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2019 Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

2019 Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

Date(s): Oct 11 - 12, 2019
Hours: 8:00 AM
Event: 2019 Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

The 9th Annual Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener, was held October 11-12, 2019. This year’s event was hosted for the first time by Austin, located in the southeastern part of the state. 

“I thank the people of Austin for graciously offering to host the 2019 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “The Pheasant Opener has become a special Minnesota tradition, made possible by our tremendous host communities. I look forward to another fantastic opener in Austin this year.”


Hunter Host - Land Owner Banquet - October 3, 2019

DAV Veterans Hunt

Governor Walz visits Riverland Community College

Lt. Governor Flanagan Reads to area students

Middle School Orange Sock Give Away

High School Orange Sherbet Give Away

Murphy's Lake - Worlein Tract Land Dedication Ceremony

MGPHO Reception & Banquet Friday October 11, 2019

Hunt Morning October 12 - Breakfast

Women's Hunt - 1 of 2 Women's Hunts

Brag Board - Shots with all the Pheasants Harvested

Pin Oak Tree Dedication - JC Hormel Nature Center

Austin was selected through an application process that considered hunting and in the area, event facilities and community support. With the recent resurgence in the pheasant population in the Austin area, now is the perfect time to showcase this hunting resource. Austin’s outdoors heritage also includes the Cedar River State Water Trail, grasslands, State parks, nearby state recreational trails. Austin has 13 miles of paved bike trails in town and the over 500 acre Jay C. Hormel Nature Center consisting of restored prairie grasslands, woodlands and a new interactive interpretive center.   

 “We’re very excited to host the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener,” said Sandy Forstner, chairman of the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener committee in Austin. “This will be a great way to showcase not only the many hunting opportunities available surrounding Austin, but also the wide range of tourism opportunities in the immediate area.” 

In addition to pheasant hunting, the weekend event will include a public dedication of Murphy Lake Worlein Tract north of Austin, and a Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener Community Banquet. Information and updates will be available at

 Initiated by Governor Dayton in 2011, this annual event has become a tradition that highlights the local hunting, recreational, and tourism opportunities host communities have to offer. This is the first Pheasant Hunting Opener for Gov. Walz as Governor, however, he’s attended previous openers as an invited guest.

Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are assisting local partners in planning the event.


Event Questions?

Nancy Schnable
Phone: P: 507-437-4563
Available: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Host Location

Austin MN, and surrounding area
301 North Main St. Austin, MN 55912 (Map Location)

Host: Discover Austin, Minnesota
Host Email:
Host Phone: P: 507-437-4563
Host Website:


2019 MGPHO Schedule of Events Open To The Public

This is a schedule of the two days worth of events the Public is welcomed to attend

2019 MGPHO Hunter Host Sign Up Form

Click on link to open the form, fill it in, click on the e-mail to send. (Will not AutoFill on Mobile Devices)