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Gov. Dayton in Winona for Governor’s Annual Deer Hunting Opener festivities

The governor’s a pheasant hunter and won’t stay to hunt Saturday, but will speak at the pre-hunt festivities in Winona today.

Gov. Mark Dayton is in Winona today for the pre-hunt festivities surrounding the 10th annual Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty started the event in 2003, and this is the first time it’s been in Winona.

There’s a day-long agenda of events in Winona; Dayton was speaking at a noon luncheon at the Winona Sportsmen’s Club.  He was to be joined by DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism John Edman, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Vice President Denis Quarberg, legislators and local leaders.

Officials expect a half-million hunters to be out around the state Saturday morning for the opener.

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But the governor, who is a pheasant hunter, won’t stay for the morning hunt in the southeastern bluff country; he’s headed back to St. Paul this afternoon.