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OutdoorMN News - Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith set to open pheasant hunting season in Marshall this weekend

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Marshall to host the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener for second time

Minnesota’s pheasant hunters will look to Marshall this weekend as the city hosts the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. 

It is the second time in the event’s seven-year history that Marshall, in southwestern Minnesota, has hosted the event.

-8-300x116.Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will lead the festivities, which highlight the many community assets Marshall has to offer.

“I am proud of Minnesota’s great hunting traditions, and I have enjoyed pheasant hunting here for over sixty years,” Dayton said. “For the past seven years, we have held Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Openers, which have been very popular. I thank our wonderful hosts in the Marshall area for all of their hard work to make this year’s Opener such an outstanding event. I invite all Minnesotans to join us for this special Minnesota tradition.”

On Friday afternoon, a dedication of the James Meger Memorial Wildlife Management Area will take place at 4 p.m. The Department of Natural Resources worked with Pheasants Forever and more than a dozen other conservation groups and major contributors to make the WMA a reality. It is named for the late James Meger, a wildlife artist and Lyon County native who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for conservation groups through his artwork.

On Friday night, the public is invited to join Dayton and Smith at a community banquet at Southwest Minnesota State University. The event will run from 6-8:30 p.m., with social hour, dinner and a program featuring the governor as well as local community leaders. Tickets are $30 and available by calling the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce, 507-532-4484.

On Saturday, hunters will take to the field for the pheasant hunt.

Marshall previously hosted the second Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in 2012. The first Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener was held in 2011 in Montevideo.

With a population of 13,680, Marshall is located 150 miles southwest of the Twin Cities at the junctions of U.S. Highway 59 and state highways 19, 23 and 68. Marshall and southwest Minnesota actively promote hunting and outdoor recreation. Within 25 miles of Marshall, there are 37 Walk-In Access areas totaling just under 3,000 acres, 20 waterfowl production areas totaling approximately 3,779 acres and 132 WMAs totaling 24,407 acres. In Lyon County alone, there are 47 WMAs totaling 11,184 acres. All are open to public hunting.

Hunters spend $725 million each year in Minnesota in direct hunting-related expenditures like equipment, food and lodging. That is an average of $1,412 per hunter. Travel and tourism generate $14.4 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota.

Explore Minnesota and the DNR are assisting the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce in planning the event.

More information can be found at

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • IceHawk
      Good Job Nice Fish good luck out there tomorrow.  Would of joined you guys but tomorrow is a true Trophy hunt shooting for a !0 1/2 or better.  Got plenty of 9-10 inchers lately so let the hunt begin.   Might be setting the bar high as I normally do  but the lake I'm heading to has a restricted limit and has some real brutes. Ive done it before  here so I know its doable. Hope my day goes as well as yours did 
    • eyeguy 54
      Bite was tougher today but managed some very pretty fish. Trying to perfect getting pics with the cell phone and then editing them. I love crappie eyes and the color of some bluegills. My favorite fish on the planet. 
    • tipupsonly
      Not to get off topic and bring up that other lake, but I think lower limits and slots are going to be more and more common. I think Mille Lacs is a great example. That lake is packed all winter with a 1 fish limit. If that is keeping people away I’d hate to see it if the limit was 4! Small lakes need these slots even more as they can get fished out quick if the bite is hot.   In theory as long as you have those protected slot/spawning fish your fishery should be LOTW. The only exception would be multiple or many years of poor young year classes in which case you run into the Mille Lacs problem, which with regulation changes is rebounding nicely now.  Slots are NEEDED along with the willingness to reduce bag limits when needed. The problem with stricter regulations is the resorts and tourism industry has to be taken into consideration and whether you like it or not they will rarely want to see decreased limits or seasons shortened. Just my opinion. 
    • Ten point
      I have to agree with what canopy Sam said I also have fished this lake for 40 year's when I started you basically caught what got through the nets lots of small walleye there was not much fishing pressure in the winter now you have down riggers covering a lot more water and catching not only walleye but they also get there saugers most of the time we have way more pressure in the winter I also remember the northern fisherman it was almost sad to see them dragging trophy northerns around the ice on the end of a gaff but I also think this is still one of the best fisheries any where I also agree there are not enough conservation officers out there are to many people that take over there limit they have no respect for the resource but the trash on the lake is a lot less then it was ten years ago this is my opinion not saying that I am right just my opinion.
    • opsirc
      I took a set of my mother's ear- rings and made lures out of them.. Do not remember if i ever caught anything on them. But they were flashy.
    • BisoNation
      lakes like Ottertail Lake had 1000-1500 castles on it this year.  we are very concerned about pressure.  good points in this thread that could apply to many other minnesota large lakes.
    • icefisker
    • holmsvc
      I think everyone buying a wheel house and heading out for days at a time is what has really caused fish to move out of the area more than anything.  I think it would be interesting to have the major resorts track the fish cleaned by their guides summer verse winter.  It sure seems to me they take way more people out ice fishing than summer fishing.
    • gimruis
      There may be way more pressure in the winter but the harvest is MUCH higher in the summer.  Fish are far more active and feeding heavily in the summer months than they are in the cold water months.  Plus in the summer there is this thing called hooking mortality.  The days of keeping 4 or 6 walleyes and 10 crappies are coming to an end.  Its unsustainable virtually everywhere including a large body of water like LOTW.
    • cookie129
       I got  a call from goose yesterday That Bryce Luthens passed away on the 17th of March.  Ibot number 17. He was one of the many that toasted the crappie gods at the temple. so sorry for your loss of your good friend goose and Sandy