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Prairie Pothole Day, Sibley State Park play host to approximately 4,000 for day's worth of outdoors fun

Zoe, the hunting dog of Zach Goeman of Raymond, retrieves a thrown dummy during the "Dock Dog" dog jumping event at the annual Prairie Pothole Day Saturday at the Stoney Ridge Farm near New London. Tribune photo by Ron Adams1 / 3
Halle Walsh, 10 of DeGraff shoots a pellet gun at a target under the guidance of Mike Pierson from New London. Tribune photo by Ron Adams2 / 3
Brad Nylin of Hopkins looks over the display of duck calls created by Dwight Speh of Maynard. Tribune photo by Ron Adams3 / 3

NEW LONDON -- More than 4,000 people took advantage of the beautiful weather and outdoors activities Sept. 12 at Stoney Ridge Farm for the annual Prairie Pothole Day.

"The crowd was consistent all day long," said Dave Larson, treasurer of the Prairie Pothole chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association. "We had lots of multi-generational families showing up."

Prairie Pothole Day, along with Sibley State Park's annual open house, which is held at the same time, will draw around 3,500-4,000 each year, Larson noted.

Prairie Pothole Day is the main fundraiser for the chapter, which puts the money toward local conservation projects and land purchases to improve waterfowl and wildlife habitat.

New this year was the 'Dock Dogs' jumping competition, which Larson said drew large crowds.

"The Dock Dogs was a great success," he said. "We had people in the stands all day long. We are looking at adding that as a permanent event."

Also drawing interest were seminars by goose and duck call champion Scott Threinen of Rochester, wild game cooking demonstrations from Chris Hughes, raptors from the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center, and the dog retrieving trials.

"A couple I talked to said it was a hidden gem of Kandiyohi County," said Larson.