On Saturday, September 22, hunters and anglers from across the country headed to their docks, boats, tree stands, and dove fields to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.
State fish and wildlife agencies, conservation organizations, and other state-based hunting and fishing companies hosted events for new and returning sportsmen and women that featured education about hunting, fishing, and firearm safety, as well as the conservation benefits provided by sportsmen’s contributions.
Through the American System of Conservation Funding, sportsmen and women contribute 80 percent of funding for state fish and wildlife agencies - over $62.1 billion since 1939 – from excise taxes on their hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and boating-related purchases as well as hunting and angling licenses.
Forty-one proclamations were signed, recognizing the day and the associated conservation benefits that come from the sportsmen’s community. Among the gubernatorial proclamations signed were 31 Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) members, including GSC Co-Chair Governor Steve Bullock and Vice-Chair Governor Tom Wolf. Proclamation signing ceremonies were hosted by governors of Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. A Presidential Proclamation was also signed by Donald Trump.
Additionally, numerous op-eds were published by local media outlets, urging locals to participate in hunting and fishing, and encouraging hunters and anglers to introduce new people to the outdoors.
GSC Member Governor Asa Hutchinson after signing the National Hunting and Fishing Day Proclamation in Arkansas.
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- Lack of access to hunting areas (16.48%)
- Lack of a mentor or instructor to take them (29.50%)
- Age limit restrictions on when they can purchase a license (1.15%)
- Lack of time or competing interests (14.94%)
- Technology (social media, phones, computers) (18.39%)
- Perceived negative public or peer-group opinions (19.54%)