The Sportsman's Season

Sept. 22 was the 265th day of the year. There are fewer than 100 days remaining of 2007. It was the last day of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Fall officially begins on Saturday, Sept. 22 and if recent weather, water temperatures and the increasingly, colorful foliage can be considered a gauge; it appears to be right on time.

Accordingly, Sept. 22 also happens to be the date of the 35th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day. First established in 1972 National Hunting and Fishing Day is intended to celebrate sportsmen and women, and recognize their role in fostering conservation and the scientific management of natural resources.

It is very interesting to find that in this modern day and age of cyberspace and instant communications that a majority of American citizens still support the traditional bait-and-bullet pursuits of hunting and fishing. So much for political correctness! Give me a fishing rod and a rifle, and Ill be content!

However, while outdoor pursuits such as hunting and fishing remain a cherished heritage across the North Country, it is surprising to find that these same activities continue to be well accepted nationwide.

A recent nationwide survey conducted by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, VA, found that support for hunting and fishing has remained strong over the past decade, with approximately every 3 out of 4 Americans approving of legal hunting and more than 9 out of 10 approving of recreational fishing.

Americans have become more knowledgeable about the role of hunting in wildlife management. They have also begun to recognize the contributions of hunting- and fishing-license sales in respect to fish and wildlife conservation efforts.

Steve Williams, current president of the Wildlife Management Institute and former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, noted, Sportsmen are essential to wildlife protection and management. Game management programs, which are funded by sportsmens dollars, have brought back numerous wildlife species. In addition, sportsmens dollars have purchased and managed millions of acres of fish and wildlife habitat, benefiting all fish and wildlife species and the public who enjoy them.

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