Events celebrate the contributions of hunters and anglers to conservation

The 36th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) -- designated by Congressional decree and Presidential proclamation -- will be held Sept. 22. The event is a nationwide celebration of hunters and anglers and their contributions to conservation.

Honorary chairman Jeff Foxworthy and a host of national sponsors are promoting public celebrations around the country to help communicate the day's core message. A number of events are planned across the state of Kansas, as well.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Operations Office will host a celebration 2 miles east and 1 mile south of Pratt on Saturday, Sept. 22. The celebration will run from 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. The event will include a kids' fishing derby, boater education information, archery and pellet gun shooting, Nature Center tours, K-9 law enforcement dog demonstrations, falconry demonstrations, "The Great Race" relay, as well as various prizes, displays, and awards. The Great Race relay is a seven-leg relay that includes a wheelbarrow race, shooting, archery, casting, biking, canoeing, and running.

Another event will be held at Milford Reservoir from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 22. The event will in include kids fishing, educational fish stations; electrofishing demonstrations; dog handling; air rifle, muzzleloader, shotgun, and archery shooting; Laser Shot hunting simulator; shed antler scoring; a kids' poster contest; and concessions.

For more information on the Milford event, contact either the Corps of Engineers at 785-238-5714 or the Geary County Fish and Game Association at 785-463-5304.

National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 under President Nixon, when Congress dedicated the fourth Saturday of each September to recognize the efforts of generations of hunters and anglers who have supported wildlife conservation and habitat improvements with billons of dollars collected through fees on hunting and fishing licenses and permits, excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, as well as donations. Many species such as white-tailed deer, turkey, pronghorn, and elk were brought back from near extinction through management programs funded by sportsmen.
Celebrities such as Foxworthy traditionally lend their names to the National Hunting and Fishing Day cause by serving as honorary chairs. Previous honorary chairs include Hank Williams Jr., Tom Seaver, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, Karl Malone, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Wade Boggs, and Tracy Byrd.

National Hunting and Fishing Day 2007 sponsors include Wonders of Wildlife, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Realtree, Baron Technology, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Smith & Wesson, Bass Pro Shops, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation,, Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, Woolrich, the Sportsman Channel, Cabela's, and the Outdoor Channel.

More information, including a detailed history of the annual observance, as well as a feature article on Foxworthy as a hunter, angler, and conservationist, visit the National Hunting and Fishing Day website.