More than 34 million outdoorsmen and women keep the unique American conservation system strong by raising $100,000 every 30 minutes through self-imposed fees and excise taxes. The conservation funding is recognized as the tool that allows every American access to wildlife and places to enjoy the outdoors.

To celebrate those great traditions a special day is set aside each year. National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) is Saturday, Sept. 28, and Georgia will celebrate that day, along with the rest of the country, in recognizing the truly American traditions of hunting and fishing. More than 44 million Americans enjoy fishing every year and more Americans hunt and shoot than play baseball.

Luke Bryan and Chris Janson are honorary chairpersons for the 2019 NHFD celebration, which marks the 48th year for the NHFD event. Bryan was the 2013 American Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year and Janson is the youngest living member to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium serves as the officially recognized home for NHFD. It is located in Springfield, Mo. next door to the Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters. The Museum and Aquarium showcases a 1.5 million-gallon aquarium with around 35,000 live fish, mammals, amphibians and birds.  

This annual celebration creates public awareness of the important role that outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen play in conservation and improvement of our national resources. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt was one of those early conservationists who influenced many of our fish and game laws. 

The U.S. Congress and President Nixon established NHF Day in 1973 to recognize hunters and anglers for the time and money they donate to wildlife conservation programs. Those contributions total more than a billion dollars annually.

Many outdoor activities are planned this year to celebrate NHFD in Georgia. NHFD events are held each year with the idea of not only ensuring a bright future for hunting, fishing and other outdoor events but to also recognize the past conservation efforts and achievements of American outdoorsmen and women.

In Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), has numerous outdoor events planned for NHFD. In addition to special events all around the state of Georgia, a free fishing day is offered to all Georgia residents on Saturday, Sept. 28. 

On that day, residents do not need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and Public Fishing Areas (PFA). Also, residents do not need to obtain a wildlife management area (WMA) license to fish on a PFA or WMA. 

NHFD is a great day to get someone (especially children) involved in the outdoors and activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching and other outdoor activities. A great place to take children on NHFD is the Kid’s Fishing event at Marben Farms Public Fishing Area over in Jasper County. Call 404-576-1893 for additional information. 

For additional information about NFHD and all scheduled events in Georgia, visit the NHFD website at and select “events” and then select “Georgia”. The event list for Georgia is growing so take advantage of all the events in this year’s NHFD and join with other Americans in celebrating the great American outdoors and the traditions of hunting and fishing. 

See you next week.


— Outdoors columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached at

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