Local hunters interested in learning more about hunting waterfowl should plan to attend the free waterfowl hunting workshop Oct. 5 at Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area in Winslow. The workshop will focus on hunting Canada geese and will run from 9 a.m. and until 1 p.m. and is geared toward novice waterfowl hunters but anyone can attend. Lunch will be provided.
“All ages are welcome and in the past we have had ages 8 to 72 at our workshops,” said Department of Natural Resources waterfowl biologist Adam Phelps. “Many of our attendees have been hunters that have just never or rarely hunted waterfowl.”
Parents who already hunt waterfowl are also welcome to bring children and the material is geared toward beginning waterfowl hunters. Limited information on hunting ducks will also be provided. Phelps said he also believes there are adults out there who want to learn how to hunt but have few options to learn.
”We have found that lots of participants are most interested in goose hunting,” said Phelps. “Canada geese are definitely the easiest place to start hunting waterfowl because they are abundant, they frequently use private land and they are easy to identify.”
While many hunters see hunting waterfowl as the most difficult type of hunting to start on one’s own, Phelps said he feels that by beginning with Canada geese instead of ducks, it is actually not that hard to get stared.
Phelps also said that when hunting geese, one is likely to see other species of waterfowl as well. “Learning more birds and seeing the other species of waterfowl possibly whets the appetite to try duck hunting too.”
Part of the workshop will be held outdoors and Phelps described it as a show and tell. “We set up decoys, blinds and other equipment and talk about how it is used. While we do show a wide variety of equipment that can be used, we focus on the small amount that is required. We try to stress that goose hunting does not require thousands of dollars worth of equipment. A person can get started with a few decoys, a shotgun and a brown coat.”
Hunters will also learn about hunting regulations, waterfowl identification, equipment and techniques. Workshop presenters will also tell participants how to hunt with minimal equipment and fish and wildlife personnel as well as conservation officers from the DNR will be on hand to answer questions.
A brief history of waterfowl hunting in the North America and how waterfowl are managed on the continent will also be provided.
Participants should bring a lawn chair and weather appropriate clothing as part of the workshop will be held outdoors. Registration for the event is required and those wishing to participate can call 789-2724 to reserve a spot.