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Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) are pleased to join with other fish and wildlife conservation agencies across the country to recognize the 50th Anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day this Saturday, September 24, 2022!

“The forests, fields, rivers and lakes, the wildlife and fish that call them home, and the hundreds of thousands of hunters and anglers who take every opportunity to enjoy Penn’s Woods are among the things that make Pennsylvania so special,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “Hunting, trapping and fishing are as important here as anywhere, and on this golden anniversary of National Hunting & Fishing Day, there’s no better time to celebrate that fact.”

"With 86,000 miles of water to enjoy, Pennsylvania is truly a fishing paradise that can be enjoyed during every season of the year," said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. "While seasoned anglers and boaters already know that there is something for everyone, the future of our sport depends on getting new people involved to share our outdoor traditions and our passion for conservation. So, next time you plan to cast a line on your favorite wild or stocked trout stream, venture out onto our beautiful rivers and lakes for big bass, catfish, or walleye; test your skill with steelhead or muskies; or go ice fishing on a frozen lake for panfish in winter – take a friend. There’s plenty of room for everyone.”

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day, Burhans and Schaeffer both appeared as guests on the PGC’s Call of the Outdoors podcast and spoke about the importance of recruiting new participants to outdoor activities and practicing conservation through hunting and fishing. The podcast is available for listening and download at CalloftheOutdoorsPGC.com.

The public is invited to participate in several events being celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day. The PGC’s annual celebration at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, Lancaster County, will be held Sunday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event will feature over 30 sportsman’s and wildlife organizations, displays, vendors, live demonstrations, and educational hunting and fishing programs. A list of other events across Pennsylvania is available online.

A Proclamation from Governor Tom Wolf recognizing Hunting and Fishing Day in Pennsylvania stated that "Hunting and fishing continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state, and over recent years have offered a growing number of participants an opportunity to connect with nature on a personal level while simultaneously providing food security, a sense of self-sufficiency, and both mental and physical health benefits.”

The Governor's proclamation also recognized that "To this day, the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission are funded primarily by sportsmen and women, through this American System of Conservation Funding: a user pays-public benefits approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world."

Wolf credited the state's hunters, trappers, and anglers as being among the first in the nation to support the establishment of fish and wildlife conservation agencies and pioneering a self-imposed federal excise tax on hunting, fishing, and boating equipment to raise additional conservation funds. The proclamation recognized that in 2021, more than 1.8 million Pennsylvania hunters and anglers generated approximately $1 billion to support fish and wildlife conservation efforts.

The PGC and PFBC makes it easy for individuals and families to get involved in hunting and fishing through a wealth of programs, educational resources, and tools for connecting with local lands and waters available at pgc.pa.gov and Fishandboat.com.

To purchase a Pennsylvania hunting or fishing license, customers can visit either the PGC or PFBC website to connect to the HuntFishPA licensing system (huntfish.pa.gov) or visit more than 700 retail license issuing agents.

Hunters and anglers are reminded to keep safety in mind this fall by wearing safety harnesses and life jackets. Each year in Pennsylvania, countless hunters are injured or die in tree stand falls. If every hunter wore a full-body safety harness attached properly to a tree at all times while hunting or climbing, 100% of severe falls to the ground could be eliminated. Anglers, boaters, and hunters are reminded that from November 1 through April 30, when waters are very cold, life jackets are required to be worn by any person aboard most small boats, including all kayaks and canoes. Each year, approximately 80% of victims involved in fatal boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.

National Hunting and Fishing Day was established by Congress in 1971. For more information, visit Nhfday.org.
 
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