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Dennis Anderson

Columnist | Outdoors
phone: 612-673-4424
Anderson has been the Star Tribune outdoors columnist since 1993. Before that, for 13 years, he wrote the outdoors column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He covers hunting, fishing, camping, boating, paddling and other outdoor activities, as well as natural resource conservation.
Recent content from Dennis Anderson

Anderson: If it's too hot to fish, jumping in is the next option

These recent blistering days of midsummer in Minnesota have been known as "under the dock'' days.
No rod needed. 3-year-old catches 27-inch northern

No rod needed. 3-year-old catches 27-inch northern

Who needs a fishing pole? All young Tyler Albersman needed was a tree branch, a jig, 4 feet of line and a pencil bobber to bring in a big fish.
State official takes questions about buffering waterways

State official takes questions about buffering waterways

By Nov. 1 next year, public waters must be bordered with perennial vegetative cover averaging 50 feet wide, and by November 2018, public ditches must also be buffered.
Anderson: Mille Lacs walleye bite is hot, but shutdown is seen as unlikely

Anderson: Mille Lacs walleye bite is hot, but shutdown is seen as unlikely

The Mille Lacs walleye bite remains hot, and the numbers say no shutdown is likely this year
Rodeo clown is never far from mud and blood

Rodeo clown is never far from mud and blood

Plying his trade in Hamel, veteran of the sport has seen a lot and has learned to roll with it.

Anderson: Getting more kids outdoors is difficult

In the 1960s and 1970s, about 40 percent of Minnesotans age 16 and older bought a fishing license, according to the DNR. Today it's 27 percent.
Anderson: Camp Ripley sets new deer rules

Anderson: Camp Ripley sets new deer rules

Halting bonus permits at Camp Ripley aims to increase herd size. Previously, Ripley bonus tags allowed archers to kill a deer on base and in most cases continue to hunt elsewhere later in the season.
Anderson: Four Minnesotans who thrived Up North remembered

Anderson: Four Minnesotans who thrived Up North remembered

Justine Kerfoot, Benny Ambrose, Dorothy Molter and Betty Berger Lessard immersed themselves in Minnesota's northernmost wilderness.
Anderson: There's no need to travel far in search of smallmouth bass

Anderson: There's no need to travel far in search of smallmouth bass

Opportunities to fish river smallmouth bass in and near the greater metro abound. In some instances, anglers don't even need a boat or other watercraft.
Many apply but few get to float on Smith River

Many apply but few get to float on Smith River

A float trip on Montana's Smith River is considered one of North America's premier outdoor adventures — for those lucky enough to draw a permit in an annual lottery conducted by Montana State Parks.
Anderson: Wild for how long? Lottery luck grants access to a threatened U.S. treasure, the Smith River

Anderson: Wild for how long? Lottery luck grants access to a threatened U.S. treasure, the Smith River

Like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, the Smith River is in the cross hairs of worldwide mineral and metal exploration.
Anderson: Early roadside mowing rough on nesting pheasants

Anderson: Early roadside mowing rough on nesting pheasants

Many nesting pheasants aren't killed by predators. Instead they are lost to mowers — sometimes those operating in alfalfa fields, but more often those used for cutting hay (or grass) in roadsides.
Anderson: Midsummer fishing in the BWCA? It can be done

Anderson: Midsummer fishing in the BWCA? It can be done

A few tips for paddlers eager to catch fish during July and August in the Boundary Waters.
Anderson: Duck surveyors take to air and ground

Anderson: Duck surveyors take to air and ground

Surveys are involved, and they are not without their perils.
Anderson: Outdoors enthusiasts should note latest state 'shutdown' come November

Anderson: Outdoors enthusiasts should note latest state 'shutdown' come November

In a lot of ways for those involved with the outdoors, the state government is shut down.
Anderson: DNR keeping tabs on Mille Lacs walleye hooking mortality

Anderson: DNR keeping tabs on Mille Lacs walleye hooking mortality

An updated Mille Lacs walleye hooking mortality estimate should be available later this week

Anderson: Nature may not heal, but it's a proven escape from pain

The only antidote sufficient to blunt the news, particularly bad news, that craters our mind-sets daily is nature.

Anderson: Old lures, slow trolls attract trio of big fish

Gary Gehrman of Stillwater is an old time troller - on the water, not the internet.
The 10 best Minnesota lakes to hook a walleye in June

The 10 best Minnesota lakes to hook a walleye in June

If you want to catch walleye – and you're in the right state to do so – give one of these 10 big lakes a try this month.

Anderson: Clean water stuck in a Legislative mess

The disconnect on natural resource issues between many of the state's legislators, including some DFLers, and the public at large is, and has long been, obvious.
Anderson: Retired teacher is still schooling those fish

Anderson: Retired teacher is still schooling those fish

Already this summer Kay Hawley has fished on Lake of the Woods, and just returned from Budd's Gunisao Lake Lodge located 250 miles north of Winnipeg.
Anderson: Nothing like bowfishing at night

Anderson: Nothing like bowfishing at night

As John Milton once wrote, "What hath night to do with sleep?" For bowfishermen, nothing.

The curse of carp

Common carp, which many consider to be the plague of Minnesota waters for their destruction of habitat used by game fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, were imported to North America from Europe in about 1870.
Anderson: Retired school bus driver treats brothers to thrill of bass opener

Anderson: Retired school bus driver treats brothers to thrill of bass opener

For a few years now, Perry Whitney has stopped in Corcoran to pick up three brothers: Omar, Justas and Vanya Emery for a day of fishing.
Anderson: Chances are many to help kids fish

Anderson: Chances are many to help kids fish

In Minnesota, Take-a-Kid Fishing Weekend is June 10-12, when Minnesotans 16 years or older who take kids fishing age 15 or younger don't need licenses.
Anderson: New online campsite reservation system a boon for state parks

Anderson: New online campsite reservation system a boon for state parks

State parks are enjoying new set-up — and success as a whole.

Anderson: Legislature should fund Chippewa's land purchase

The $2.2 million sought by the band to purchase and conserve land near the Wild Rice River in northern Minnesota would come from the Outdoors Heritage Fund.
Anderson: St. Croix offers variety of fish to catch

Anderson: St. Croix offers variety of fish to catch

Trout, catfish and bass are just the beginning of what you might find if you fish the St. Croix
Anderson: Anglers at Leech Lake are up to task on windy opener

Anderson: Anglers at Leech Lake are up to task on windy opener

Cold weather doesn't deter mission that ends with a satiating haul.
Anderson: No limits on optimism for Minnesota walleye opener

Anderson: No limits on optimism for Minnesota walleye opener

In Minnesota on Opening Day, you might catch a limit of walleyes and you might not. But for sure, you'll feel better for trying.

Warm weather and bright prospects for fishing opener

Warm weather and bright prospects Fishing begins anew in Minnesota at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, when walleyes become legal fare in inland waters, along with northern…

Anderson: Turkeys offer a lesson in humility

Tom Kelly, the great Mississippi turkey writer and author of "Tenth Legion," among other classics, once said that wild turkeys "possess a remarkable ability to turn arrogance into hopelessness."
Anderson: Dirt poor? Not this farmer near Northfield

Anderson: Dirt poor? Not this farmer near Northfield

Special care keeps the Legvold farm rich and productive. Dave Legvold was honored recently by Gov. Mark Dayton for his innovative and persistent conservation efforts on the approximately 800 acres he farms

Anderson: Group pushes for DNR to stock bigger walleyes in Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka is stocked by the DNR with walleye fingerlings measuring about 6 inches long but reproduction is minimal.
Anderson: North Shore smelt outings of past aren't forgotten

Anderson: North Shore smelt outings of past aren't forgotten

Fish were plentiful, as was camaraderie, during the erstwhile North Shore ritual.
Anderson: It's Earth Day, but people should care every day

Anderson: It's Earth Day, but people should care every day

Worry, if you will, about the big picture — say global warming. But act locally. Join a conservation or environmental group. Get outside more. And take a friend or family member along.
Anderson: Readiness, not result, is big in turkey pursuit

Anderson: Readiness, not result, is big in turkey pursuit

It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes you set up for a big tom roosted nearby and at daybreak he flies down to within shooting range. So you want to be on time.
Anderson: Tough-to-beat weather enhances turkey opener

Anderson: Tough-to-beat weather enhances turkey opener

Wednesday morning, just as the weather turned for the better, turkey hunting began anew in Minnesota.
Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

A judge has tossed out the Minnesota DNR's highest-profile deer-poaching bust in recent memory, saying a GPS device that conservation officers attached to the suspect's pickup was illegal.
Anderson: Lake Vermilion is complicated - and it's familiar

Anderson: Lake Vermilion is complicated - and it's familiar

Concern about Lake Vermilion's walleyes is focused on the west end, where sufficient numbers of big fish exist, but fewer small ones.

Anderson: Mille Lacs bait flip-flop fraught with peril

Given Monday's DNR flip-flop, even the most naïve Minnesotans can no longer believe science is the prime consideration in management of the state's resources.
Anderson: Grzywinski and the Mississippi go hand-in-hand

Anderson: Grzywinski and the Mississippi go hand-in-hand

Most everybody knows to fish the Mississippi this time of year, but not everybody knows how
Anderson: With great waters come great anglers

Anderson: With great waters come great anglers

Minnesota not only has more people fishing than all or virtually all other states, but it has better anglers, too. The average angler growing up hereabouts is anything but average.
Anderson: Seasoned outfitters exemplify long tradition of Northwest Sportshow

Anderson: Seasoned outfitters exemplify long tradition of Northwest Sportshow

The long-running show begins Wednesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Anderson: DNR, Chippewa talks on Mille Lacs should be public

Anderson: DNR, Chippewa talks on Mille Lacs should be public

An agreement forged more than a quarter-century ago between the state and the Mille Lacs band appears to be the last time the DNR and the Chippewa in this state publicly agreed on anything significant about Mille Lacs.
Anderson: One day, Mille Lacs might be bass mecca, too

Anderson: One day, Mille Lacs might be bass mecca, too

Most state anglers, especially its bass specialists, consider Mille Lacs a trophy bass destination — and want to see it stay that way.
New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

Policy will be catch-and-release only, with no live bait, this season.
Anderson: Conflicts of conservation near and far

Anderson: Conflicts of conservation near and far

Two cases, one nearby, the other roiling Montana, indicate that money retains its long-held role.

Anderson: Conservation begs for fresh faces

Lately in Minnesota, it's most of the same conservation advocates making the same pleas to the ever-fewer elected officials at conservation events.
A veteran hunter talks wild turkey

A veteran hunter talks wild turkey

Dick Alford has written five books about wild turkeys. Three are sold out. Two, including a wild-turkey cookbook and his most recent, "Up Close and Personal" — a how-to guide to turkey hunting — are available.
March 5: Bass fishing's Super Bowl coming to Mille Lacs next fall

March 5: Bass fishing's Super Bowl coming to Mille Lacs next fall

Bass Angler of the Year event is set to bring positive attention to the troubled lake

50 anglers at B.A.S.S. championship to split $1 million

The angler with the highest yearlong points after the Mille Lacs tournament in September will win $100,000, with the remainder split among the other 49 anglers.
Minnesota fishing champ in hot pursuit of fame – and big bass

Minnesota fishing champ in hot pursuit of fame – and big bass

Trevor Lo, a champion for the Gophers, heads to Oklahoma to compete with fishing's big dogs.

Anderson: Deer hunters group opposes expanding crossbow hunting

Bow hunters worry the quality of Minnesota archery deer hunting could decline if inexperienced hunters — perhaps lots of them — go afield in the fall.
Anderson: DNR proposes holding deer numbers down in NE Minn. to help moose

Anderson: DNR proposes holding deer numbers down in NE Minn. to help moose

The proposal to hold deer numbers down in northeast Minnesota came as a surprise considering many hunters across that area have had trouble finding deer there.

Anderson: Long-awaited project to restore Marsh Lake finally arrives

Throughout most of recorded time, Marsh Lake was an oasis for all manner of migratory birds. That is, until the 1930s.
Bighead carp caught in Minnesota River near New Ulm

Bighead carp caught in Minnesota River near New Ulm

A bighead carp has been caught in the Minnesota River, the species’ first confirmed capture there and a sign that aggressive invasive fish continue their…
Anderson: Scalia's death symbolizes the fight ahead for outdoorsmen

Anderson: Scalia's death symbolizes the fight ahead for outdoorsmen

The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia while on a hunting trip to Texas is reason again for Minnesotans to consider societal changes that are fast accelerating here.

Anderson: Mille Lacs walleye numbers are 'off the charts'

But most won't be big enough to keep under the DNR's proposal.
Anderson: Wisdom flows on the St. Croix as fishermen monitor thin ice

Anderson: Wisdom flows on the St. Croix as fishermen monitor thin ice

A winter that began with thin ice nonetheless entrances St. Croix River anglers.
Anderson: Market sees greater interest, just in time for Twin Cities RV show

Anderson: Market sees greater interest, just in time for Twin Cities RV show

With gas prices falling below $1.50 a gallon in some parts of the metro, dealers at the 48th Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation and Camping Show smiled Thursday when doors to the Minneapolis Convention Center opened .
Anderson: Brainerd ice fishing extravaganza blends fishing, fun and prizes

Anderson: Brainerd ice fishing extravaganza blends fishing, fun and prizes

Many trek to Brainerd Jaycees contest to win, but the party welcomes all comers.

Anderson: When snowstorms beckon, not threaten

This week's snowfall was cause for celebration.
Legality of evidence questioned in deer poacher case

Legality of evidence questioned in deer poacher case

The defense says the DNR got access through illegal methods.
Anderson: Ice fishing keeps drawing Hoosier to Mille Lacs every year

Anderson: Ice fishing keeps drawing Hoosier to Mille Lacs every year

Dreaming of a winter escape, some call Lake Mille Lacs home for a week. For Willy Adkins of Indiana, every year since 1975.

Anderson: Cold, hard cash is quarry as ice fishing becomes competition

Competitive ice fishermen — yes, there is such a thing — will be on Chisago Lake on Sunday, vying for thousands in cash and other prizes in a North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) contest.
Q&A: DNR fish and wildlife director Ed Boggess

Q&A: DNR fish and wildlife director Ed Boggess

An Iowa native who grew up on a small farm, Ed Boggess talks about hunting, fishing and, especially, conservation, past and present in this Q&A weeks before his retirement.

Anderson: Price range at Boat Show goes from free to very pricey

As much money as you have — or can borrow — you can spend at the Minneapolis Boat Show, but some of the best takeaways at the show are free, including four publications produced by the DNR.
Anderson: Conservation leader paints bleak picture of future

Anderson: Conservation leader paints bleak picture of future

To avoid environmental catastrophe, conservationists must envision the future, based on current land and water management trends.
Dayton proposes some poachers be charged with felonies

Dayton proposes some poachers be charged with felonies

Tougher penalties would apply to illegal taking of wildlife valued at $2,000 or more.
Anderson: Technology enhances chilly thrill of ice fishing

Anderson: Technology enhances chilly thrill of ice fishing

Most modern winter fishing shacks, whether portable or hard-sided, are wired for entertainment and productivity.
Anderson: Outdoors artist adds another award to esteemed career

Anderson: Outdoors artist adds another award to esteemed career

David Maass, 86, keeps going, earning more awards and fanfare.

Anderson: Pine Island couple plants roots in shooting preserve they run

Butch and Nancy Owens have run Hidden Valley Gamebirds since 1988 but an end is in sight.
Ex-Vikings coach Bud Grant crash-landed plane in October

Ex-Vikings coach Bud Grant crash-landed plane in October

Retired Vikings coach Bud Grant and a friend crash-landed a plane in Canada this fall while in pursuit of mallards and other fowl.
Anderson: Fillmore County farmers understand conservation

Anderson: Fillmore County farmers understand conservation

The Goldsmiths of southeast Minnesota are honored for a century and a half of care for land and animals
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