Bemidji to host 2014 Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener
BEMIDJI — The city of Bemidji will host next year’s Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener.
Gov. Mark Dayton announced the selection of next year’s host city Friday at 11th annual deer hunting opener celebration in Fergus Falls.
“During my three years hosting the Governor’s Deer Opener, we have enjoyed terrific events, thanks to the hard work of our hosts in Biwabik, Winona, and Fergus Falls,” Dayton said in a press release. “I thank everyone in Bemidji for their willingness to continue this great Minnesota tradition.”
This year’s festivities began Thursday and continued through this morning. Among the events were a tour of the natural resource attractions near Fergus Falls, a visit to a museum, a banquet and a shooting demonstration.
“It has been a very enjoyable event,” said DNR Northwest Region Wildlife Supervisor John Williams, who is based in Bemidji.
Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht also was in Fergus Falls on Friday for the announcement.
“We are thrilled that the governor and (Deparment of Natural Resources) Commissioner Tom Landwehr have chosen Bemidji,” she said in a phone interview. “We think that Bemidji is in the heart of beautiful deer country and we are excited to showcase what we have in Bemidji.”
Minnesota is home to nearly a half-million deer hunters whose direct retail spending totals more than a quarter-billion dollars and supports 3,760 jobs, according to a 2011 study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“We’re excited about having the governor help showcase the Bemidji area,” said Dennelle Hilliard, executive director of Visit Bemidji, in a press release. “We have a great public land base and wonderful natural resources for people to enjoy.”
The Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and Explore Minnesota Tourism will assist local partners in planning the event, officials said in a press release.