Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1971 to acknowledge the conservation and economic importance of sportsmen and women across the country, and next Saturday marks the 42nd annual celebration of NHF Day.
Since its inception, NHF Day has been formally proclaimed by every U.S. President.
Most Americans, including many hunters and anglers, arent aware of the tremendous benefits that these traditional activities provide for all who appreciate wildlife and wild places. Nationwide, Americas 34 million sportsmen and women, through licenses, permits, and special taxes, generate $4.7 million daily for fish, wildlife, and habitat programs. No other group contributes more for conservation.
National Freshwater Hall of Fame member Bill Dance will serve as the honorary chairman for this years NHF Day. This fishing icon caught the first bass in B.A.S.S. history, hosts a fishing show that premiered in 1968, and holds three B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles.
In addition to his fishing accomplishments, Dance has been recognized for his work with many philanthropic organizations such as American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Make a Wish, Dreams Come True, and St. Judes Childrens Hospital.
This is truly an honor to be selected to serve as honorary chair for National Hunting and Fishing Day, said Dance in an NHF Day press release. I hope all will join me in celebrating the fourth Saturday in September, which was set aside to join together like-minded sportsmen in the pursuit of conserving our outdoor heritage.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver/owner Tony Stewart chaired last years day, and prominent businessman T. Boone Pickens chaired the previous year. The USA Shooting Team was the honorary chair for the 2010 NHF Day while rising country star Luke Bryan served as the honorary chairman in 2009. Michael Waddell, noted hunting and television personality, was the honorary chairman in 2008. Jeff Foxworthy served as the honorary chair in 2007, and country star Tracy Byrd served as honorary chair in 2005 and 2006.
Among other celebrities who have served as honorary chairs of this special day are Hank Williams Jr., George Bush, Tom Seaver, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, Jay Novacek, John Havlicek, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Ron Guidry, Arnold Palmer and Wade Boggs.
For information on a state-by-state listing of NHF Day activities across the country, visit www.nhfday.org.
The official NHF Day sponsors for 2013 include Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Realtree, GunBroker.com, Yamaha Motor Corporation, Smith & Wesson, North American Hunting Club, Ducks Unlimited, North American Fishing Club, and Rather Be Hunting Guy.
NHF Day at Salmon Hatchery
In recognition of NHF Day, the DEC Salmon Fish Hatchery is hosting its 18th annual open house next Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine. There is no admission charge.
The days events include childrens activities, fishing seminars, and outdoor programs.
Activities for youths include fish identification, discovery of creatures of Beaverdam Brook, fishing games, and the Oswego County Cooperative Extension 4-H laser shooting range. Volunteers will also teach fly casting, fly tying, and fly fishing. Visitors to the hatchery will watch migrating salmon in the fish ladder through underwater cameras, see an exhibit on endangered fish, and learn about recreational opportunities along the Salmon River.
Hatchery tours begin every 30 minutes starting at 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday: Waterfowl ID Course at Dulles State Office Building, Watertown (Register at 785-2533).
Tuesday: SLC Fisheries Board meets at Canton BOCES at 7 p.m.
Wednesday: September Canada Goose Season closes.
Friday: Early Bowhunting Season opens.
Saturday: National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Saturday: Open house at Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar (298-7605).
Saturday-Sunday: Youth Pheasant Hunt Days.
Saturday-Sunday: Hunter Education Course at Star Lake Community Center (Register at 848-3490).