On September 19, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick joined other conservation organizations in Montgomery, Alabama to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.
At a news conference near Montgomery, Frederick joined the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, and the University of Montevallo’s Outdoors Scholars Program to celebrate the economic and social impact of hunting and angling in Alabama.
Established in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day is meant to celebrate and promote the crucial role that sportsmen and women play in conservation of natural resources through hunting and angling as well as encourage new participants in these activities.
“CSF is proud to sponsor National Hunting and Fishing Day again this year. We understand the important role hunting and angling play socially, culturally, historically and economically across the nation,” said Frederick. “A lack of access is the primary reason people either give up or don’t get into hunting and angling. We must increase our efforts to make sure we are working together to tell our story, reduce barriers and introduce new participants to the great outdoors.”
DCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship also spoke to the abundant opportunities found within Alabama and the economic impact hunting and angling have within the state. “We have hundreds of miles of rivers and dozens of beautiful lakes. We have unbelievable hunting for deer, turkey, squirrel, doves and ducks on private and public land,” said Commissioner Blankenship. “Hunting and fishing have a huge impact on our state economically. It’s a $2.6 billion industry. That means a lot of jobs for Alabamians. It’s not only the recreational opportunities but it puts people to work in the hunting and fishing industry.”
Additionally, DCNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes highlighted the new Special Opportunity Areas available this year that are meant to attract new users. Tim Gothard noted how AWF is introducing youth and new participants to hunting and fishing through their on-site fishing programs and wild game cook-offs.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?