Gov. Mark Dayton, an avid hunter, has two big pheasant events on his calendar.
Oct. 10 and 11 he’ll attend the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in Worthington. Dayton began the pheasant hunt custom in his first year in office, and has held one each fall, similar to the annual governor’s fishing and deer hunting openers.
Then in December, the governor told a Pheasants Forever chapter Thursday night, he’ll convene a pheasant summit to discuss ways to increase the population by improving habitat.
The summit, time and place TBA, will include hunters, farmers, policymakers, conservationists, other stakeholders and members of the governor’s cabinet.
The DNR says hunters will shoot an estimated 200,000 pheasants in the state during this fall’s hunting season. But while the pheasant population is up 6 percent over last year, it’s still below far below the long-term average.