Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens Saturday; Marshall hosting Governor Dayton


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota opens its pheasant season Saturday with far fewer birds in the field than last year as a long-term decline in the state’s ringneck population continues due to the loss of habitat in farm country.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates Minnesota’s pheasant population is down 26 percent from last year. The DNR says the key reason is a big drop in acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, which takes environmentally sensitive farmland out of production and turns it back to grassland.

Marshall is hosting the official Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. Festivities open Friday.

The season ends Jan. 1.