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Governor Dayton set to open pheasant hunting season in Luverne

With an optimistic outlook, Minnesota’s pheasant hunters will look to Luverne this weekend as the city hosts the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.

Minnesota hunters are hoping for good fortune in the field after the 2018 roadside survey found a 19 percent increase in the pheasant index.

Governor Mark Dayton will lead the opening weekend festivities, which highlight the many community assets Luverne has to offer. It is the eighth and final year Governor Dayton will attend as governor, who inaugurated the event in 2011.

“I thank the people of Luverne for graciously hosting the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener,” said Governor Dayton. “The Pheasant Opener has become a special Minnesota tradition, made possible by our tremendous host communities. I look forward to another fantastic opener in Luverne this year.”

On Friday afternoon, a dedication of the Rooster Ridge Wildlife Management Area will take place at 4 p.m. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources worked with Pheasants Forever to make the WMA a reality.

On Friday evening, the public is invited to join Governor Dayton and other dignitaries at a community banquet at Grand Prairie Events. The event will run from 5-8:30 p.m., with social hour, dinner and a program featuring the governor as well as local community leaders. Tickets are $40 and available by calling the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB at 507-283-4061.

On Saturday, hunters will take to the field for the pheasant hunt, followed by an afternoon dog parade and “Pheasant Phiesta.”

Luverne has a population of 4,658 and is the county seat of Minnesota’s southwestern-most county, Rock County. It is located at the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 75, approximately 15 miles from the South Dakota and Iowa state lines. The city actively promotes hunting, travel opportunities and outdoor recreation.

Hunters spend $725 million each year in Minnesota in direct hunting-related expenditures like equipment, food and lodging. That is an average of $1,412 per hunter. Travel and tourism generate $15 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota.

Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are assisting the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB in planning the event.

More information and updates on the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener can be found at exploreminnesota.com/mngpho.