Thanking the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act
November 22, 2023 •iSportsman Staff
September 25 marks National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF), a long-standing U.S. tradition originally started by President Nixon in 1972, who wrote, “I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsman in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”
In 2021, we celebrate the 49th National Hunting and Fishing Day as the largest and most effective grassroots movement promoting outdoor sports and conservation. NHFDay.org provides all hunters, new and experienced, with the resources to celebrate this federal holiday—from safety to hashtags such as #HUNTSHOOTFISH to connect with fellow hunters.
According to NHFDay.org, $57 billion has been raised by hunters, anglers and recreational shooters since 1957 for wildlife and conservation. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation was shaped by leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, who articulated that wildlife belongs to everyone and every citizen is entitled to hunt and fish in an ethical, regulated manner that maintains abundant wildlife.
The first bag limit was instituted in 1878 in Iowa, followed shortly after by the Lacey Act in 1900, prohibiting market hunting. In 1937, the Pittman-Robertson act was passed, in which hunters voluntarily imposed a tax on themselves in an effort to ensure that a portion of all firearms and ammunition sales would forever be dedicated to managing wildlife. The Pittman-Robertson act continues to provide $700 million annually to these efforts.
On our nation’s waters, more than 49 million Americans enjoy fishing every year, contributing $30.5 billion to sport fish restoration programs since 1952. In fact, 83 percent of state fish and wildlife agencies’ resource management budget is funded by anglers through license sales, motorboat fuel taxes and special taxes on tackle and equipment. Other than keeping our waters clean and fishing opportunities plentiful, these funds also go toward education and safety to ensure outdoor activities continue to be a legacy passed down through generations.
And though not all recreational or competitive shooters harvest game, they still contribute to the cause, raising nearly $5.1 billion dollars for conservational efforts through annual state, local and federal taxes.
Celebrating Hunting and Fishing Day is easy. Simply continue to participate in the outdoor activities you love, invite the people in your life to share these experiences with you and share your time with the outdoor community. The years of hunting heritage and conservational work was not completed by one person, it was passed down and celebrated by communities who depended on each other to help continue protecting and enjoying this great American outdoor legacy.