North Carolina Hunting and Fishing Day Events
This year, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will support National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 22 through specials events at its regional wildlife education centers, and with an added message about the role of sportsmen in caring for the environment.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created to celebrate the conservation achievements of hunters and anglers that benefit all who appreciate wildlife and wild places. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is this year’s honorary chairman.
"When you think 'conservationist,' you naturally think of sportsmen," said Fred Harris, interim director of the Wildlife Resources Commission. "It's the hunters and anglers who actively support wildlife resources, both game and nongame, through funding, the political process and hands-on work. Much of this state’s habitat preservation and conservation efforts are due to those men and women who hunt and fish. Their contributions and accomplishments should be recognized."
A 2006 public opinion survey commissioned by National Shooting Sports Foundation shows a majority of Americans agree that hunters are among the world's leading conservationists. The survey also shows robust public approval of hunting and fishing. Today, 92 percent of Americans approve of legal fishing; 82 percent approve of legal hunting.
"Those numbers are even better here," Harris said. "In North Carolina, 84 percent approve of hunting and 95 percent approve of fishing. Furthermore, 83 percent of Tar Heel residents approve of hunting and fishing as part of the scientific management of the wildlife population."
The statistics Harris cited are from "North Carolina Sportsmen – The Broader Picture." The report was conducted by the National Assembly of Sportsmen Caucuses and the National Wild Turkey Federation's North Carolina chapter, and released in July at the N.C. Wildlife Resources headquarters during a gathering of state legislators.
Special events recognizing National Hunting and Fishing Day are scheduled across the state at three Wildlife Resources Commission wildlife education centers:
- * Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education near Brevard, celebrates fly-fishing with an Intro to Fly-fishing Skills Clinic on Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Topics covered include equipment, knots, casting techniques and aquatic entomology. A related event, Fly Casting for Beginners, will be held at Lake Imaging in Dupont State Forest on Sept. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Topics incorporate casting theory, mechanics, and practice techniques. For more information on both events call (828) 877-4423.
- * Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education in Raleigh will celebrate fishing in the morning and hunting in the afternoon on Sept. 21. "Gone Fishin' Day" will be held Sept. 21, from 9-11:30 a.m. on nearby Lake Raleigh. The history and ethics of hunting will be explored in "Hunting 101" from 3-5 p.m. with a laser shot simulator. Call (919) 707-0209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- * Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla will participate in a Greenwings Fishing Day by Ducks Unlimited, which includes archery lessons from N.C. Bowhunters Association and nature education by experts. This event for kids will take place Sept. 22 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mackay's Island Wildlife Refuge. Call Sharon Meade at (252) 619-0575.
For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, go online to www.nhfday.org .