By Bailey Hovland
The precious waterfowl of Minnesota includes birds of all kinds, ranging from Canadian geese to mallard ducks.
On Saturday, September 7, 2019, the 37th annual Prairie Pothole Day will be underway out at the Stoney Ridge Farm in New London. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., volunteers and friends of the Prairie Pothole Chapter will be putting on this event to teach visitors the ins and outs of hunting waterfowl and provide opportunities for guests to demonstrate their hunting prowess. The event, much like a day of hunting, will be happening rain or shine.
One seminar will be led by Scott Threinen, a three-time Minnesota state champion and world team calling champion. As the founder of his own company, Molt Gear, and a competitive goose caller, Threinen is the ideal teacher. When Threinen was 10, he received his first goose call for Christmas. Because he was still too young to go hunting, he began to practice using his flute call and to learn more about the birds. His self-taught calling has since led to his enormous success in competitive calling and helped him climb the waterfowl industry. An expert in the field of calling and hunting geese, Threinen provides insight and experience that outdoorsmen (and women) can use for many hunting seasons to come. For Threinen’s seminar, guests are encouraged to bring their duck and goose calls.
Trap shooting is a popular event at the Prairie Pothole Day, where hunters can show off their precision and skill with a firearm (photo courtesy of the West Central Tribune).
Sandy Austin—an avid fisherwoman, hunter, and member of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman(BOW)—will also be leading a seminar as a “wild game chef.” Her demonstrations will show visitors how to prepare wild game for grilling, barbecue style. Austin’s cooking tips and tricks will have guests’ mouths watering and have them ready to prepare their own delicious meals from the coming hunting season.
The more competitive side of the event will feature dog retriever trials, dog distance jumping, trap and sporting clays, a slough scoot, a 3-D archery course, a blackpowder shoot, a client auction and special raffles. So, make sure to bring your furry (canine) friend if they’re well-versed in hunting waterfowl! Because there are no admission costs, adults are encouraged to purchase $10 in raffle tickets to support this great cause. Special programs throughout the day will feature different wildlife artists, taxidermy, decoy carving, and hunting exhibits. Both lunch and snacks will be available on the Prairie Pothole grounds, so there is no worry that guests will go hungry as they take in the splendor of this waterfowl-themed event.
One eager hunting dog leaps across the water in an attempt to beat the competition (photo courtesy of the West Central Tribune).
Kids can also participate in Prairie Pothole Day with several free activities: they can scamper up the rock-climbing wall, use the kids’ archery range, participate in the BB gun shoot, and engage with the outdoors in environmental learning activities. All in all, this event is family friendly and has a little something for everyone.
As a safety reminder, all guns and bows must be cased and no alcoholic beverages are allowed. All dogs should also be on a leash. Proceeds from the day will be given to the Minnesota Waterfowl Association to support its mission of preserving, protecting, and enhancing Minnesota’s wetlands for generations to come.