Celebrates contributions of hunters and anglers

By Arizona Game and Fish Department

PHOENIX — Even if you don’t actively participate in the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling, National Hunting and Fishing Day is a day of celebration for everyone.

Whatever your interest in wildlife, hunters and anglers – the original conservationists – have made countless contributions over the decades to the conservation of fish and wildlife through sound, science-based management.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September (Sept. 22 this year). Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a proclamation celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as recognizing the role that the state’s hunting and angling community plays as an economic driver.

It’s important to understand how those outdoor pursuits benefit wildlife. Since 1939, hunters and anglers have generated more than $15 billion toward wildlife restoration through an excise tax imposed on the sale of hunting, angling and shooting-sports equipment.

Those funds are administered by the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program, one of the most significant programs benefitting wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. WSFR funds, along with the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, provide a substantial portion of wildlife conservation funding for activities such as fish and wildlife population management, habitat management, research, surveys, hunter education, shooting and archery ranges, boating access, and more.

Who benefits? The general public gets better stewardship of natural resources. Hunters and anglers get more and better places to hunt and fish. State and federal agencies receive more funds to meet their conservation needs.

More than 786,000 Arizona hunters and anglers certainly are doing their part to keep the state in the black, spending more than $1.2 billion annually and supporting 18,220 jobs, according to the most recent report (2011) by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. As a result, $132 million in state and local taxes, and another $155 million in federal taxes, are collected annually.

Former NASCAR great and avid hunter Dale Earnhardt Jr. is serving as this year’s honorary chair of National Hunting and Fishing Day. For more information, visit http://www.nhfday.org/.

Interested in learning how to hunt but don’t know where to start? Many sportsmen’s/conservation organizations partner with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to conduct hunting and outdoor skills camps for skill levels ranging from total beginner to experienced.

For a schedule of upcoming camps or to register visit:

Interested in learning more about fishing? Visit our “Learn to Fish” video series at:

The department also offers periodic fishing clinics throughout the year. A list of upcoming clinics is posted at: