Celebrating Our Shared Outdoor Heritage – National Hunting and Fishing Day
Celebrated on the fourth Saturday each September, National Hunting and Fishing (NHF) Day is the largest, most effective grassroots movement ever undertaken to promote outdoor sports and conservation.
On May 2, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the first-ever 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.”
Nearly 50 years later, the federally recognized annual holiday brings together sportsmen and women from across America to celebrate the rich tradition of hunting, target shooting, and fishing through hundreds of organized local, state, and national events across the country aimed at introducing new audiences to the outdoors.
A Conservation Success Story
National Hunting and Fishing Day honors sportsmen and women—some of the most significant conservationists—who led the movement in the late 19th century to fund vital conservation efforts through self-imposed taxes and licenses that protect wildlife populations and habitats.
It is America’s greatest untold success story: assigning fish and wildlife resources to public ownership and then taxing those who harvest the surplus. In other words, hunters and anglers, through licenses, permits, fees, and special excise taxes, pay for the conservation programs that benefit society as a whole.This system brought our country’s once overexploited wildlands back to life, and it sustains our abundant fish and wildlife populations today.
Since 1922, hunters, anglers, and target shooters in the United States have contributed more than $57 billion to conservation through the purchase of licenses, excise taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment and ammunition, and contributions to various conservation organizations. Today, these channels continue to generate $100,000 every 30 minutes.
These funds, collected at the federal level, contribute as much as 80 percent of state conservation budgets to fund research, habitat restoration, and public lands access. Collectively, these initiatives benefit game and non-game species alike and ensure every American has the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Inspiring Future Generations
National Hunting and Fishing Day is a celebration of the rich history of hunting and fishing in America. And, perhaps more importantly, it’s an effort to introduce the values we hold dearest to the generations that are to be the future stewards of our beloved lands and water.
Celebrities traditionally lend their names to the National Hunting and Fishing Day cause by serving as honorary chairs. Previous honorary chairs have included Hank Williams, Jr., Jeff Foxworthy, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, and many other sports and entertainment personalities.
Social media superstars “Dude Perfect”—known for their viral videos that have garnered more than nine billion views—have been named the honorary chairs for National Hunting and Fishing (NHF) Day 2020. The announcement was made at SHOT Show, the nation’s largest annual trade show for professionals in the sport shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry. Their viral
NHF Day’s official home is at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. Created by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris, the 350,000-square-foot experience celebrates those who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water. Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, the campus is a centerpiece of America’s Conservation Capital in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains.
The museum and aquarium pay homage to the sportsmen and women of yesterday, today, and tomorrow with the knowledge that the surest way to preserve our rich outdoor heritage is to expose more people to its rich history and awe-inspiring beauty.
Thanks to Our Partners
Official partners for the 48th annual National Hunting and Fishing Day so far include Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bonne and Crockett Club, Izaak Walton League of America, Yamaha, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and Hook & Barrel Magazine.