2017 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in Marshall, MN

A New Pheasant Opener

MHF Editor, Paul Nester, with MN Governor, Mark Dayton.

For over 40 years I have enjoyed the excitement of opening weekend in South Dakota, until this year. This year I traveled to hunt with our neighbors in Minnesota. I was invited to attend the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, held in Marshall MN. I thought to myself what does Minnesota know about pheasant hunting, well I found out, they know how to hunt and to hold an amazing event.

Governor Mark Dayton held his first-ever Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in 2011 and it has been enormous success. I have never seen a whole state come together to throw such a well-organized weekend event. This was a cooperative promotion between the city of Marshall, MN, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota Tourism. State government, local communities, hunting organizations, and the tourism and hospitality industry work together to make it all happen.

From sporting clays to social hours to banquets with amazing food and speakers, and of course a great well-organized hunt they did it all and they did it well. Governor Dayton is very passionate about habitat, and as we hit the fields I can see why pheasant hunting is a big part of Minnesota. Between land owners, public hunting areas and an unbelievable Walk-In-Access program, there are plenty of places to hunt.

Group of Hunters and two dogs

Over 150 hunters and their guides hit the fields on Saturday and everyone saw birds. Not all hunters harvested birds, but that is why they call it hunting. I want to thank my guides and my hunting party for a great memorable opening weekend hunt. And I also want to thank Governor Dayton, Explore Minnesota, Minnesota DNR, and the city of Marshall for an opening weekend to remember.

Thanks, and have a great rest of the season hunting—in Minnesota.

-Paul

Yellow Lab Dog in Field

Two hunters in field

Large room with hunters and tables

Room of tables occupied by people eating brunch

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