Events celebrate the contributions of hunters and anglers to conservation
PRATT — The 38th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) — designated by Congressional decree and Presidential Proclamation — will be held Sept. 26. The event is a nationwide celebration of hunters and anglers and their contributions to conservation.

One of country music’s new stars, Luke Bryan, will serve as honorary chairman of the celebration this year. Bryan has a best-selling debut album, a second album coming later this year, and Top 10 hits in "All My Friends Say" and "Country Man."

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Operations Office will host a NHFD event 2 miles east and 1 mile south of Pratt on Saturday, Sept. 26. 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, and 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, archery, casting, mud run, catch-and-release fishing, biking, canoeing, and running.

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 support 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 Bryan traditionally lend their names to the National Hunting and Fishing Day cause by serving as honorary chairs. Previous honorary chairs include Jeff Foxworthy, 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 2009 sponsors include Wonders of Wildlife, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Sportsman Channel, Realtree, Smith & Wesson, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Cabela's,, the Boone and Crockett Club, Woolrich, Hunting Heritage Trust, Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., Outdoor Life magazine, Field and Stream magazine, and the Pope and Young Club.

For more information, including a detailed history of National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as a feature article on Bryan, go online to