The annual Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Opener is about more than hunting. Started by Governor Dayton in 2011 the event highlights host communities recreation and tourism attractions in addition to its hunting opportunities.

The 2019 Pheasant Opener weekend is October 11-12 in Austin. In a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Sandy Foster, Austin's committee chair stated, "We're very excited to host the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener. This will be a great way to showcase not only the many hunting opportunities available surrounding Austin, but also the wide range of tourism opportunities in the immediate area."

Governor Walz says, "I can't wait to continue this tradition in Southern Minnesota this year and spend some time enjoying our state's natural beauty and recreational activities." This is the first time Austin has hosted the event.

The news release indicates a recent increase in the local pheasant population was a factor in Austin being selected. A dedication of a new piece of public land will be part of the weekend celebration. Mower County offers state parks, state recreational trails, the Cedar River State Water Trail and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

Learn more about pheasant hunting in Minnesota by going to the DNR's website.

The Department of Natural Resources has a long list of summer adventures for you to explore, even if you aren't a hunter.

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