National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday September 24, the nation honored its 55 million sportsmen and women and the active role that they play in the conservation of America’s natural resources. Established by Congress in 1971 and first celebrated a year later, National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) occurs the fourth Saturday of September and seeks to not only bring recognition but also to encourage participation in hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping.

To celebrate 50 years of NHFD, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) worked with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the Executive Office of the President to formally recognize National Hunting and Fishing Day. This year, CSC Member Rep. Tom Emmer introduced a NHFD Congressional Resolution and was joined by 35 bipartisan Members of Congress, including the entire leadership of the House CSC. Furthermore, 31 states issued gubernatorial proclamations in addition to the President’s own proclamation, which noted that “As we reflect on the long-cherished traditions and cultural heritage of hunting and fishing, we recognize America’s hunters and anglers in their pursuit of adventure and commitment to conserve our natural world.”

“As America’s original conservationists, sportsmen and women have and will always answer the call to protect and promote America’s outdoor heritage,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “To look back on 50 years of National Hunting and Fishing Day is to be reminded of how much can be accomplished when like-minded people come together, putting aside partisan differences and embracing the love of healthy habitats and populations that bind us together.”

Through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user pays – public benefits” program of self-imposed fees and excise taxes, sportsmen and women have generated more than $57 billion in conservation funding over the past eight decades. These funds are utilized by state fish and wildlife management agencies to benefit the public via a number of projects including habitat restoration, land acquisition, hunter education, and shooting range construction, among a whole host of other developments.

In the first ever National Hunting and Fishing Day proclamation, President Nixon noted, “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.” 50 years later, CSF echoes this sentiment, and in the spirit of National Hunting and Fishing Day, encourages all sportsmen and women to get into the field and share their passion with  someone new to sporting conservation.

For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, please visit www.NHFDay.org, and to view each’s state’s proclamation please visit https://congressionalsportsmen.org/policies/state/nhfd.

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