National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, Sept. 25.
This is a significant day.
No, this is not just another one of those celebratory days, not by a long shot.
I grew up fishing, trapping and hunting in rural Nebraska.
So this day is deeply personal to me and many others as we are devoted hunters, anglers, trappers and landowners.
We take our roles as stewards of the land and wildlife very seriously. In fact, we represent the original conservationists who established the North American Model of Conservation more than a century ago.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, the fourth Saturday in September each year, was launched in 1971 by Congress to acknowledge the tremendous contributions made financially and otherwise by us natural resource users toward wildlife conservation principles, wildlife habitat enhancements, wildlife management practices and to local, state and national economies. Interestingly, many of these contributions have greatly helped landowners, non-game wildlife species, individual ecosystems, the environment as a whole and the protection of species from unregulated exploitation.
National Hunting and Fishing Day also serves an avenue for us to promote hunting, fishing and trapping as legal, wholesome, memorable outdoor activities to new audiences.
Now, we need to help others experience a personal, hands-on connection to nature and the cycle of life. We, as licensed outdoor enthusiasts, must engage and share what we know with the folks around us and those who don’t look and act like us on a continual basis. It is vital to the future of fish and wildlife.
A segue for this outcome is the online Take ‘Em Hunting challenge. To enter it, you introduce someone new to lifestyle of hunting. Next, you submit a photo of the hunting adventure with your new hunter and complete an entry form on our Game and Parks website. You then become eligible to win a host of neat hunting-related prizes in drawings. The grand prize is a tricked out, camouflage John Deere crossover UTV from AKRS Equipment. Further details of the challenge can be obtained here.
Participation in activities like hunting, fishing and trapping is intensely rewarding and provides rich opportunities to deepen human relationships, reconnect with the environment, support the economy and supply revenue for conservation.
To me, our hunting, fishing and trapping heritage remains an important component to who we are as Nebraskans and as Americans.