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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.