Walz announces 2023 Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener in Lanesboro

(ABC 6 News) – Today, Governor Tim Walz announced that the 2023 Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener will take place at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, Minn. on Friday. Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4

“Minnesota is home to exceptional public lands and unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state,” Governor Walz said. “I look forward to commemorating the time-honored deer hunting tradition that so many Minnesotans celebrate each year.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota organize the Opener in partnership with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Bluffland Whitetails Association, and the Minnesota Conservation Federation.

According to Explore Minnesota Director Lauren Bennett McGinty, said they selected Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center to highlight the recreation facility that serves an estimated 16,000 people annually. McGinty added, “Minnesota’s annual deer hunting season is a significant driver of spending at tourism-related businesses beyond summer and fall color seasons. The dollars invested by deer hunters provide crucial support to local businesses, serving as a cornerstone for the overall economic well-being of our state.”

According to a statement from the Walz Administration, the opener will include a listening session on Nov. 3 lead by DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. The session will give a platform for hunters to share their perspectives on a variety of deer and deer hunting topics.

Also on Nov. 3, attendees can observe a deer processing demonstration, which will then be followed a venison sampler prepared by members of the Hmong hunting community.

“We’re excited to add a fresh twist to tradition by hosting a venison sampler,” said Eli Mansfield, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Minnesota chapter board chair. “Communing over meals is where stories are swapped, traditions are honored, and new friendships are forged. It’s a time to savor not only the flavors of the harvest but also the bonds that tie us as hunters and stewards of the outdoors.”

Finally, on Nov. 4, the first day of Minnesota’s firearm deer season will begin. At the end of the day, hunters are invited to gather and share stories of their hunt.

The Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener enters it 20-year anniversary celebrating the state’s white-tailed deer hunting heritage this year.