AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz will lead the festivities as the southern Minnesota community of Austin hosts the ninth annual Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener.
It's Walz's first pheasant opener as governor, though he previously attended as a guest of Gov. Mark Dayton when Walz was still a congressman. He'll help dedicate a 140-acre future wildlife management area Friday afternoon, then attend a community banquet Friday evening.
Hunters will take to the field Saturday morning. There will be a dog parade and dock dog jumping demonstration in downtown Austin in the afternoon, followed by further festivities at the Mower County Fairgrounds and Austin VFW.
The Department of Natural Resources says the its annual survey indicates Minnesota's pheasant population is down from last year, but birds are still abundant in some areas.