Where will you be on National Hunting and Fishing Day? Probably out hunting or fishing, as late September is the prime season for both. Always the fourth Saturday in September, this year it falls on September 24th this year.
The special “holiday” — established by Congress in 1972 – recognizes hunters, anglers and recreational shooters for their leadership and contributions to the conservation in America. For example, through dues and contributions to conservation organizations, hunters give $280 million annually for wildlife and habitat conservation.
If you’re not already planning to be out hunting or fishing, find an NHF Day event near you at NHFDay.org.
Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is this year’s honorary chair for NHF Day. Morris joins a distinguished group that has included Jim Shockey, Eva Shockey, Craig Morgan, Bill Dance, T. Boone Pickens, Louise Mandrell, Hank Williams Jr., Jeff Foxworthy, Wade Boggs, Arnold Palmer, the USA Olympic Shooting Team, Tony Stewart and others.
“America’s sportsmen and women are among our nation’s most active conservationists and it’s important we recognize and celebrate everything they do to protect outdoor habitat and ensure thriving populations of wildlife,” said Morris. “I’m proud to lend my support and raise awareness for hunters and anglers, America’s conservation heroes through National Hunting and Fishing Day.”
The first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe’s idea and created “Outdoor Sportsman’s Day” in the state. The idea soon went to the national level, and on May 2, 1972, President 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.”
This year’s list of sponsors for National Hunting and Fishing Day 2016 includes: Bass Pro Shops, NSSF, NRA, Yamaha, GunBroker, Izaak Walton League, Keep America Fishing, Outdoor Sportsman Group, Berkley, Shakespeare, Wonders of Wildlife, Smith and Wesson, Realtree, Ducks Unlimited, Cabela’s, NWTF and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.