Governor Tim Walz has announced that this fall’s 10th annual Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, set to be held in Fairmont, has been postponed to 2021. The annual event’s postponement is a precaution to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Despite the event’s postponement, the governor still plans to participate in his favorite pastime of pheasant hunting, and he urges other Minnesotans who enjoy the sport to do the same when the season opens on Oct. 10.
“Thank you to the Fairmont community, along with our partners Explore Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources, for their work planning this annual rite of fall in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “While our event together must be postponed, I still plan to enjoy the 2020 pheasant hunting season. I’ll be practicing safe social distancing, staying in small groups, and not traveling too far from home while doing so, and I encourage all hunters to do the same to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Fairmont is the county seat of Martin County and has a population of 10,666. The Fairmont area is a pheasant hunting destination because of 4,700 acres of public hunting land and the abundance of dog-friendly motels available in Martin County.
“Pheasant hunting is a great way to spend time outdoors and make new memories with friends and family,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “We encourage pheasant hunters to continue to make hunting memories this year. Even though it may look a little different this year, we can still enjoy Minnesota's outdoors.”
Since 2011, communities hosting the Governor’s Pheasant Opener have highlighted the hunting opportunities and local attractions available to visitors and hunters. The annual event is organized by Explore Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources.
“Explore Minnesota has enjoyed working with the Fairmont community to highlight hunting and travel opportunities in the region and we are eager to continue planning efforts for a great event in 2021,” said Explore Minnesota director John Edman. “Meanwhile, we encourage hunters and travelers to continue to support the state’s tourism industry. Minnesota's open spaces and outdoor experiences provide welcoming options, and along with increased safety and cleaning measures, can offer a sense of comfort and normalcy when it comes to exploring the state.”
Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season opens this year at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 and will run until Jan. 3, 2021.
More information on Minnesota pheasant hunting is available at the DNR’s pheasant hunting web page.