With each passing day, the evening air grows cooler and the hillsides get a bit brighter as great flocks of birds continue to fly overhead on their annual migrations south. It is the high season for sportsmen, and women.
It is only fitting that Sept. 22 will serve as the 75th anniversary of the National Hunting and Fishing Day. This annual celebration highlights the tremendous contributions that sportsmen and women have made toward preserving our national heritage of hunting, fishing and similar outdoor sporting endeavor.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), which raises funds through a dedicated excise tax on sporting guns and ammunition.
In 1950, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Dingell-Johnson Act was enacted. This Act provides funds for fish conservation and boating and fishing recreational programs in each state through an excise tax collected on all fishing and boating related equipment and fuels.
Under a complicated system of reapportionments, each state receives funding from the program which must be used for fishing, hunting, boating and other wildlife related outdoor sports.
These federal funds are distributed back to the states based on the total number of annual fishing and hunting licenses and boat registrations purchased. The funding pays for a majority of the fish and wildlife conservation programs provided by state fish and wildlife agencies throughout the country.
National Hunting and Fishing Day recognize the numerous contributions that hunters, anglers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts have made towards conserving our national natural resources. The North American model is a conservation legacy that began in the early 20th century when fish and game stocks were rapidly being depleted due to over harvesting and land development. The program continues to be the envy of the world.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.