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Minnesota DNR continues webinars on fishing and hunting skills

Anyone interested in fishing, hunting and care for the outdoors can learn about activities like shore fishing, firearms safety, muskie fishing, archery or how to catch catfish during webinars hosted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re excited about reaching people interested in developing their outdoor skills,” said Benji Kohn, DNR volunteer mentor program coordinator. “Sometimes all it takes to try something new are a few good tips and some encouragement, and that’s what these webinars are all about.”

The DNR started the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series in March to share how-to knowledge relevant to current Minnesota outdoor seasons and activities. Most of the webinars center on fishing or hunting skills, and some have covered other outdoor activities like kayaking or foraging.

The webinars are at noon on Wednesdays and last less than an hour. The webinar series expands the DNR’s online offerings beyond the turkey and deer hunting classes developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining the latest webinar lineup are programs on archery, fishing, fish and wildlife biology, and skills taught through the DNR Becoming an Outdoors Woman program.

While DNR will be resuming more in-person classes over the summer, these webinars are short, require no travel and can reach those with limited free time.

“Even as we add more in-person events, we want to keep our webinar series going because it has been a fun and effective way to share information with people,” Kohn said. “Much of our audience is made up of outdoor enthusiasts who are interested in trying something new — deer hunters who want to try hunting turkeys or anglers who want to catch more bass or walleye, for example.”

Recruiting, retaining and reactivating hunters and anglers is one way the DNR is acting on its strategic plan to connect people to the outdoors. The webinars are a way to broaden access to knowledge and information about outdoor opportunities available in Minnesota, primarily related to fishing and hunting. That knowledge has traditionally been shared among family members or friends.

“Say you want to try hunting or go catch your first muskie, but don’t know a hunter or how to pick a muskie lure — that’s where we can help steer people in the right direction,” Kohn said. “People can join a webinar during a lunch hour, and use what they learn to get ready for an upcoming season or simply try something new on the weekend.”

Webinars are scheduled every Wednesday through the summer. Each takes place at noon. The courses are free, but participants are required to pre-register. Summer series topics are as follows and registration pages for the webinars are available on the DNR website.

June 2 – Metro muskie fishing basics
June 9 – Take a kid fishing
June 16 – Shore fishing 101, simple tips and techniques
June 23 – Introduction to catfish angling
June 30 – Basic firearms maintenance
July 7 – Shore fishing 102, down by the river
July 14 – Getting started in archery
July 21 – Finding trout in Minnesota streams and lakes
July 28 – Bear hunting and biology
Aug. 4 – How to get certified in firearms safety
Aug. 11 – Rifle basics
Aug. 18 – Mourning dove hunting
Aug. 25 – DNR at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair