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Celebrate National Hunting And Fishing Day At Free Event Sept. 30 Near Seneca

National Hunting and Fishing Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 30 at South Cove County Park on Lake Keowee near Seneca in Oconee County. This free, family adventure is open to the public and all gear is provided.

“Hunters and anglers have made incredible financial contributions to conservation and natural resources for most of the past century, and this is celebrated on National Hunting and Fishing Day,” said Tammy Waldrop, a wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) in Clemson and a member of the committee that organizes the free event. “It is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come and enjoy the great outdoors in a safe, educational environment with family and friends while introducing the many activities the outdoor environment allows. It is our hope to recruit new hunters and anglers by encouraging participation and increasing public awareness of the connection between hunting, angling, and conservation.”

National Hunting and Fishing Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 at South Cove County Park is made possible by partnerships with SCDNR, Oconee County Parks and Recreation, Trout Unlimited, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, South Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports and Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund.

For directions and information, call South Cove County Park at (864) 882-5250 or visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/southcovecountypark.

Among the companies that have either donated items or will be at the event are Unlimited Outfitters of Oconee County, REI Greenville, Zebco, Nectar Sunglasses, Keowee Outdoors of Seneca, Deep South Defense of Seneca, and Sure Shot Firearms of Seneca.

National Hunting and Fishing Day will include activities such as archery, air rifles, camouflage games, fly tying and casting, kayaking, fishing on Lake Keowee and much more. All activities are free, and all gear is provided.  Also, there will be displays and activities available from more than 20 conservation organizations from around the state to include beekeeping, SCDNR boating safety, and wildlife viewing and artifacts.

Bring your family and friends, arrive at 9 a.m. and spend the day. Food vendors will be on hand so that you can purchase your lunch. 

More than 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.

These efforts led to the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act in 1937, which established a program of matching federal grants to the states for wildlife habitat improvement and management research. After the legislation was passed, populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation. For more information on the history and purpose of National Hunting and Fishing Day visit www.nhfday.org

On May 2, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, “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.” By late summer, all 50 governors and more than 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

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