Staff Directory 10645981

Doug Smith

Reporter | Outdoors
phone: 612-673-7667
Doug Smith, a Minnesota native, has been covering fishing, hunting and other natural resource and outdoor issues since 1995.
Recent content from Doug Smith
In California, turning shipping containers into homeless housing

In California, turning shipping containers into homeless housing

Nonprofit creates housing for homeless veterans in a most ingenious way.
Tests continue on ducks to try for Minnesota bird flu answers

Tests continue on ducks to try for Minnesota bird flu answers

Nothing so far ties them to mysterious outbreak in turkey industry.
One deer show comes to an end, another begins

One deer show comes to an end, another begins

Outdoor News is holding its first Deer and Turkey Show at the decades-long site of the now-defunct Deer Classic.
Try a late-season pheasant hunt in Minnesota

Try a late-season pheasant hunt in Minnesota

The number of hunters falls, and the cold allows access to areas unreachable in early fall.
Wildlife Service, several states appealing ban on wolf season

Wildlife Service, several states appealing ban on wolf season

Efforts underway to overturn court decision barring their hunting or trapping
Baiting for deer goes on despite DNR deterrents

Baiting for deer goes on despite DNR deterrents

DNR says penalties haven't made a dent in violations.
Gone fishin' but not goodbye: Outdoors writer Smith calls it a career

Gone fishin' but not goodbye: Outdoors writer Smith calls it a career

Retirement means going afield with no deadline.
What waterfowl hunters think: Survey reflects opinions from 1,700 Minnesota hunters

What waterfowl hunters think: Survey reflects opinions from 1,700 Minnesota hunters

The U's 2014 survey for the DNR of 1,700 hunters gauged various opinions of state's waterfowlers
Mille Lacs anglers will get one-walleye bag limit this winter

Mille Lacs anglers will get one-walleye bag limit this winter

DNR says Lake Mille Lacs cap will help ongoing conservation efforts at the popular site.
More ducks are starting to show up in Minnesota

More ducks are starting to show up in Minnesota

An influx of migrant ducks in parts of Minnesota has boosted duck hunter success, and forecasted cooler weather could bring more waterfowl.
Latest CREP proposal aims to improve water, wildlife habitat

Latest CREP proposal aims to improve water, wildlife habitat

The latest federal-state program aims to enroll 100,000 acres.
Possession limits could rise under DNR proposals; grouse harvest down

Possession limits could rise under DNR proposals; grouse harvest down

DNR is taking comments on a proposal to raise possession limits for a number of small game species to three times the daily bag limit — something the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did to waterfowl possession limits two years ago.
Lead shot ban proposed for state wildlife management areas

Lead shot ban proposed for state wildlife management areas

The DNR announced this week a proposed rule requiring hunters to use nontoxic shot on state wildlife management areas (WMAs) in Minnesota's farmland zone.
Broad-based advisory committee to work with DNR on Mille Lacs issues

Broad-based advisory committee to work with DNR on Mille Lacs issues

The committee of 17 will offer advice to the DNR.
Dog years: Reflections on the most-loyal of hunting companions

Dog years: Reflections on the most-loyal of hunting companions

Star Tribune outdoors writer Doug Smith has had some of his best outings with Macy, Abby, Katie and others.
Wildlife lakes: Designation can start rejuvination

Wildlife lakes: Designation can start rejuvination

When waters are designated as wildlife lakes, the DNR can temporarily lower lake levels and regulate watercraft use. That has attracted hunters and ducks.
Minnesota duck opener was a good one for many hunters

Minnesota duck opener was a good one for many hunters

Around the state, reports of success outnumber tales of empty skies.

Minnesota DNR on the prowl for new big-game coordinator

The key position, at times controversial, is vacant due to a recent promotion.
Young hunters find lots of action on 20th Youth Waterfowl Day

Young hunters find lots of action on 20th Youth Waterfowl Day

Youth Waterfowl Day celebrated its 20th anniversary Saturday, with ducks flying amid lingering controversy about its impact.
Missing in action: Minnesota's small game hunters

Missing in action: Minnesota's small game hunters

License sales were their worst in almost 40 years.
Pheasant population up amid concerns over dwindling habitat

Pheasant population up amid concerns over dwindling habitat

DNR officials expect the boost to increase the amount of hunters, which was at a record low last season.
Mourning dove season opens with heat, humidity — and lots of birds

Mourning dove season opens with heat, humidity — and lots of birds

Mourning dove season began before summer abated, but the heat didn't stop the fun
Minnesota angler: 'Monster' 45-pound lake trout was like pulling up a log

Minnesota angler: 'Monster' 45-pound lake trout was like pulling up a log

It took the Minnesota anglers nearly 30 minutes to haul in the 45-pound lake trout on Lake Superior.
Outdoors camp is a training ground and more

Outdoors camp is a training ground and more

A free Minnesota Waterfowl Association-led summer camp gives teens window to the outdoors.
Chippewa bands proposed season-long catch-and-release for Mille Lacs

Chippewa bands proposed season-long catch-and-release for Mille Lacs

The bands' suggestion came in January to the 1837 Treaty Fisheries Technical Committee, which includes tribal and state biologists, according to documents obtained by Minnesota Public Radio.
After lion kill, bowhunters under the gun

After lion kill, bowhunters under the gun

A long-respected Minnesota-based group feels heat — misplaced, it says — over lion kill
Adventure in Ontario wilderness yields moments long savored

Adventure in Ontario wilderness yields moments long savored

A nine-day quest in the Quetico was rewarded with lunker walleyes — and much more.
Minnesota's deer population appears to be rebounding

Minnesota's deer population appears to be rebounding

Minnesota deer hunters again this fall will be governed by what the Department of Natural Resources calls a conservative season — meaning one in which antlerless permits will be relatively few.
Early shutdown of walleye season would be new blow to Mille Lacs

Early shutdown of walleye season would be new blow to Mille Lacs

Resort owners worry business — already caught in a downdraft with the lake's declining walleye population — would suffer.
Love 'em or hate 'em, Twin Cities Canada goose numbers fall

Love 'em or hate 'em, Twin Cities Canada goose numbers fall

Long-standing population-control efforts bring metro numbers to lowest in years
Apparent decline in Minnesota's perch has officials concerned

Apparent decline in Minnesota's perch has officials concerned

A recently published study showed a significant decline since 1970 of yellow perch caught in DNR nets.
State mallard numbers down 20 percent; accuracy of survey questioned

State mallard numbers down 20 percent; accuracy of survey questioned

The population is down 20 percent, but this year's survey took twice as long as normal.
Here's how $97 million for Outdoor Heritage Fund will be spent

Here's how $97 million for Outdoor Heritage Fund will be spent

Thirty-four projects across the state will be funded.
Nation's oldest bald eagle, born in Minnesota, dies at age 38

Nation's oldest bald eagle, born in Minnesota, dies at age 38

A 38-year-old, Minnesota-born bald eagle — the oldest on record in the nation — has been killed by a vehicle in New York state. The…
New Minnesota North Shore book: beauty, mystery, history

New Minnesota North Shore book: beauty, mystery, history

From region's geology to human history, new book carefully connects dots.
DNR sets deer population goals over objections from hunters

DNR sets deer population goals over objections from hunters

It covers 40 of 128 permit areas and has been criticized by the state's largest hunter group.
DNR wants to know what anglers think about northern pike proposal

DNR wants to know what anglers think about northern pike proposal

The agency has proposed breaking the state into three zones, each with its own northern pike regulations.
Veterans return the love at Stacy Dvorak funeral

Veterans return the love at Stacy Dvorak funeral

Veterans, and the outdoors, feel the impact left by Stacy Dvorak.
Boaters, anglers, hunters could face changes if vetoed bill is approved

Boaters, anglers, hunters could face changes if vetoed bill is approved

Outdoor enthusiasts will have to wait to see how they are affected by a wide-ranging bill passed last week by the Legislature that was vetoed Saturday by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Smaller, enthusiastic fishing crowd on Mille Lacs

Smaller, enthusiastic fishing crowd on Mille Lacs

They came to renew rituals despite the tightest-ever size restrictions on the state's most popular fishing lake.
BWCA trip tips: Readers offer their best to first-timers

BWCA trip tips: Readers offer their best to first-timers

While most BWCA visitors are experienced, every year first-timers travel there — some prepared, many others not so much. So on the eve of another open-water BWCA season, we solicited tips for first-timers from readers who are veteran BWCA travelers.
Tips for BWCA first-timers

Tips for BWCA first-timers

From dos to don'ts, readers offer their top tips for BWCA first-timers.
Mentored hunts aim to lure novices to turkey hunting

Mentored hunts aim to lure novices to turkey hunting

First came youth turkey hunts, then a women's hunt. Now officials have broadened mentored turkey hunts to include men, women and kids.
Some Minnesota turkey hunters to have birds tested for avian flu

Some Minnesota turkey hunters to have birds tested for avian flu

Starting Monday, the DNR is asking hunters in Kandiyohi, Pope, Meeker, Swift and Stearns counties to call local DNR wildlife offices.
Deer hunters group and DNR clash over deer population goals

Deer hunters group and DNR clash over deer population goals

The Deer Hunters Association is dissatisfied with the DNR's response over the deer population goal-setting process.
DNR slashes Mille Lacs walleye limit, bans night fishing

DNR slashes Mille Lacs walleye limit, bans night fishing

Walleye decline and fear of overharvest prompts DNR action.
Paddling from the Gulf to the Arctic

Paddling from the Gulf to the Arctic

Six companions are making a nine-month, 5,200-mile canoe trip that began at the Gulf of Mexico and will end at the Arctic Ocean.
Legendary Minnsota anglers, companies, inducted into Fishing Hall of Fame

Legendary Minnsota anglers, companies, inducted into Fishing Hall of Fame

Three Minnesota anglers, two companies honored.

Federal program to remove problem wolves is restarted

It was restored because the animal is back on the endangered-species list.
Bill in Legislature tries to save dogs from accidental trappings

Bill in Legislature tries to save dogs from accidental trappings

"We need to do something so our pets don't get killed anymore," said Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, author of the bill.
Buffer strip bill has support from sports groups, opposition from farmers

Buffer strip bill has support from sports groups, opposition from farmers

An ambitious plan requiring 50-foot grass strips to protect nearly all state waters draws strong support and opposition.

Proposed trapping restrictions aimed at protecting dogs

The DNR and dog owners back the plan to add new regulations, but trapping advocates oppose it.
Wolf pup survival a fragile thing

Wolf pup survival a fragile thing

Breeding boosts numbers, but getting to adulthood always is a fragile thing.

Outdoor bills include one prohibiting citizens from shooting dogs chasing deer

Action is heating up at the Legislature, where several outdoors-related bills have been introduced. Some have little chance of passing, but others likely will become…

A hot bite: Red Lake fishing pressure smashes record

A red-hot walleye bite and ideal ice conditions lured a record number of anglers to Upper Red Lake this winter. Through January, officials tallied 1.5…

Minnesota farmers face a 'perfect storm' because of wolf ruling

Minnesota farmers have no one to call about wolf depredation, and compensation fund is nearly dry.

Court of appeals rejects challenge to Mille Lacs fishing regulations

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge to the Lake Mille Lacs fishing regulations by a group of local residents and resort owners.
Fish to fowl: Pelican Lake restoration is work in progress

Fish to fowl: Pelican Lake restoration is work in progress

The fish are mostly gone on Wright County's popular Pelican Lake. Now efforts to restore it as a waterfowl haven are underway.
Smith: New Deer Hunters Association leader brings fresh perspective

Smith: New Deer Hunters Association leader brings fresh perspective

On Outdoors: Craig Engwall is the new leader of the state's largest advocacy group for whitetails.
DNR proposal: Reduce population of hammer-handle-sized northerns

DNR proposal: Reduce population of hammer-handle-sized northerns

The overabundance of small, hammer-handle-size northerns, which plagues many Minnesota lakes, could be curtailed under a landmark proposal now being considered by the Department of Natural Resources.

State park pass and boat registration fees could rise

The last park fee increase came in 2003.

Waterfowl habitat and management center stage at free symposium

Are Minnesota’s duck hunting regulations too liberal, resulting in hunters killing too many ducks? Or have recent liberal regulations simply given hunters more opportunities, boosting…
Enforcement of buffer strip law inconsistent

Enforcement of buffer strip law inconsistent

Required land strips aid water quality, but enforcement is uneven.
DNR delays mandatory invasive species training for boaters

DNR delays mandatory invasive species training for boaters

The effort to fight invasive species by teaching those who tow trailers was halted because of bills introduced in the Legislature to kill it.
DNR proposal: Prohibit permanent deer stands on state lands

DNR proposal: Prohibit permanent deer stands on state lands

The DNR is considering only portable deer stands on public lands to curb cutting of shooting lanes, hunter conflict.

Field report: Warmth has wrecked ski, snowmobile trails

While some Minnesotans are enjoying the unseasonably warm winter, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers are livid.Snow conditions are more like April than January. Around the state,…
The year outdoors: The cold set the tone

The year outdoors: The cold set the tone

The long, snowy winter and late spring left a mark on wildlife and humans alike.
Readers reveal how to replenish Minnesota's pheasant population

Readers reveal how to replenish Minnesota's pheasant population

We asked our readers for ideas on how to boost Minnesota's pheasant population. And they responded.
Sunrise or sunset for pheasants? Summit seeks solutions

Sunrise or sunset for pheasants? Summit seeks solutions

Hoping to rekindle the pheasant population and avoid losing a cherished tradition, Minnesota's first-ever pheasant summit sought solutions.
First ice: Hot fishing action lures early-season anglers

First ice: Hot fishing action lures early-season anglers

Early ice fishing almost always produces a "hot bite,'' but theories vary on why that occurs.
St. Paul ice fishing show continues to grow

St. Paul ice fishing show continues to grow

About 175 vendors will display and sell their wares.
Counting critters with the Minnesota DNR

Counting critters with the Minnesota DNR

Tracks in dirt and snow help the DNR assess Minnesota's carnivore populations — ranging from coyotes and fox to skunks and feral cats.

Minnesota deer harvest down 22 percent so far this season

With Minnesota's deer season winding down, the whitetail harvest is 22 percent below this time last year — likely because of the early winterlike weather, fewer antlerless permits and a smaller deer herd.
Minnesotans share hunting tales

Minnesotans share hunting tales

Some 500,000 Minnesotans renewed hunting traditions or launched new ones. Here are some of their stories.
Hunters near quotas in wolf season

Hunters near quotas in wolf season

Some early-season zones are closing; DNR reports population stable.
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