Outdoor skills & stewardship

Winter listings available

More outdoor skills

Check out our help and how-to guides for to hone your hunting and fishing skills.

Learn about or sharpen your outdoor skills with these upcoming online webinars in our Minnesota outdoor skills and stewardship series.

Each webinar begins at noon on Wednesdays and last less than an hour. These offerings are shorter than in-person opportunities, require no travel and fit into busy schedules.

Contact Benji Kohn for additional information at [email protected] or 651-259-5178.

Upcoming webinars

Fall series

Minnesota state park opportunities

Get ready for Free Park Day on Black Friday! Sara Joy Berhow from DNR Parks and Trails will share all the great things happening at Minnesota state parks and how you can get active in some of Minnesota’s amazing natural places.

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Fishing for northern pike

Bethany Bethke, DNR fisheries research scientist and coordinator of the Northern Pike Technical Committee, will join us to talk about one of the top predators in Minnesota lakes. We will talk about recent research on northern pike and harvest regulations that are improving northern pike fishing in Minnesota. We will wrap up with some simple tips you can use to catch northern pike through the ice this winter.

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Winter series

Rabbit hunting

Ever wonder what happened to that lucky rabbit’s foot you had as a kid? Well, tune in for some tips and ideas on how to get a new one in addition to a delicious meal! Rabbits offer up some great table fare, a challenging day in the field and some lasting memories.

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Training your hunting puppy

Are you curious about training your own hunting dog and want to know where to start? From picking out a puppy to basic obedience to retrieving that first bird, diehard bird hunter Tina Dokken will share her journey with her new hunting pup.

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Snowmobiling in Minnesota

Minnesota is a snowmobiler's paradise. We have lots of the white stuff, the modern snowmobile was invented here, and we have thousands of miles of groomed snowmobile trails throughout the state available to the public. Join us as we talk with Wade Miller, DNR state trails snowmobile consultant, about how to get started in snowmobiling, where to go, and what you need to know to try this fun wintertime activity.

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Winter sturgeon fishing

Interested in trying to catch a sturgeon this winter? Join DNR fisheries specialists Joel Stiras and Tony Sindt as they talk about sturgeon management and how to catch this prehistoric fish through the ice.

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Camp planning and cooking

Whether you are doing a quick overnight backpacking trip or canoeing for multiple days, you want food that will nourish and sustain you, while still tasting good. With a little bit of planning, even a beginner can create a food plan that will satisfy your hunger while on the trail. Join Jason Jech, executive director of the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, as he shares tips and tricks about what to bring, what not to bring and ultimately how to become an outdoor gourmet.

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Ice fishing for lake trout

Scott Mackenthun, an avid ice angler and Minnesota DNR fisheries supervisor in Hutchinson, will give us a rundown of the state’s lake trout fishing opportunities and some helpful information on lake trout biology. He will cover how to use this new information to your advantage as an angler and to apply it to rigging and the gear necessary for lake trout ice fishing.

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Shed antler hunting basics

Late winter and early spring are great times to get outside and hunt for antlers dropped by bucks, bull moose or elk. Dawn Plattner, DNR assistant area wildlife manager, will provide an introduction to amazing antlers and tips on shed antler hunting.

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Dog sledding in Minnesota

Dog sledding has played an important role in history both here in Minnesota and across the world. From a simple mode of transportation to mail delivery to Norman Vaughan’s’ U.S. Army Air Forces search and rescue teams during World War II, the fascinating relationship between human and canine has stood the test of time. Join Benji Kohn, DNR mentor network coordinator, and Bethany Hway’s, founder and race director of the Klondike Dog Derby, as they discuss some of the history of dog mushing, its popularity today, and how you might get involved in this terrific winter activity.

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Minnesota's native mussels

One of nature's unsung heroes plays a critical role in the ecological food web of rivers and lakes. Join Madeline Pletta, DNR’s lead mussel propagation biologist, to learn about the importance of Minnesota’s native freshwater mussels and how the DNR is restoring populations across the state.

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Burbout fishing

Burbot or eelpout are becoming an ever-increasing target by many anglers for good reason: they are great fighters and are also known to be very tasty as well. Carl Pedersen and Jody Derks, both fisheries specialists with the DNR, will cover some basic biology as well as ways to fish for burbot.

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Bald eagles in Minnesota

Did you know that Minnesota and Florida have the highest populations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states? For several years, the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program has managed a camera above an eagle nest, which has become one of our best tools for bringing Minnesota’s wildlife to everyone. Join us as we visit with Lori Naumann, Nongame Wildlife outreach specialist, to talk about the Eagle Cam and all things bald eagles.

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Foundational fire starting

The ability to light a fire for warmth, cooking, signaling or comfort is a foundational part of human history. Join Pam Welisevich, a naturalist with Dodge Nature Center, and learn to start a fire without using a lighter and connect to the past. Learn some important techniques that apply to building, starting, and maintaining all types of fires.

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Past webinars

Click a topic below to watch past online skills presentations

Fishing

Aquatic invasive species

Protecting Minnesota's waters: Learn about the challenges presented by invasive species, why it’s important to prevent their spread and ways you can help protect Minnesota waters.

Bass

Fall fishing: Learn about tackle and techniques for fall bass fishing.


Introduction: Hear the finer points of how to catch more bass consistently all year around.


Smallmouth in rivers: Anglers often overlook rivers in their search for bass to catch. Learn more about where smallmouth bass hang out in rivers.

Catfish

River catfishing: Designed for those new to catfishing, this seminar will covers channel and flathead catfish equipment and rigging, baits and places to try from shore and boat.

Common fish

Catching rough fish: Have you ever wondered about all those fish that are termed “rough fish?" Find out why they're not so rough as well as why and how to catch them.

Methods

Darkhouse spearing: Learn about spearing large fish through a big hole in the ice – the closest thing to hunting on hard water. Please check spearing regulations.


Fly fshing 101: Learn about the basic equipment needed and get some tips on where to find fish.


Fly tying: Learn about the equipment needed, how to use it and the basics of tying simple flies.


High school fishing leagues: Learn how you can connect with Minnesota’s increasing number of high school fishing leagues and clubs.


Ice fishing for panfish: Winter time is the right time for sunfish, crappie and perch. Get tips, techniques and pointers.


Lead tackle alternatives: Lead fishing tackle poses dangers to loons and other wildlife. Learn about lead-free tackle alternatives on the market and fishing success stories with this gear.


Lure help: A look at a few fishing lures and how to use them so you can catch more fish.


Shore fishing 101: Successful and practical fishing techniques to help you catch more fish from shore.


Shore fishing 102: More practical fishing techniques and places to help you catch more fish from shore.

Muskellunge

Muskie info & management: Learn about Minnesota’s largest apex predator fish, the muskellunge, and how the DNR manages it.


Metro muskie fishing basics: Dive into the brain of one of the best muskie fishing anglers in the Twin Cities.

Steelhead

Superior streams: Learn about fly fishing for spring steelhead surrounded by some of the state's most rugged beauty on Minnesota's North Shore.

Sturgeon

Management and tips: Learn about the recovery of this anciet fish species and the basics of how to fish for sturgeon in Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.

Sunfish

Bigger fish initiative: Everyone loves to catch sunfish. This DNR initiative is a way to keep our fisheries producing quality fish.

Trout

Finding trout: Learn about locating trout at all times of the year in Minnesota's lakes and streams.

Walleye

Open water basics: Learn walleye fishing basics and fundamentals.


Walleye basics: Pro angler and bait shop owner Nancy Koep covers the basics of walleye fishing.

Hunting

Bear

Biology & baiting: A discussion of why baiting is a necessary part of bear hunting and methods for attracting bears to a site.

Deer

2022 regulations: New deer hunting regulations in 2022, population numbers and new CWD areas.


Archery tips: An hour of tips that will help you have a more successful bow hunt.


CWD: Important 2022 information hunters need to know about chronic wasting disease and what the DNR is doing to manage this disease.


Expanded opportunities: A review of upcoming deer season dates, application deadlines and special hunts, information that could help you explore and expand your deer hunting opportunities.


Last-minute prep: Last minute tips, reminders and strategies to be successful this deer season.


Muzzleloader: The basics of using a muzzleloader and other timely tips and techniques for the muzzleloader deer season. Firesticks may not be legal in 2022. Check all regulations before using this technology.

Firearms safety

Getting certified: A discussion of Minnesota hunter safety requirements, including how to get certified in firearms safety.

Grouse

Ruffed grouse basics: Explore the basics of ruffed grouse hunting.

Information

Hunters as scientists: Learn about two science-based surveys in which hunters are integral to contributing the data needed.

Instruction

Adult learning: Resources for new adult hunters along with tips and tricks to get them out into field and forest.


Ammunition choices: Options for different game, development of alternatives to lead and other tips to consider when purchasing ammo.

Methods

See the archery and shooting topics in the Outdoors listing.

Mourning dove

Getting started: Basic strategies and techniques to harvest mourning doves in Minnesota.

Pheasant

Getting started: Strategies, techniques and how to get started chasing longtails.


Research insights: Learn about recent research on pheasant biology, management practices and bird behavior.

Small game

Basics: A look at what equipment is needed, how to get started and where to hunt.

Squirrel

Winter hunting: Cold-weather tactics, strategies, gear and ways to prepare harvested squirrels for the table.

Trapping

Introduction to trapping: Learn how to get started trapping fur-bearing animals and where you can set traps.

Upland birds

Hunting with a pointing dog: What owner and dog need to know to become a team in the field.

Waterfowl

Basics: Tips and resources to get started in waterfowl hunting and an introduction to regulations and how they're set.

Wild turkey

Spring hunting: Information and tips to help you get into the field and find success.

Outdoors

Archery

Archery hunting basics: Learn how to select a hunting compound bow and the bow accessories needed to hunt effectively in the field.

Getting started: Learn basic archery terms and skills necessary to select a bow to fit your needs.


Transporting firearms: Learn about transporting your firearm or archery equipment across town or around the world.

Biking

Winter biking: From trail etiquette to snow grooming, discover winter fat biking and tips on getting started.

Bird watching

North Shore fall birding: Lake Superior and the North Shore create a natural funnel that birds follow during their annual fall migration, creating a spectacle for birders.


Tundra swans: The tundra swan migration is a highlight of fall on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Learn about the swan migration that usually occurs the second week of November.

Foraging

Maple syruping: Tips on collecting sap, boiling the sap and bottling the results.


North Shore edibles: Learn about some of the wild edibles you might be passing by as you explore Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior.


Springtime bounty: Learn about foraging for springtime wild foods.


Wild rice: Minnesota has more natural wild rice than any other state and the DNR manages many lakes for wild rice? Find out why and how we do this and discover some success stories.


Wild rice harvesting: What you need to know to get out and harvest your own wild rice.

Gear

Dress for the outdoors: Learn the fundamental principles you need to know about fabrics and layering so your time spent outdoors is comfortable and enjoyable.

Gifts

Holiday gifts: Gifts from the DNR to get people outdoors.

Habitat

Create your own: Resources and things you can do to attract more wildlife to your woodland property.


Managing your shoreline: Manage your lakeshore so it protects water quality and fishing but still provides access for your family to enjoy the lake.


Sharp-tailed grouse: Learn about sharp-tailed grouse behavior, biology, where they range in Minnesota and their habitat needs.

Paddling

Kayak the backwaters: Learn how to kayak the backwaters of the Mississippi River.


Paddling basics: Discover the basics of canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Learn where you can go and where you can rent craft.

Photography

Shooting wildlife: Learn about equipment, where to look for subjects, techniques and composition and ethics.

Nature

Nature RX: Tools and resources to explore parks and greenspaces near you and learn about outdoor recreation opportunities at Minnesota state parks.


Plants for pollinators: Native plants, pollinators and an award-winning podcast are all part of this discussion about bees and butterflies.

Opportunities

Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Learn about upcoming in-person classes for women and families to learn about and participate in outdoor activities.


Cuyuna Country: Learn about this central Minnesota place that offers premier mountain biking, SCUBA, boating and much more.


Helping kids fish: Resources to help you and your kids enjoy Take a Kid Fishing weekends.


Outdoor adventures: Learn about 4-H's comprehensive outdoor education program that includes shooting sports and wildlife, 4-H ATV safety, wildlife biology, fishing, conservation, and outdoor skills.

Shooting

4-H shooting sports: Learn about a program designed to promote life skills through a safe learn-by-doing program.


Basic firearms maintenance: Keep your firearms in tip-top shape.


Choosing a caliber: Learn what caliber you should choose for the game animal you’re hunting.


Choosing a rifle: Learn about rifle actions and their uses so you can decide which rifle will meet your recreational needs.


Choosing a shotgun: How to select your first shotgun for hunting or target shooting.


Transporting firearms: Learn about transporting your firearm or archery equipment across town or around the world.


High school trap shooting: Learn about Minnesota's clay target high school league and how your school can participate.


Trap shooting: Learn the basics, terminology, structure, and etiquette of trap shooting.

Wildlife

Going batty: Learn all about Minnesota bats and why they're great backyard visitors.


Fishers: Learn all about this mysterious, furbearing creature found in Minnesota forests.

Winter activities

Camping: A discussion of the equipment needed, tips and tricks to help you enjoy your camping in the winter.


Ice safety: Learn how to be safe out on the ice for lots of Minnesota winter fun.


Winter fun: Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing basics.