Deer hunting highlighted in Prairie Home Companion broadcast

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Even as the 2013 deer hunter season began on Saturday, news of the host city for next year's Governor's Deer Opener was announced. WCCO reported that 2014 Deer Opener will be held in Bemidji, a community with a high interest in hunting.

The Bemidji Pioneer reported that Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion was in the northern city on Saturday for its nationwide live broadcast. The live radio show filled the 290 seats in the city's Chief Theater even though it was "...competing with what is considered by some to be a holy day in Minnesota," as the paper put it.

The newspaper said that some above average Bemidji residents, including Mayor Rita Albrecht and singer Sonny Johnson were onstage. Bemidji Pioneer Sports Editor Pat Miller sacrificed time away from deer camp to represent the local deer hunter population.

"They may be the only hunters on the radio today," Keillor said. He described Minnesotans during hunting season as "people who have come to terms with carnivorous-ness."

WDAZ reported that deer hunting contributes nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to Minnesota's economy, with each hunter spending an average of $1400. That includes everything from ammunition, to lodging, to warm gear. About 500,000 Minnesotans are expected to hunt this deer season.

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