Pheasant numbers are down from a year ago according to the DNR, due to loss of habitat and a cold, wet spring. But Wildlife Research Biologist Rachel Curtis says that despite a 29% decline, there are still more birds out there than they expected. Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season opens today (SAT). The third annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener festivities in Madelia began Friday, and included a series of shotgun shooting events, the dedication of a new veterans memorial, a banquet and a free concert. Today’s events in Madelia included a community breakfast before hunters take to the field.