National Hunting and Fishing Day

Summary

National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling, as well as the immense conservation and economic contributions made over time by the original conservationists – sportsmen and women – who support sound, science-based wildlife management through license sales, excises taxes on outdoor gear, and sustainable-use models. National Hunting and Fishing Day proclamations, resolutions, and celebrations increase awareness of and participation in these activities, which helps safeguard funding for conservation throughout the nation.

Introduction

National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates the time-honored traditions of hunting, angling, and the immense conservation and economic contributions made over time by sportsmen and women. As the original conservationists, sportsmen and women have been the greatest funders and supporters of science-based wildlife management through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). The ASCF is a unique “user pays—public benefits” structure that serves as the main funding mechanism for state fish and wildlife agencies. Such agencies are the primary managers of our fish and wildlife resources. Through the purchase of license sales, duck stamps, and excises taxes on outdoor gear, firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other hunting and angling-related items, money spent by sportsmen and women is deposited into a dedicated fund to only be used for conservation, creating the American System of Conservation Funding.27

In the United States, there are over 53 million sportsmen and women who work tirelessly to protect and promote our sporting heritage and natural resources.28 In 1972, the U.S. Congress and President Nixon established National Hunting and Fishing Day, recognizing generations of sportsmen and women for their contributions to the conservation of our nation’s rich sporting heritage and natural resources. Since its inception, governors from all 50 states and over 600 mayors have proclaimed state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. In doing so, they have promoted over 3,000 hunting and fishing related events, hosting more than 4 million participants. National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated on the 4th Saturday of September. By encouraging participation and increasing public awareness of the connection between hunting, angling, and conservation, the goal is to recruit new hunters and anglers. Thus resulting in greater funding for science-based fish and wildlife management. In 2019, 35 proclamations were signed by governors across the country, including 21 Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus members. A Presidential Proclamation was also signed by President Donald Trump.

Language​

  • Alabama Proclamation: “Whereas, to this day, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is funded primarily by sportsmen and women, through this American System of Conservation Funding – a ‘user pays-public benefits’ approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world.”30
  • Nebraska Proclamation: “Whereas, to this day, the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission is funded primarily by sportsmen and women, through this American System of Conservation Funding – a ‘user pays-public benefits’ approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world and is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.”
  • In 2019, Georgia adopted GA SR 369, which urges the Department of Natural Resources to recognize National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Moving Forward

National Hunting and Fishing Day proclamations, resolutions, and celebrations increase awareness and participation in these activities, which helps safeguard funding for conservation throughout the nation. 

Contact

For more information regarding this issue, please contact Ellary TuckerWilliams (202) 573-6079; etuckerwilliams@congressionalsportsmen.org.

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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?

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