(New Ulm, MN) – Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season opens Saturday morning to some unusually warm temperatures.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters to be mindful of their dog’s safety during the opener, which could see highs in the 70’s and 80’s.

Here are some tips from the DNR to keep your furry hunting companion safe during your 2020 pheasant hunting experience:

  • Most dogs won’t quit hunting until they’ve reached the point of heat exhaustion.  It’s up to you to provide extra care and an attentive eye to keep your dog safe and healthy.
  • Give your dog plenty of water – before, during, and after the hunt.
  • Consider keeping your dog out of the field when temperatures are the highest, focusing instead on the first hour or two of shooting, and the last hour or two.
  • If you have any doubt that it might be too hot, or that your dog’s conditioning isn’t as good as it could be, sit it out.  It’s a long season and cooler weather is coming.
  • Watch carefully for any signs that the heat is getting to your dog.  Some of the early signs of heatstroke are excessive panting and/or drooling, and a far-away, glassy-eyed look.  They may also appear uncoordinated or be unwilling to move.
    • If any of these signs are present, work immediately to cool your dog.  Bring it back to a vehicle and blast the air conditioning, find shade, and squirt water anywhere they have exposed skin.  If water is nearby, submerge the dog, holding the animal during the process.  The dog should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

The DNR also reminds hunters that fall harvest is in full swing across the pheasant range.

Watch out for slow-moving farm implements traveling down the roadway, and make sure to park only in designated parking areas on public land.  Parking on roadsides could create dangerous situations for other motorists.

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