MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday the 10th annual Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener has been postponed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the event will take place on Oct. 8-9 in 2021 in Fairmont, Minnesota, where it was originally scheduled to take place this year. Walz said the event is postponed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Osakis Turns Out For Beloved Coach & Widower Who Leaves Behind 3 Boys

However Walz said he still plans to take part in pheasant hunting, his favorite pastime. He urged other Minnesotans to do the same when the season begins on Oct. 10.

READ MORE: New Car Market Delays Drive Used Car Prices To Spike By Thousands

“While our event together must be postponed, I still plan to enjoy the 2020 pheasant hunting season. I’ll be practicing safe social distancing, staying in small groups, and not traveling too far from home while doing so, and I encourage all hunters to do the same to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Walz.

MORE NEWS: 1 Killed, 2 Seriously Injured In Head-On Collision Near Hinckley

The Governor’s Pheasant Opener has highlighted local attractions and hunting opportunities. It began in 2011, and is organized by Explore Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources.