Gov. Mark Dayton has made good on a promise he made last fall to have the first Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo. His office announced Thursday last week that the pheasant opener will be held Oct. 14 and 15.


Gov. Mark Dayton has made good on a promise he made last fall to have the first Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo. His office announced Thursday last week that the pheasant opener will be held Oct. 14 and 15.

“I am very excited to host the very first annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Monte­video,” said Dayton in a news release. “I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota for over half a century.”

Dayton said he hopes to establish the pheasant opener as a tradition in Minnesota, similar to the Governor’s Fishing Opener and the Governor’s Deer Opener.

“I think it’s going to be great for the Montevideo community and the whole area,” said former Montevideo Mayor Jim Curtiss. “A lot of thanks go to (U.S. Rep.) Collin Peterson. He’s worked hard with me to promote the annual VIP hunt.

“Attracting the governor was definitely something we had in mind when we started the VIP hunt nine years ago,” Curtiss continued. “We asked Gov. Pawlenty three times to attend, but he was never able to make it. I’m glad we finally got the governor to commit.”

The event is being coordinated by the Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota Tourism. This is the first time a Minnesota governor has participated in an official pheasant hunting opener.

Curtiss gave credit to the city of Montevideo, the Chamber, and to local property owner and businessman Dennis Larson for all their hard work in promoting the VIP hunt and the new pheasant opener.

Curtiss said he understood that U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who has attended previous VIP hunts, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar would be among the VIPs to attend the two-day event this fall.

The opener will promote upland bird hunting in the state by showcasing opportunities and habitat in the Montevideo area.  The area’s grasslands, cattail marshes and grain fields provide food and cover for pheasants, a species sought by roughly 100,000 Minnesota hunt­ers last year.

“I’m glad that the governor’s opener is coming,” said Curtiss.