Snow or no snow, winter activities are on at Whitewater State Park! Three will take place in the near future.
A six-part Advanced Hunter Education Class, which will start Thursday evening January 19. The class is for both beginner and experienced hunters. It is for adults, as well as students 14 years of age and older. Topics that will be covered include hunter responsibility, safety, ethics, outdoor survival, laws, hunting techniques for small game, big game and waterfowl, wildlife identification and wildlife management. Several guest speakers will present on areas of their expertise. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the future of hunting and to share useful information with others. Advanced Hunter Education (AHE) is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. To receive AHE certification, participants must fulfill all of the classroom requirements. All states and provinces that require hunter safety certification recognize AHE certification. The three-hour sessions will take place at the park's visitor center on January 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16 and 23. Snacks and hot beverages will be provided. There is a $20 fee for this class and state park permits are required. For additional information, exact times and reservations call the park at (507) 932-3007, extension 0 during weekday business hours.
Saturday morning January 21 from 9 to 11a.m. a golden eagle count will be held in conjunction with Winona's Hiawatha Valley Audubon Society. After a short introduction at the park's visitor center, groups of participants will visit sites that golden eagles have frequented in past years. Binoculars, spotting scopes and brochures will be available. Everyone is invited. Call (507) 932-3007, extension 0 to register.
Saturday afternoon January 21 from 1 to3 p.m. an historic ice harvesting demonstration will be given. A century ago, before rural electrification and refrigerators, ice was cut each winter to fill the iceboxes for the next year. After ice was cut, it was transported to ice houses where it was stored, insulated by sawdust. Ice was harvested off the Mississippi River, lakes and even the beach pond at Whitewater State Park. Discover this piece of the area's past as ice is cut and moved off Whitewater State Park's beach pond. Authentic tools such as ice saws, tongs and pike poles will be used. Want to give it a try? Meet at the visitor center. Prior registration is not required for this activity.
The golden eagle count and ice harvesting demonstration are free but Minnesota State Park vehicle permits are required. Daily permits are $7 and annual permits are $25.