Saturday, September 26 marks our nation’s 48th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD). Formalized by Congress in 1971 and signed as an official Presidential Proclamation by President Richard Nixon in 1972, NHFD is a great opportunity to come together and recognize the historical and ongoing contributions of the original conservationists – hunters and anglers. We were honored by Governor Tate Reeves in signing a proclamation designating Saturday, September 26 as National Hunting and Fishing day in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, as a member of the 49-state National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, are proud to take time to celebrate the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling. On this day, we ask our fellow Mississippians to join us in recognizing the tremendous dedication that our state’s sportsmen and women bring to the conservation of our natural resources.
Mississippi’s hunters and anglers are the primary source of conservation funding for the Magnolia State. Through the purchase of licenses, tags and stamps, and by paying self-imposed excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other equipment, hunters and anglers drive conservation funding in Mississippi and the United States, through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user-pays, public-benefits” program.
Hunting and fishing licenses brought $18.24 million to fund state conservation efforts through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. NO general fund tax dollars are utilized to fund hunting, fishing & trapping activities in Mississippi. All Mississippians benefit from these funds through improved access to public lands, public shooting ranges, improved soil and water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife research, habitat management on public and private lands, hunter education, boat access area construction and many other Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks projects funded through this program.
Hunting and angling are also a significant economic driver for our state. Sportsmen and women spend over $2.2 billion per year on their outdoor pursuits in Mississippi, supporting 33,580 jobs in the state and contributing $187 million in state and local taxes.
There is no doubt hunting and fishing produce countless benefits for our state’s conservation funding and economy, as well as physical and mental health benefits for those who participate in them - which is why it is important we invest time and effort to introduce new participants, both young and old, to these time-honored traditions. In fact, with the renewed conversations regarding the importance of outdoor recreational opportunities for an individual’s physical and mental health brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is perhaps no better time to introduce interested adults or kids to the outdoors for the first time.
More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.NHFDay.org or on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website at www.congressionalsportsmen.org/policies/state/national-hunting-and-fishing-day