Sportsmen will be honored for their role in conservation and wildlife management.
Hunters and anglers, there’s an upcoming holiday just for you.
September 27 is National Hunting and Fishing Day, which recognizes outdoorsmen and women for their support of conservation and outdoor sports.
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The holiday is meant as both a celebration of sportsmen’s contributions to conservation and as an inspiration to pursue outdoor sports. On the official website, newcomers are encouraged to try hunting, fishing, or shooting, and directed on how to get started.
The site also provides access to presentations, quizzes, and merchandise to inform the public on sportsmen’s vital role in conservation. Hunters and fishermen teach education classes, organize outdoor clean-ups, and even assist wildlife biologists.
Most notably, they contribute $1.75 billion in funds from licenses and excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, fishing gear, and bows and arrows. That money goes to conservation agencies, which ensure the upkeep of numerous wildlife habitats.
The idea for a national sportsmen’s day was first proposed in 1970 by Ira Joffe, a Pennsylvanian gun shop owner. The concept was soon adopted by Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer into the state holiday “Outdoor Sportmans’ Day.” After bills to support a national holiday were passed in the House and Senate, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day on May 2, 1972.
“I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations,” Nixon stated. The holiday was henceforth set to be celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September.
In response, organizations all over the country have launched annual public events promoting hunting and fishing, exposing an estimated four million Americans to outdoor sports. Since its inception, the holiday has also been endorsed by several public figures and celebrities who’ve served as honorary chair, including George Bush, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. This year, the honorary chair will be country artist Craig Morgan.
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Like most holidays, the ultimate idea of National Hunting and Fishing day is to show recognition and appreciation, however you feel best. After all, as their supporters make clear, without hunters and fishermen and the resources they provide, the outdoors would be in a lot worse condition than it is today.
Hunters and fishermen, how will you be celebrating on September 27?