Why It Matters: On September 23, 2023, sportsmen and women across the nation celebrated National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD). This year’s efforts from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) helped secure proclamations commemorating the day from 39 governors and the President of the United States. Governors from all 12 Southeastern region states signed NHFD proclamations which speaks to the importance of hunting and angling in the Southeast and the critical role that sportsmen and women play in supporting conservation.
- The 12 Southeastern states from which governors signed NHFD proclamations include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- 10 of the proclamations were signed by members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) including Governor Kay Ivey (AL), Governor Brian Kemp (GA), GSC Co-Chair Governor John Bel Edwards (LA), Governor Tate Reeves (MS), Governor Roy Cooper (NC), Governor Henry McMaster (SC), Governor Bill Lee (TN), Governor Greg Abbott (TX), Governor Glenn Youngkin (VA), and Governor Jim Justice (WV).
- Governor Kay Ivey (AL) and Governor Tate Reeves (MS) held NHFD proclamation signing ceremonies to further recognize the contributions of sportsmen and women in their states.
- State fish and wildlife agencies across the Southeast held events on and around NHFD to promote hunting and fishing and celebrate the contributions of sportsmen and women that make their conservation missions possible.
From the rolling hills of Kentucky to the Florida everglades, the rich sporting heritage in the Southeast dates back centuries. NHFD, created in 1972, celebrates the impact that hunting and angling have at the local, state, and national levels. Each year, NHFD is utilized to both promote the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and anglers in addition to highlighting hunters and anglers’ connection to conservation.
Sportsmen and women are the greatest funders of state-based conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding. This “user pays – public benefits” system is supported through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and excise taxes on items like firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, and other hunting and angling related items. The American System of Conservation Funding has raised over $57 billion thanks to the self-imposed fees and excise taxes paid by the sportsmen and women of America.
CSF is honored to celebrate the sportsmen and women of America on NHFD by working with governors to recognize their contributions to our economy, culture, and system of conservation funding. CSF would like to thank the governors in the Southeast for signing NHFD proclamations and the sportsmen and women that they represent for their commitment to supporting our shared sporting heritage.