National Hunting & Fishing Day is Sept. 25
by Wyoming Game & Fish
September 20, 2010
Most Wyomingites realize the values of hunting and fishing to family and tradition, but few people understand the conservation and economic benefits Wyoming sportsmen and women contribute to our wildlife heritage. National Hunting and Fishing Day was established to celebrate the contributions of sportsmen and women, and this year National Hunting and Fishing Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Over a century ago hunters and anglers became the earliest and most diligent supporters of conservation and the North American Model of Wildlife Management. The model has two basic principles - that wildlife and fish belong to all North American citizens, and that these resources are to be managed in such a way that their populations will be sustained forever. These principles of the North American model are explained through a set of guidelines known as "The Seven Sisters of Conservation." These guidelines state that wildlife is held in public trust, there is a prohibition on commerce of dead wildlife, allocation of wildlife use shall be through the rule of law, equal hunting opportunity for all shall exist, non-frivolous use of wildlife is not allowed, wildlife is an international resource and science is the basis for wildlife policy. This model is the single best effort to manage wildlife in perpetuity the world has ever seen.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, unanimously passed by Congress in 1972, celebrates the efforts of early sportsmen and the history of North American wildlife management and conservation. Always falling on the fourth Saturday of September, National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the efforts of early conservation-minded sportsmen like President Theodore Roosevelt, who passed the first laws restricting commercial slaughter of wildlife and transportation of wildlife and created 51 wildlife refuges and 5 new national parks. President Franklin D. Roosevelt further enhanced the North American Model of Wildlife Management in 1937 when he signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which places a federal tax on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment. The money is then returned to the states to be used for wildlife and habitat enhancement projects.
According to a federal report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors," hunters and anglers annually contribute $76 billion to the American economy through taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, more than the annual revenues of Microsoft, Google, Ebay, and Yahoo combined. In Wyoming alone, the 113,000 active sportsmen spend $676 million a year on hunting and fishing, 89 percent of Wyoming’s cash receipts for cattle. Contributions from sportsmen directly support 9,500 Wyoming jobs and pump $1.8 million into the state’s economy daily.