Event at UMN Crookston kicked off initiative funded by a Minnesota DNR grant.

In a classroom in Owen Hall on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus Monday evening, a group of women interested in learning more about the outdoors, nature, firearms and, in particular on this occasion, waterfowl hunting, got a lesson on that and more from Ross Hier, who spun more than a few tales of his own into his presentation.

The event, titled “Tips & Tricks: Beginner Field/Fowl Hunting,” was free and geared toward women ages 18 to 44, although men were welcome. No previous hunting or firearms skills were necessary to attend.

Hier, now retired, spent the bulk of his career as a wildlife manager, and for years was the Crookston-based wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Also a painter who focuses mostly on nature and wildlife scenes, he interspersed his talk Monday with various scenes he’s captured with his brush. He also told the women about waterfowl hunting laws and other regulations, the availability of public lands on which they can hunt, what breeds of dogs suit the various types of waterfowl hunting, and what kind of gear they should get.

Afterward, the group ventured to Valley Technology Park on the northern edge of campus, where in the community space they enjoyed a meal that featured beer cheese and pheasant soup, crafted by Nancy Boucher at B & E Meats.

The Oct. 21 event was the first event to be held after the proposed initiative was awarded a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The second event made possible by the grant is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4 and will focus on deer hunting. More details on that are forthcoming.

For more information on the grant, the initiative and the Nov. 4 event, contact UMN Crookston Director of Outreach & Engagement Michelle Christopherson at 281-8369 or mchristo@umn.edu

Program sponsors include the UMN Crookston, MN Department of Natural Resources, and UMN Crookston Trap Team.