I just wrote about Take a Child Outside Week a few days ago. Well, this is the week to celebrate the outdoors in a number of ways! Since 1972, the fourth Saturday of September has been National Hunting and Fishing Day. It was created to celebrate traditional outdoor sports and their role in conservation of wildlife. Missouri is fortunate to have Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield serving as home of this national awareness effort.
Although there are chances to get outdoors and enjoy hunting and fishing throughout the state, three special events by the Missouri Conservation Department will focus on celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 27, 2008. They will be held at the James A. Reed Conservation Area near Kansas City, at the Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center near Springfield and at the Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center near St. Louis.
Beyond the pure outdoor enjoyment that fishing and hunting provide, there are other benefits that may not be so obvious. Economists have shown that Missouri’s 1.3 million hunters and anglers generate $4.2 billion in economic benefits to our state. That includes about 46,000 jobs. As I noted on an earlier blog post, the permits they purchase along with the federal taxes on purchase of related hunting and fishing equipment directly support our agency in helping keep all Missouri’s wildlife healthy.