Dayton announces plans for first-ever pheasant summit
At the Sept. 25 Pheasants Forever Chapter 844 banquet in St. Paul, Governor Mark Dayton announced plans to convene the state's first-ever Minnesota Pheasant Summit. The Summit, to be held later this year, will include hunters, farmers, policymake...
At the Sept. 25 Pheasants Forever Chapter 844 banquet in St. Paul, Governor Mark Dayton announced plans to convene the state’s first-ever Minnesota Pheasant Summit. The Summit, to be held later this year, will include hunters, farmers, policymakers, conservationists, other stakeholders, and key members of the Governor’s Cabinet. It will focus on strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population, improve pheasant habitat, and ensure future generations of Minnesota hunters have the opportunity to enjoy one of the state’s most popular and iconic game birds.
“For almost 60 years, I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “But the decisions we make today will determine whether future generations of Minnesotans will have those same opportunities. I look forward to convening this Minnesota Pheasant Summit, and developing strategies to improve the pheasant population in our state.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expects Minnesota hunters will bag an estimated 200,000 pheasants during this fall’s hunting season. And this year, hunting conditions will be better than last year. According to the DNR, the state’s pheasant population index is up 6 percent over 2013.
Despite this slight increase, the state’s pheasant population is still 58 percent below the 10-year average, and 71 percent below the long-term average. The Minnesota Pheasant Summit, to be held after this year’s hunting season concludes, will discuss why the pheasant population has declined in Minnesota, and what collaborative efforts can be undertaken to improve pheasant habitat statewide.
Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will release more information about the date and location of the Minnesota Pheasant Summit in the coming weeks.
A life-long pheasant hunter, Governor Dayton launched the state’s first-ever Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo in 2011. Since then, the Governor has hosted pheasant openers in Marshall (2012) and Madelia (2013). On October 10th and 11th of this year, Governor Dayton will host the fourth annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Worthington. These events have brought attention to the sport of pheasant hunting, dedicated acres of new public hunting lands in four Minnesota communities, and brought Minnesotans together to celebrate one of the state’s time-honored hunting traditions.