National Hunting and Fishing Day
By: Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen)
Saturday, September 28, 2013 is National Hunting and Fishing Day in Georgia. This day was designated as a national holiday in 1973 by President Richard Nixon to recognize the significant contributions that hunters and anglers make in preserving America’s natural resources.
The State of Georgia’s diverse landscape is a haven for wildlife and is home to some of the most abundant and beautiful natural resources in the nation. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the many wildlife management areas throughout the state, Georgia is full of untapped natural resources and opportunities for hunters and anglers to enjoy the Georgia outdoors.
This time of year, it is not uncommon to see deer stands hanging in the trees and men and women in their hunting vests or camouflage clothing. With the crisp fall air making its way through Georgia, hunters and fishers are waking up at the break of dawn in hopes of fulfilling the centuries old adage, “the early bird gets the worm.”
With some of the most pristine trout streams in the nation and millions of acres of land for wildlife management and outdoor recreation, Georgia is truly a sportsmen’s paradise.
Georgia’s hunters and anglers also work with conservation groups throughout the state to preserve our precious natural resources and stimulate our state’s economy. Hunters and anglers help bring millions of dollars of revenue into the state and local economy by purchasing annual licenses and visiting local restaurants, hotels and retail shops. This economic impact is especially true for many rural communities that may otherwise not experience an uptick in local revenues.
Purchasing a Georgia hunting or fishing license is easy and can be obtained online through a licensed agent in your county of residence or by calling 1-800- 366-2661. Fishing and hunting licenses may be renewed each year with minimal cost of only $10 for hunting and $9 for fishing licenses. You may also save two “bucks” by purchasing a hunting and fishing combo license for $17 per year. Additional cost savings can be found through purchasing a two year, lifetime or big game license among several other specialty licenses which can be found online at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes.
Whatever license you decide to purchase, this is a small price to pay for access to hunt and fish at any designated wildlife area in the state. But I’ll let you in on a little secret; Georgia residents can fish for free on National Hunting and Fishing Day– a perk only given once a year.
Through the revenue collected from licensing fees, specialty automotive license plates and federal financing, Georgia is better able to protect our God-given resources. According the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program has channeled excise taxes on sporting equipment – more than $14 billion nationwide since 1937 – to states to manage fish and wildlife and provide recreational opportunities. Ranked as the number one state for hunting and fishing, Georgia received approximately $11.9 million in federal wildlife funds and $6.6 million in sport fish restoration funds for fiscal year 2013.
Land and wildlife conservation is a critical component to preserving our resources for future generations, and no one understands this better than Georgia’s hunters and fishermen. They not only give millions of dollars each year to support conservation efforts, but manage our resources with the utmost care.
More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day can be found at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/ along with a complete listing of the 2013-2014 Georgia hunting season dates and limits. Next time you pull the trigger, bowstring or reel, remember that your efforts are not only putting food on the table but stimulating our economy as well.