National Hunting and Fishing Day - September 24
September 15, 2005
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Week - Sept. 25 – Oct. 1
National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) is September 24 and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Week in New Jersey is September 25 – October 1. The two annual events are designed to recognize and commend the sporting community for their leadership and commitment in conserving fish and wildlife resources.
Hunters and anglers have long been the champions of conservation in the United States, and continue to be the strongest supporters of professional wildlife management programs. Beginning in the mid-1800s, they recognized that wildlife populations once considered limitless were in fact exhaustible. Habitat destruction and commercial exploitation were leading to local depletions of wildlife, and in some cases national extinction.
Sportsmen all across the country were becoming extremely concerned over the loss of wildlife as well as the potential loss of their treasured way of life and that of future generations. Recognizing this, and the fact that it would take widescale conservation along with personal restraint to bring back and conserve wildlife for the future, hunters and anglers began their movement to infuse North America with a new ethic – a conservation ethic. Sportsmen and women began raising their voices across the continent and demanded that a unified approach regarding the harvest of wildlife be used. They also demanded that the black market exploitation of wildlife be stopped and that individuals harvest only what they needed. This philosophy represented a new way of seeing wildlife, and although unknown then, was the infant stage of what would become the organized conservation movement and eventually the advent of professional wildlife management.
The sporting community is directly responsible for the successes of wildlife management programs in New Jersey, and throughout the United States. Billions of dollars have been provided through fees and donations to wildlife conservation programs by hunters and anglers along with countless hours of work on habitat improvement and other important projects.
In 1972, Congress signed the proclamation making official the first National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize sportsmen and women for their contributions. The response was dramatic. National, regional, state and local organizations made plans for events across America and publicity for National Hunting and Fishing Day was widespread. By late summer of 1972, all 50 state governors and more than 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and town hunting and fishing days.
To commemorate National Hunting and Fishing Day and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Week in New Jersey, the Division of Fish and Wildlife will sponsor several events statewide. These activities are designed to get individuals and families outdoors and acquaint them with the variety of wildlife that inhabits our state, and to help them understand the role of the sporting community in conservation.
Following is a list of upcoming activities.
Saturday, September 24
National Hunting & Fishing Day
Sportsmen and women are invited to help celebrate NH&F Day by making a special effort to help others understand their role in conservation and their ongoing contributions to the well-being of our natural resources. Individuals are asked to take at least one friend, family member, neighbor, business associate or other acquaintance with them on some type of outdoor activity.
The program, known as Step Outside, is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and is an excellent resource for newcomers and current target shooters, archers, hunters and anglers. Visitors to the Web site (www.stepoutside.org) can find information and links to further their already established pursuits or find out how to get started. If you enjoy archery, target shooting, hunting or fishing, take time to invite someone you know to Step Outside. It's a great way to share your knowledge and love of the outdoors by being a mentor and ensuring a stronger future for your favorite activity.
Sunday, September 25
Pequest Wildlife Heritage Festival
Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center on Rt. 46 in Oxford