National Hunting and Fishing Day: Celebrating Texas’ Sportsmen and Women
Saturday, September 28 marks our nation’s 47th 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.
As Co-Chair of the Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and as a member of the 49 state National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, we are proud to take time to celebrate the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling. On this day, we ask our fellow Texans to join us in recognizing the tremendous dedication that our state’s sportsmen and women bring to the conservation of our natural resources.
Texas’ hunters and anglers are the primary source of conservation funding for the Lone Star 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 Texas and the United States, through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user pays-public benefits” program.
Last year alone, contributions through the ASCF generated $54.26 million, while hunting and fishing licenses brought an additional $105.81 million to fund state conservation efforts through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. All Texans 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 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department projects funded through this program.
Hunting and angling are also a significant economic driver for our state. Texas’ sportsmen and women spend over $4.1 billion per year on their outdoor pursuits, supporting 65,993 jobs in the state and contributing $415 million in state and local taxes. The Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus has supported these goals through the creation of laws that: increase boater safety on Texas waters, allow hunters to carry electronic proof of hunting licenses, and will provide additional funding to construct and maintain fish hatcheries and improve fish habitat in Texas’ rivers and streams.
Hunting and fishing produces countless benefits for our state’s conservation funding and economy; therefore it is important that Texas’ sportsmen and women invest time and effort to encourage future participation in these time-honored traditions. Our hunting and angling heritage should not be taken for granted, and getting the next generation of Texas’ sportsmen and women involved in the outdoors will help ensure the conservation of our abundant natural resources for the future.
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.
Larson, R-San Antonio, is a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @RepLyleLarson.