National Hunting and Fishing Day turns 50
National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion in South Carolina, Oconee County’s South Cove County Park will host a free, fun-filled family event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. This free family adventure is open to the public and all gear is provided!
“National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes generations of sportsmen and sportswomen for their contributions to the conservation of our nation’s rich sporting traditions and natural resources,” said Angela Viney of Spartanburg, chairperson of the event. “One of the main goals of National Hunting and Fishing Day is to introduce young and old alike to the many activities available to them in the great outdoors. The hope is that with this introduction new hunters and anglers will be ‘caught’ by encouraging participation and increasing public awareness of the connection between hunting, angling, and conservation. Through self-imposed fees and excise taxes, sportsmen and sportswomen have raised more than $57 billion–that’s more than $100,000 every 30 minutes–for conservation.”
The National Hunting and Fishing Day Sept. 24 at South Cove County Park is made possible by partnerships with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), Oconee County Parks and Recreation, Trout Unlimited, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, South Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports, and Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund.
For directions and information, call South Cove County Park at (864) 882-5250 or visit its Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/southcovecountypark.
The 14th Upstate celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day will include activities such as archery, air rifles, camouflage games, fly tying and casting, kayaking, fishing on Lake Keowee, and much more. In addition to the hands-on events, over 20 conservation and natural resource organizations will be onsite to share their missions and work in various environmental fields. Some that participate in the event are: SC Forestry Commission, SC Wildlife Federation, US Coast Guard, US Forest Service, Beekeepers, SCDNR Boating Safety, and other organizations.
National Hunting and Fishing Day also celebrates the tremendous economic impact of hunting and fishing to South Carolina. The overall effect, or total economic contribution, of fishing, hunting and wildlife-viewing to the Palmetto State is $2.74 billion and 31,958 jobs, according to The Economic Contribution of Natural Resources to South Carolina’s Economy, a report prepared by Clemson University in December 2016.
More than 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species. Led by fellow sportsman, President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time. Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks, and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation due to these efforts.
On May 2, 1972, President Richard 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.” By late summer, all 50 governors and more than 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.
National Hunting and Fishing Day promotes the contributions of hunters and anglers to conservation. It is traditionally held the fourth Saturday in September. For more information, visit https://nhfday.org/.