What are you doing to celebrate National Hunting & Fishing Day?
Got plans for the fourth Saturday in September? If not, you should have because it’s National Hunting & Fishing Day, which is also one of New York’s free fishing days.
For sportsmen, NHFD should be something they pay homage too, perhaps even forging a little awareness on behalf of our outdoor heritage. It seems like any given day is “something” day and we have no hesitation about celebrating National Hot Dog Day, or National Margarita Day; so why not boast a little on National Hunting & Fishing Day?
NHFD has been around for a long time, since the early 1970s, when it was brought forth by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to honor hook and bullet sports. The U.S. Congress and then-President Richard Nixon made it official in 1972.
I remember first reading about NHFD as a teenager while scouring the pages of the outdoor magazines of the day; about the only thing I had any real interest in reading. For many years, to me at least, NHFD didn’t seem like much, as there was little local hoopla about it. Still, on the fourth Saturday of September, I kind of made it a point to at least take the shotgun for a walk on the back woodlot and do a little grouse hunting.
Much has changed over the past few decades. NHFD now has a home in Springfield, Mo. Things have been quiet during COVID but on its website, nhfday.org, there’s plenty of information and in some years materials are available for those holding events centered around this special day.
There’s a few things happening in New York too, and you can find them on the Almanac & Calendar page in New York Outdoor News, or visit the Events page on our website: outdoornews.com/new-york/events/. It also so happens that in some areas youth waterfowl and pheasant hunts take place during the NHFD weekend.
While much of the focus around NHFD centers around helping those new to hunting and fishing, there’s no saying that has to be how one celebrates it. Perhaps setting aside some time to sight in that deer rifle, enjoy some archery practice, do some deer scouting, go small game hunting, do some work at hunting camp, photograph wildlife or just wet a line somewhere could be on your agenda.
Some years, celebrating NHFD proves challenging for this writer as it lands on or around my annual wedding anniversary (ironically, I got married on NHFD). This year, we’ll be joining some friends at a cozy cottage on an Adirondack lake where the emphasis will likely be on fishing. I’ll have plenty of fishing rods and tackle and will encourage those around me, including my wife, to make use of them a take advantage of the free fishing day.
It doesn’t matter how you celebrate National Hunting & Fishing Day, just that you do in some manner. Let’s continue to build on this.