MDC’s Jay Henges and Busch Shooting Ranges offer free round of shooting Sept. 25 to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day

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St. LOUIS, Mo.— National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, Sept. 25.  It commemorates the important role that anglers and hunters played in establishing modern conservation and protecting natural resources.  The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) staffed shooting ranges in the St. Louis area are celebrating by offering free shooting.

Both the Jay Henges and August A. Busch Shooting Ranges and Outdoor Education Centers invite St. Louis area shooters to one free round of shooting.  This includes one free hour on the rifle/pistol range or one free round of trap or skeet shooting on the shotgun fields (skeet not available at Henges Range).  Henges Range will also waive their normal archery range use fee for one hour as well.  In addition, both ranges will offer one free hour use on the shotgun patterning boards. 

The normal usage fees for these activities is $4.  Shooters should note that this offer is good this Saturday, Sept. 25 only.  The ranges hours of operation on Saturday are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

As always, both ranges will supply basic ear and eye protection paper targets if needed, and a round of clays for shotgun shooters.  Participants must bring their own firearms and ammunition.  No reservations are required, and availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The event is open to families and individuals of all experience levels, from veteran marksman to first-time shooters.  It offers the opportunity to practice for upcoming hunting seasons, sight in rifles, and sharpen general marksmanship skills. 

The August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is located at 3550 Route D, approximately five miles west of Highway 94 in Defiance.  The Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is at 1100 Antire Road, just off I-44, exit 269 in Eureka. 

MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines.  Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate. 

National Hunting and Fishing Day was established by Congress in 1972 to recognize outdoor sports enthusiasts and their contributions to wildlife conservation and habitat improvement.  It is commemorated annually through community outreach events such as the free shooting at MDC ranges.

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. 

National Hunting and Fishing Day remains an ideal opportunity to celebrate our country’s outdoor heritage and introduce children to the wonders of nature.

For additional information on MDC shooting ranges statewide, go to