The 7th annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener continued in Marshall as almost 200 hunters took to the fields Saturday morning.
At 9:00 a.m., pheasants were being hunted for the first time this year.
Hunters set out in groups, determined to take home one of these birds.
The morning hunt concluded this two–day event, following a banquet that had more than 370 people attend.
The governor himself said he was pleased at how this weekend turned out and even provided some laughs when it came to how many birds would be caught.
Governor Mark Dayton said “Well we’ve had a spectacular weekend here in Marshall, I can’t thank everyone in the community enough. They work so very very hard, it’s just been outstanding. We had 375 people last night at the banquet and everybody out there today…we promised everybody would get a bird.”
Unfortunately, that promise wouldn’t be fulfilled as only 28 roosters were grabbed.
Although there wasn’t much luck Saturday, the decrease of one crop should create more opportunities for hunters throughout the rest of the season.
Hunter Host Tom Landmark said “The cornfields, right now there is a lot of corn in. There’s very little that’s been harvested. As the corn gets harvested, if you can find a public area next to a cornfield, that’s the most popular areas to go and probably the most beneficial because that’s where the birds are going to be.”
The groups that went out today comprised of hunters, officials, and media, most of whom had never met before with some participating in the opener for the very first time.
President of Jager Outdoors Steve Gnoza said “It was actually more fun than I expected. The fun part of it was hunting with people I don’t know, so I made new friends and acquaintances and we’ll probably be out in the future, hunting with some of these people I met with today.”
It’ll be interesting to see if 2017 can produce the same amount of results as last year, with more than 60,000 Minnesotans bringing in over 300,000 roosters.
As of right now, hunters are allowed two birds per day and will have the opportunity to harvest pheasants until January 1st, 2018.
This was the 2nd year Marshall has hosted this event, the last being in 2012, and next year the Governor’s opener will take place in Luverne.