PINE CITY, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz was among the thousands of hunters who took to the field for Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season opener.

Walz hunted on private property in Pine County on Saturday. The owners permanently protected the land by donating a conservation easement to the Minnesota Land Trust. The governor's party didn’t get a deer, but the opener was marked by beautiful weather across most of Minnesota.

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Following the hunt, Walz visited a chronic wasting disease sampling site to highlight the importance of testing.

The Department of Natural Resources expected about 400,000 hunters to participate in the firearms deer opener.

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