By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and others came together to promote National Hunting and Fishing Day, which will be observed this year on Saturday, Sept. 23. They also announced that a number of Alabama businesses, lakes and parks (both public and private), shooting ranges and others are offering discounts or waiving fees this Saturday.
“In 1971 Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to be on the fourth Saturday of September,” Pam Swanner, project manager of Alabama Black Belt Adventures, said. “All across Alabama outdoor retailers, public lakes, shooting ranges and our state parks from the mountains to the Gulf Coast are offering discounts on products and waiving fees for various services.”
Outdoor Scholars Program Director at the University of Montevallo William Crawford said, “We are committed to educating the next generation on the values of work ethic and conservation to lead the way in protecting our heritage for the benefits of our wildlife, lands and natural resources.”
Southeastern States Director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Bee Fredericks said, “We at the Congressional Sports Foundation are proud to support and sponsor National Hunting and Fishing Day again this year and understand the important role that hunting and angling play socially, culturally, historically and economically across the nation. We must redouble our efforts to make sure we are working together to tell our story, reduce barriers, and introduce new participants to the great outdoors.”
Commissioner for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Chris Blankenship said, “Hunting and fishing is a way of life for us here in Alabama. There are so many people that do enjoy the outdoors, but there are plenty of opportunities for others to enjoy which is why we have days like National Hunting and Fishing Day.”
The Director of Wildlife at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Chuck Sykes said, “Hunters and fisherman are the ones paying for all of this. We get no money from the state general fund. All the services that we provide come from hunters and fishermen buying licenses and the money that is spent on hunting related activities. Hunters and fishers are paving the way for everyone to enjoy these opportunities.”
National Hunting and Fishing Day has been dubbed one of the most effective grassroots campaigns ever undertaken to promote hunters, anglers and the conservation benefits they provide for all Americans who appreciate wildlife and wild places. This Saturday, organizations across the country are joining forces to encourage anyone and everyone to immerse themselves in outdoor recreation.
Hunting and fishing is a $2.6 billion a year industry in Alabama and Alabama is seventh in the nation on money spent for hunting and other recreational activities. Unfortunately, only four percent of Alabama residents have a hunting license. The average hunter spends $1,648 a year on the sport and a portion of those dollars is devoted to conservation.
Alabama is world-renowned for its numerous sporting opportunities. Our State boasts the highest deer population density in the country; as well as plentiful turkeys, doves, squirrels, geese, quail; hogs, coyote, rabbits, alligators, and other game species plus freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1971 to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. This year’s NHF Day is set for September 23 with NASCAR legend Richard Childress serving as honorary chairman. One of the main purposes of National Hunting and Fishing Day is to expose those who have never had the opportunity to participate in hunting or fishing activities before.
For a list of national and state participants in National Hunting and Fishing Day visit: http://alabamablackbeltadventures.org/events-calendar/national-hunting-fishing-day/.
“We encourage you to get outside this Saturday,” Swanner said. “It’s good for your health, it’s relaxing and most importantly it’s a lot of fun.”
To learn more visit: