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Upcoming Christmas Bird Counts won't be business as usual because of ongoing pandemic

To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or by email at bdokken@gfherald.com. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

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To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or by email at bdokken@gfherald.com. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

Events

  • Dec. 17: Christmas Bird Count, Rydell and Glacial Ridge national wildlife refuges. Similar to last year, participants will count independently instead of pairing with refuge staff and volunteers because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the 7th annual count for the two refuges. Info/RSVP: Gregg Knutsen, refuge manager, (218) 686-4329 or gregg_knutsen@fws.gov.
  • Dec. 19: Grand Forks Christmas Bird Count. There will be no social gatherings during this year's count because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but people with home bird feeders or birdwatchers who venture out on their own are encouraged to share their findings from within the 15-mile count circle. For more information on how to participate in this year's count, contact Dave Lambeth at davidlambeth58201@gmail.com by Friday, Dec. 17.

Banquets

  • Jan. 1: Red River Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever 15-gun raffle, 5 to 8 p.m., Charlie Browns, 414 Gateway Drive, Grand Forks. Tickets $50; need not be present to win. Info: Chapter Facebook page, (218) 230-4364 or bmnelson6js@aol.com.
  • Jan. 1: Red River Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever Browning 13-gun raffle, 5 to 8 p.m., Charlie Browns, 414 Gateway Drive, Grand Forks. Tickets $50; need not be present to win. Info: Chapter Facebook page, (218) 230-4364 or bmnelson6js@aol.com.
  • Jan. 22: Whitetails Unlimited "Red River Valley Deer Camp," Eagles Club, 227 10th St. NW, East Grand Forks. Games, raffles and social hour, 5 p.m.; dinner, 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $30 each. For tickets or more information, contact John Eaton, (218) 779-0968; Buck Nordlof, (218) 434-0399; or Whitetails Unlimited national headquarters at (800) 274-5471. Buy and print tickets online at whitetailsunlimited.com .

DNR webinars

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is continuing its series of hunting, fishing and outdoor learning webinars through late February. The webinars, which are free, begin at noon Wednesdays, and pre-registration is required at mndnr.gov . Webinars also are recorded and available online. Upcoming webinars are as follows:

  • Dec. 15: Fly tying, about the basics of fly tying, the equipment needed and how to tie a simple fly.
  • Dec. 22: Learning to hunt as an adult, for any adult interested in hunting, but unsure where to start, and resources for new adult hunters and tips and tricks for getting out into the woods and fields.
  • Dec. 29: Introduction to trapping furbearers, about what it takes to get started in trapping and some tips and tricks to be more successful.
  • Jan. 5: High school clay target program, about the Minnesota Clay Target Program, including how to register a school program and details on competitions.
  • Jan. 12: Ice angling for panfish, about tips and techniques for catching sunfish, crappie and perch on the ice.
  • Jan. 19: Darkhouse spearing, about the thrill of spearing northern pike through a hole in the ice.
  • Jan. 26: Winter squirrel hunting, about what to consider when hunting squirrels in winter, including tactics, strategies, gear and ways to prepare squirrels for the table.
  • Feb. 9: Introduction to winter camping, about some of the equipment needed, tips and tricks to help campers enjoy the adventure and a few reasons why winter might be the best time to go camping.
  • Feb. 16: Introduction to maple syruping, about tips on collecting sap, boiling the sap and bottling the results.
  • Feb. 23: Archery bowhunting basics, about selecting a hunting compound bow and the bow accessories needed to hunt effectively; a great program for those ready to transition from target archery to archery hunting.
Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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