LUVERNE, Minn. -- The city of Austin will host the 2019 Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener.

The announcement was made Friday evening during the governor's banquet in Luverne.

Gov. Mark Dayton was unable to attend to due back surgery, but in an earlier statement, he thanked Austin for hosting the ninth annual opener set for next Oct. 11-12.

"The Pheasant Opener has become a special Minnesota tradition made possible by our tremendous host communities," he said.

The opener, initiated by Dayton in 2011, has previously been held in Montevideo, Marshall, Madelia, Worthington, Mankato and Luverne.

Austin was selected through an application process that considered available hunting land, event facilities, travel recreation opportunities and community support.

Austin event chairperson Sandy Forstner said the city is thrilled to have been chosen.

"We've assembled a great team of organizations that are working collaboratively to prepare for this event that will showcase the great habitat, good pheasant hunting and many other attractions Austin can offer," she said.

Located in the southeastern part of the state, Austin is the Mower County seat.