High Ridge, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and St. Louis County Parks are cosponsoring Great Outdoors Day to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, Sept. 28. This special event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Antire Valley County Park in High Ridge. It is free and open to the public.
Great Outdoors Day will feature a number of fishing, hunting and outdoors-related activities for the whole family. It will also be an excellent outing for scout groups. Activities will range from archery and air gun shooting, to a chance to view the MDC mobile Operation Game Thief display.
A canon netting demonstration will include live firings, and will show how biologists use the compressed-air fired nets to capture wildlife for counting and surveying.
There will also be displays from over a dozen conservation and outdoor organizations.
The event will be held at St. Louis County’s Antire Valley Park on Antire-Beaumont Road, one mile west of the Jay Henges Shooting Range. The park is directly across from the entrance to the Beaumont Scout Reservation. To reach the park, take I-44 to exit #269. For more information about the Great Outdoors Day event, call 636-938-9548.
The roots of National Hunting and Fishing Day go back to the turn of the 20th Century, when hunters and anglers became the most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to call public attention to the fact that rapid development and unregulated hunting were threatening wildlife and natural habitats. Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first hunting and wildlife laws.
In early 1972, Congress unanimously authorized a day to commemorate conservation successes past and future, and to honor those sportsmen who began the modern conservation movement. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created and designated as the fourth Saturday of every September.
President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day on May 2, 1972. He wrote, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."
National Hunting and Fishing Day remains an ideal opportunity to celebrate our country’s outdoor heritage and introduce children to the wonders of nature.