With more than 6,600 acres of state-owned, public hunting land, Worthington and Nobles County will host the 2022 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener Oct. 14-15. The event will highlight local hunting, recreational, and tourism opportunities in the heart of southwest Minnesota’s prairie lands.

“I thank the communities of Worthington and Nobles County for graciously hosting this year’s opener,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “As a hunter and lifelong Pheasants Forever member, I’m greatly looking forward to joining Minnesotans in this tradition, shining a light on the community, and celebrating critical conservation work in southwest Minnesota.”

Situated along the Iowa state line and bisected by Interstate 90, Worthington and Nobles County are home to an agriculturally based economy with a strong farming tradition and a robust meatpacking industry. With a 13% increase among the county’s non-white population, Nobles is the fastest-diversifying county in the state.

“We’re very excited to host this important event,” said Scott Rall, chairman of the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener committee in Nobles County. “We look forward to the event shining a spotlight on pheasant hunting, our hunting resources and our diverse community.”

In addition to pheasant hunting, the weekend event will include a public dedication of Ransom Ridge Wildlife Management Area southwest of Worthington and a summit of conservation and outdoor recreation stakeholders. Information and updates will be available at mndnr.gov/news.

“The Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener is a special event,” said Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “It is a great opportunity to highlight the great pheasant habitat in our state and celebrate the sport of pheasant hunting.”

Nobles County is known for its exceptional pheasant hunting, so it’s fitting the event returns to the area after a two-year hiatus during COVID. Worthington last hosted the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in 2014.

“We know that Worthington and the greater Nobles County area is a significant hunting destination,” said Explore Minnesota Director Lauren Bennett McGinty. “We look forward to highlighting everything that area has to offer for hunters and families not just in the fall, but all year long.”

The Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener is led by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. The event will be coordinated by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Worthington Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, and Nobles County Pheasants Forever.

Follow along for social media updates using the hashtags #MNGPHO2022 and #OnlyinMN.

More information

  • For information on public hunting lands, pheasant habitat, hunting licenses and more, visit mndnr.gov or call the DNR Information Center, 888-MINN-DNR (646-6367).
  • For help planning a hunting trip, visit exploreminnesota.com or call 888-VISITMN.

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