Hunting and Fishing Day – Saturday, September 24th, 2011
National Hunting and
Fishing Day is on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 this year. Please
take the opportunity to introduce yourself or a young person to the many great
opportunities that New York State and the Town of Clarkstown
offer to enjoy the great outdoors. Please visit the National Hunting and
Fishing Day website at http://www.nhfday.org
to learn more about this annual event. Below is an article about the history of
the day that I found on their website.
If you have any
questions about hunting and fishing, please visit the DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov. Hunting and Fishing licenses for the entire State
of New York can be purchased by visiting our office in Town Hall at 10 Maple Avenue
in New City.
How a Good Idea Became a Great Tradition
Over 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
During the next half-century, in addition to the funds
they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning
health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and
improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and
enjoyment of everyone.
In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's
heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't
understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in
the conservation movement.
The first to suggest an official day of thanks to
sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe's
Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe's idea and created "Outdoor Sportsman's
Day" in the state.
With determined prompting from the National Shooting
Sports Foundation, the concept soon emerged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In
June 1971, Sen. Thomas McIntyre, N.H., introduced Joint Resolution 117 authorizing
National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September.
Rep. Bob Sikes, Fla., introduced an identical measure in the House. In early
1972, Congress unanimously passed both bills.
On May 2, 1972, President 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
By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors
had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and
Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.
National, regional, state and local organizations
staged some 3,000 "open house" hunting- and fishing-related events
everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated
four million Americans with a chance to experience,
understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.
Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day
boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who
volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and
women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver,
Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell,
Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd,
Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the
fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots
efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.