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
A photo that circulated on Facebook showed Brett Stimac posing with the bear federal authorities say was illegally killed.

Anderson: Repulsive killing of bear wasn't hunting by a long shot

Sadly, the penalties historically haven't fit poaching crimes like those of which a Brainerd man is accused.
Nicollet Conservation Club members, from left, Froehlich, Otto and Zins and dogs Kirby and Blackie put four pheasants in their bag on Wednesday while

Anderson: Nicollet Conservation Club stands out for nearly 80 years

Since 1942, Nicollet Conservation Club has made a difference.
Bob Kolling is one of a number of speciality gunsmiths at Ahlman's Gun Shop in Morristown, Minn.

Anderson: Gunsmithing is ancient trade steeped in modern demands

Larry Ahlman was 21 when his dad, "Cap" Ahlman, died in 1964, leaving his son a small southern Minnesota gunsmithing business saddled with $20,000 in unpaid bills.
Ringneck pheasant hunting season runs until Jan. 1, but snow could cause problems.

Snow could hamper pheasant hunting even though crops harvested

With up to a foot of snow predicted for Wednesday across much of the state's pheasant range, the weather might put the brakes on a ringneck season that otherwise would be shifting into high gear.
Thick flocks of ducks and other waterfowl, such as this group above Rice Lake on Oct. 1, are rare in Minnesota today. Waterfowl hunters bemoan the sma

Minnesota hunters weigh in on a lost abundance of ducks

A sample of e-mails received following Dennis Anderson's column on questioning waterfowl managers' spring population surveys.
High key image of a roughed grouse

Anderson: New virus surfaces in several grouse, and that is a worry

Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis surface amid wonder about West Nile impact.
A birds-eye view of U.S. Bank Stadium.

Anderson: Study on stadium bird deaths waste of unnatural resources

When considered on a population level, a similar number of these birds would have died anyway, by some other means.
Pierce Pennaz of the Twin Cities, who has down syndrome, hunted successfully on opening day, thanks to recent legislation in Minnesota that makes lice

Anderson: Impact of law change plays out for disabled hunter on opener

Pierce Pennaz, who has Down syndrome, bagged a buck on a shared hunt with his father.

When only a doe will do, the bucks crowd the territory

Bucks came and went, but they weren't the goal this opening morning.
For many experienced hunters, just getting afield is reward enough during the Minnesota deer hunt.

Anderson: Taking aim at the real prize of the deer hunt

In a world that seems intent on dulling our senses, sitting in the woods or along a field edge offers a rare opportunity for surprise.
Like many others are probably doing this week, a hunter prepared his deer shack for the Minnesota firearms whitetail opener Saturday. That season star

Anderson: Saving forests benefits deer, hunters

Millions of dollars have gone toward land conservation in the state since 2007. The Minnesota firearms whitetail opener is Saturday.
A white-tailed buck with huge body and antlers guards a doe in estrus during the fall rut. The buck's hair is standing because other bucks are in the

Anderson: Firearms deer season coincides with peak breeding season for bucks

Mature male whitetails risk becoming trophy bucks when the firearms opener collides with mating pursuits
Split shot sinkers

Anderson: Sinker-maker's troubles are reminder of the deep roots of lead

Water Gremlin's closure read closely by Minnesota anglers.
Ever-fewer hunters are finding fewer ducks, despite waterfowl managers reports of plentiful numbers of mallards and other waterfowl.

Anderson: More ducks than ever? Yeah, right

The spring numbers are not all they are cracked up to be.
A sleep science specialist, Matt Breuer is a part-time hunting and fishing guide.

Anderson: Northern Minnesota guide learns painful lesson of tree-stand risks

His fall while taking down a tree stand is a reminder of inherent risk in the field.
Corey Kitzmann of Davenport, Iowa, owns the new Minnesota muskie release record. He caught this 57¼ inch fish while on Lake Vermilion on Aug. 6, 2019

Fisherman catches Minnesota record muskie while grieving for friend

Corey Kitzmann, a lifelong muskie angler, was alone at his family's cabin when he received word a friend had died at age 40. Not wanting to remain in the cabin alone, he went fishing.
Archery can extend the fall deer hunting season. Here a bow hunter checks a rub made on a tree by a whitetail buck.

Anderson: Bow hunting for deer remains popular as interest in archery dips

Better equipment encourages women, youth to try archery.
North of Hibbing this weekend, during the first statewide youth deer hunt, Nancy Burkes, left, and Hillarie Glad, second from left, hosted Leah Bloomq

Anderson: First statewide youth deer hunt helps grow next generation of Minn. hunters

Open to youth ages 10 to 17, the four-day hunt coincides with the school break Minnesota kids typically are awarded over the long MEA weekend.
Anderson: Horses inspire a special bond between father and son

Anderson: Horses inspire a special bond between father and son

Delivering them, riding them — they bring joy to a father and son.
An annual hunt in Grand Rapids, Minn., is used to study the populations of ruffed grouse (above) and woodcock. This year’s hunt revealed seemingly g

Anderson: Ruffed grouse remain a forest mystery

The ruffed grouse population is often not what it seems, but it seems to be up.
logan Hinners (left), 32, Wyoming, Minn.
Years hunted pheasants: 20 Dog: Aspen
States hunted: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado,

Anderson: Tradition is served against the wind on opening day of Minnesota pheasant season

Saturday's weather joined factors long in place to complicate the hunt.
Sabin Adams, a habitat project manager for Pheasants Forever, wasn’t home last December when his two hunting dogs, Remnar and Daisy, photos from top

Anderson: Adams leads Pheasants Forever's efforts to improve habitat

Sabin Adams is charged with ensuring that the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised annually by the group's 75 Minnesota chapters are transformed into high-quality upland and wetland habitat.
Birds are plentiful in “Three Birds Up — Ruffed Grouse,” painted by Minnesota wildlife artist David A. Maass.

Anderson: Abundant ruffed grouse mostly a memory now

Shrinking grouse count showing no signs of reversal.

Hunter numbers for grouse, waterfowl and squirrels keep falling

A graying hunter population, along with time constraints and hunting-land access challenges are among reasons for the declines, the DNR said.
Rachel Germain and Showtime, shown in an old family snapshot. The family has lost Showtime and a littermate to wolves.

Anderson: Wisconsin bear hunters are seeing brazen attacks on dogs

Since the first of the year in Wisconsin, nearly 30 pet dogs and hunting dogs have been killed or injured by wolves.
Wood ducks

Duck hunting slow on second weekend except in far north

Reports filed by Department of Natural Resources conservation officers mostly recounting a lack of waterfowl, except in the Lake of the Woods region.
A new chronic wasting disease (CWD) management zone near Brainerd has been established this year. So far this fall, during archery season, no CWD posi

Anderson: Deer hunting primer for 2019 season

A statewide youth hunt and a new CWD zone are among the changes from last year, discussed in an interview with DNR big game program supervisor Barbara Keller.
Dakotans say they can tell Minnesota duck hunters from locals because Minnesotans frequently travel by boat, as Dennis Anderson’s sons did as teenag

Anderson: Vintage duck boats add to the intrigue of the hunt

The search is much of the fun when it comes to vintage crafts for hunting ducks
A springtime hunting and fishing party at Lac qui Parle Lake in the mid-1800s.

Anderson: Former DNR commissioner's book tells of state's bountiful hunting past amid wild upheaval

State's hunting past gives a reader pause about what's to come.
With a vintage Lund Ducker boat in the background, Roger Strand checked out a wood-duck decoy on the eve of Saturday’s duck opener. Strand, of New L

Anderson: Ducks for the family and the future is the goal

The Strands and their crew strive to keep duck hunting tradition alive in Kandiyohi County.
Ear protection is a must, and from a young age. Here, Samantha Stark, 14, of the Wayzata High School Trap Team, shot trap Aug. 9, 2016, during a frien

Anderson, on hearing protection: Learn from me, it's a skill you'll need afield

"I was aware even before this malfunction that my hearing wasn't great."
Trevor Unruh, left, Riley Mcalpine and Ryder Beckman drew down on a few blue-winged teal during the opener of the 2016 Minnesota duck season. An estim

Duck hunters expected to have success on opener Saturday

Wet conditions that prevailed in recent months likely boosted the state's duck production to, or near, its maximum potential.
A flock of five ring-necked ducks flew over a wild rice marsh, one of their favorite hideouts. Once rarely seen in Minnesota, they are now the third-

Anderson: Bluebill numbers declining as ringneck numbers rise

Given the number of bluebills, or scaup, that still exist in North America, it's a mystery why so few now visit Minnesota in October.
Michael Moosbrugger died about 13 years after this picture was taken at age 13.

Anderson: Picture from MWA brings brother back, at least for a moment

The family of Michael Moosbrugger found comfort in an image from Star Tribune Outdoors last week. "It seemed like Michael was popping up to say hello to all of us. We miss him every day."
Red Lake Wildlife Management Area, grouse hunting

Anderson: True to form, sensing that vivid autumnal vibe

Fall inspires recollections of adventure taken, and an eagerness for hunter and four-legged companions to get out.
A ruffed grouse drummed on a log. Those counts are no longer accurate in predicting fall numbers of ruffed grouse.

Ruffed grouse hunters unsure how many birds to expect for opener Saturday

In the past 10 years the correlation between spring drumming counts of ruffed grouse and their fall population has weakened so much that the survey is no longer considered a reliable predictor.
Brad Nylin was executive director of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association for nearly 20 years. Now, with the organization about to cease operations, he

Anderson: It's the sad end for Minnesota Waterfowl Association

With too few members (approximately 2,500) and too-little cash (about $20,000) the group's board voted unanimously recently to shutter its rental office in Hopkins, effective Sept. 30.
Colby drew cheers for his catch Wednesday on Mantrap Lake, along with pro angler Scott Martin, right, and Colby’s dad, Seth, far left.

Anderson: Minnesota boy gets a huge surprise from his fishing hero

A star-struck 10-year-old will have quite a fish story to tell his fellow fourth-graders when he returns to school next week. And every word will be true.
In this picture: Detail of live ring neck pheasant

Minnesota pheasant count is down 17% from a year ago

Late-season snowstorms, spring rain likely contributed to birds' demise, DNR reports.
Alex Robinson, 31, of St. Paul has been named editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life magazine, based in New York City. A University of Minnesota graduate, Ro

Anderson: Robinson, a Minnesotan, is newly in charge of venerable Outdoor Life

In its more than 120-year history, Outdoor Life has published the writings of Hemingway, Grey, Roosevelt and Leopold, as well as Clark Gable, Babe Ruth and Amelia Earhart.
Greta stood her ground before herding sheep to get into position with her handler, Wendy Peters, during the 30th Annual Wisconsin Stock Dog Associatio

Anderson: Sheepdogs will deliver command performances at Hudson event

Herding competition has become more of a sport.

Anderson: Brook trout rebound a surprise success from conservation efforts

Wholly dependent on very cold water, brook trout are perhaps Minnesota's most vulnerable finned species to ever-warming temperatures.
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.