuit of deer

An archery deer hunt provides plenty of time and reason to think.
Bob White’s One Last Look — Musky

Anderson: Sporting art is a vocation and a lifestyle for Bob White

Affinity for sporting art came quick for Bob White.
The world record Jordan Buck.

Dennis Anderson: A wild, weird deer tale figures in Minnesota's opener

Highlights include a world record whitetail buck, an unusual caliber Winchester, a dance hall and — why not? — a tavern.
John Rabe, left, Bud Rabe, Loren Rabe and Greg Kroschel are part of a multiple-generation deer camp in Kanabec County whose family roots date to the l

Anderson: Kanabec County deer camp remains a draw five generations later

A Kanabec County deer camp remains a draw for descendants into its second century
Ethan Zdon, 15, of Isanti, shot this 8-point buck the second weekend of the firearms season last year. This is an example of a photo that appeared on

Photos wanted for Wednesday Outdoors page

Readers also should include with submitted photos a few descriptive sentences, including names of people shown and other pertinent information such as the time, day and general location where hunts were conducted.
Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Republican, left, shakes hands with Congressman Tim Walz, DFL, after they

Anderson: Walz, Johnson state their case on the outdoors

Candidates for Minnesota governor Tim Walz and Jeff Johnson offer their opinions on outdoor issues ranging from guns to roadside mowing to mining in northern Minnesota.
Charlie Hays, with Marty, the top field-trail yellow Labrador retriever ever.

Anderson: Retrieving dogs had their champion in trainer Charlie Hays

Accolades only tell part of the trainer's rich story.
Rancher Clay Peterson, center, of Wisdom, Mont., enlists the help of several Minnesotans to find hundreds of cattle among 13,000 Montana mountain acre

Anderson: Minnesota horsemen answer call for cattle roundup in Montana

On a recent day in the Big Hole Valley, seven Minnesotans were part of a fall roundup, during which cattle are gathered and driven to lower country, where they over-winter.
Honeybee populations are in severe decline, owing to pesticides and reduced foraging habitat -- among other things.

Anderson: Reports of species die-offs are scary, but public's indifference is scarier

Declines continue, with habitat loss a big influencer.
Arlyn Gehrke, left, and Rodney Lowe opened the 2018 Minnesota pheasant opener on Lowe's land west of Luverne.

Anderson: On state pheasant opener, hike is good but birds are elusive

A lot of crops, a lot of water, but the pheasants won on this day.
The twitchy energy, the October sun, the lunches by tailgate: All are a part of the pheasant opener memory bank.

Anderson: Another pheasant opener, another chance to make memories

Wing-shooters of a certain age know their rewards.

Majority of corn, soybean fields still standing for pheasant opener

The vast, standing crops often prove nearly impenetrable by hunters and their dogs, thus providing safe havens for rooster pheasants, which many wing shooters consider the most beautiful of game birds.
DNR conservation officer Lt. Gary Nordseth checked Gov. Dayton’s license before the governor went afield on the first day of the 2017 ringneck seaso

Anderson: Gov. Dayton deserves a pheasant for conservation leadership

As our governor opens the pheasant season next weekend, a look at his conservation-minded leadership
Grant Merritt, 1970s

Anderson: Former state environmental champion has message for the moment

A state watchdog in the 1970s, Merritt said with regard to current mining push: Proceed with caution.
Ruffed grouse numbers are up, according to one preliminary report.

Ruffed grouse numbers appear to be up this fall

Historically, fall grouse-harvest numbers have tracked population estimates forecast by spring drumming counts. But last year's lopsided disparity between the two indicators worried DNR officials.
Arnold Krueger and his pal, Jet, looked over a pond on his property about 6 miles from Le Center on Saturday monring, opening day of the Minnesota duc

Anderson: Veteran hunter, 90, continues tradition during Minnesota's duck opener

The DNR had issued an upbeat prediction for Saturday's opener, reporting that duck nesting conditions were good this spring. That was welcome news for Arnold Krueger.
Patrice Aubrecht of Shorewood was experiencing Whitewater State Park for the first time.

Anderson: Rebuilt and still updating, Whitewater State Park is having its moment

Dennis Anderson: Changes made because of 2007 flood – and in spite of it – have made visiting the park a must.
Former Vikings player Keith Nord has been happiest in his post-athletic career when following dogs through Minnesota’s grouse woods or North Dakota�

Anderson: Ex-Viking Nord deals with cancer but stays happy afield

Keith Nord, athlete and motivational speaker, has the usual big plans for the fall. Except …
Friends, including Brad Johnson, far right, on the first day of their hike Sunday in the Beartooth Mountains. From left, Todd Green, Tom Therrien and

Friends' quick thinking saved Minnesota buddy mauled by grizzlies

As Tom Therrien and Todd Green half-ran through the rugged Beartooth Mountains that divide Wyoming and Montana, they prayed for help.
Anderson: High-tech gear is winning the argument in the wild

Anderson: High-tech gear is winning the argument in the wild

Communication devices more and more make sense.
Mitch Lunda toted a pair of Canada geese back to his blind while hunting in the east metro Saturday, opening day of the early goose season. Success ca

Anderson: Early Canada goose season signals change in season, for the better

Summer gives way to fall, in the field if not on the calendar, and for many it's a welcome transition
Anglers on Upper Red Lake were expected to draw down numbers of walleyes 17 inches and under, but warm waters cooled the bite.

Some of Minnesota's best walleye lakes: How was their season?

Looking back at the season on Leech, Cass, Upper Red and Lake of the Woods — and ahead to likely changes.
Canoeist Pete Arnesen of the Twin Cities capured this shot of Canadian forest fires from a distance, but they got close enough to him to prompt him to

Anderson: Canoeist gets more than he bargained for on fire-shortened wilderness trip

Flames put a scare into Pete Arnesen, who continued a solo canoe trip despite 'imminent' danger

Anderson: State Fair's horse show feeling its oats again

After recent struggles, the old barn is buzzing.
Fairgoers walked though the DNR's building featuring scenes from Minnesota landscapes.

Anderson: DNR building is a must stop at State Fair

The 84-year-old DNR building, with its outdoor fish pond and indoor fish tanks, will as always show off about 40 finned species to fairgoers.
Iowan Art Fleener sized up an original Rigby muzzleloader used in the first-ever 1,000-yard international shooting match.

Anderson: Muzzleloader marksmen are fascinated by their weaponry

Part competitor, part historian, shooters delight in the tools of the trade.
David Logan of Scotland afield with one of his Labrador retrievers. He will be at Game Fair.

Anderson: Once also-rans, a handler and his Labrador become royalty

Queen Elizabeth II, who knows the world of field trials, was impressed.
All five leading candidates for governor - Republicans Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson, and DFLers Tim Walz, Lori Swanson and Erin Murphy - shared a sta

Anderson: Gubernatorial candidates should be forced to bone up on conservation

Farmers want gubernatorial hopefuls to listen and address conservation topics.
Frank Addington Jr. has been trick-shooting for more than 30 years.

Anderson: Texas trick-shooting archer locks in on his target ­­— and his message

Frank Addington Jr. is in town for performances at Game Fair in Ramsey.

Lauded Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor can retrace routes

The new Minn Kota Ultrex electric trolling motor won best of show in the boating category at the recent International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.
Fishing at sunset on Lake of the Woods can be a magical time.

Anderson: DNR seeking public's input on various fishing regulations

The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled public meetings to discuss existing and proposed special fishing regulations for 15 lakes and one trout stream.
Some 4 million people visit Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming each year. Though dwarfed by other national parks, it still offers breathless beauty

Anderson: Grand Teton National Park's Snake River is a charmer

At Grand Teton National Park, landmark river yields trout, and memories
A longtime guide and onetime bait and tackle shop owner, Marv Koep is among a handful of fishing experts who ply the many lakes in the Brainerd lakes

Anderson: Veteran guide Koep leads groups to unhyped success, trip after trip

Fishing guide Marv Koep lowers expectations, then lets success elevate spirits on the water.

Anderson: Such as it is, my RV still satisfies my hunger for the road

I took the RV leap years ago. There is no turning back.
Mike Giefer, left, of Woodbury, prepares to net a walleye on Mille Lacs for Robbie Robinson. Robinson runs a launch and other guide boats out of Fishe

Anderson: Finding, but not keeping, walleyes on Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs is still good, and pleasurable, despite the ban.
Meadow Kouffeld will put her outdoors skills to another challenge among finalists of "Extreme Huntress."

Anderson: Minnesotan's love of the outdoors is put to the extremes

Grand Rapids' Meadow Kouffeld, a biologist and educator, is pursuing a title: 'huntress.'

Anderson: Our BWCA canoe trip packing list, checked twice by readers

The final list: What not to forget on a canoe trek into the boundary waters.
Minnesota has been home to pheasants for about 100 years. But the birds have struggled recently because of a loss of grasslands.

Anderson: Wet spring delaying hatching of Minnesota pheasants

One reason might be the 5.8 inches of rain the Worthington area received Wednesday. But blame also is due at least in part to the late spring, said Nicole Davros, a DNR wildlife researcher.
Dude, a gelding, now grazes on a farm far from Texas.

Anderson: Miles aren't as long for a new cutting horse

Texas-bound with a fire that never quite dims.
The BWCA is a popular spot to visit and can be a successful jaunt if you know what to bring.

Anderson: What to pack if you're headed to the Boundary Waters

To fish the boundary waters effectively, you needn't bring along a big tackle box. But here's what you should pack before you leave.
About 1,000 Minnesota prep trapshooters gathered in Alexandria, Minn., on Thursday, one day of nine days of competition during which more than 1 milli

Anderson: Prep trap shooting is going over with a bang - but needs help

The Minnesota high school trap shooting championship this year will attract more than 8,000 students over nine days, but youth participation in bird hunting, deer hunting and fishing has been declining rapidly.

New book lauds unique grandeur of St. Croix and Namekagon rivers

St. Croix and Namekagon rivers get stirring treatment in a book that coincides with the anniversary of legislation in 1968 that protects them.
Arnold Krueger, left, and Larry Thomforde teamed up to send a hen wood duck scurrying from her nesting box into a waiting net. The wood duck was then

Anderson: A study in what ducks call home

Enthusiasts dig deeper into nesting preferences in home-based waterfowl village

Anderson: DNR boat check report speaks volumes about violations

DNR officers say rules are considered afterthoughts.

Anderson: Need fishing help for kids? DNR has what you need

The DNR has amassed how-to fishing guides, as well as a list of Twin Cities waters with shore- and pier-fishing opportunities, and where bluegills, crappies, bass and other fish can be caught.
This photo has been said to depict J.V. Schanken, then of Chicago, with the record Minnesota northern pike, weighing 45 pounds, 12 ounces.

Anderson: Granddaughter challenges legitimacy of record-setting northern

Is John V. Schanken's northern pike, caught in 1929, a record or just a good fish tale? His granddaughter has doubts.

Anderson: Is all that hot gear a barrier to real experience in the BWCA?

You need to be prepared, but there is a danger in missing real experience.

Anderson: Net in Lake Mille Lacs with dead walleye investigated

Beyond acknowledging the net was found, Minnesota DNR regional fisheries manager Brad Parsons also declined to elaborate.
Read our comment standards welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune