For many outdoor enthusiasts, any day they can spend hunting or fishing is a day to celebrate. Now there is one more reason to observe our hunting and fishing opportunities. Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed Saturday, September 28 as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Kansas to celebrate Kansas’ sportsmen and women, and to recognize the many and varied social, cultural, economic, and ecological benefits of our time-honored traditions of hunting and angling.
Kansans have enjoyed a rich and storied tradition of hunting and angling since before Kansas became the 34th state in January 1861. The state’s sportswomen and men were among the first conservationists to support establishing the predecessors of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) to conserve fish, wildlife and their habitat. Through their license fees, outdoor enthusiasts have funded state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources.
Upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, sportsmen and women supported self-imposed federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, fishing equipment and motorboat fuel to raise additional conservation funds. To this day, wildlife conservation in Kansas and other states is funded primarily by sportswomen and men, through this American System of Conservation Funding – a “user pays – public benefits” approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of funding fish and wildlife management in the world.
In fiscal year 2018 alone, Kansas’ sportswomen and men generated more than $32 million in license and permit fees through this system to support the conservation efforts of the KDWPT. What’s more, Kansas’ 527,000 hunters and anglers support the state’s economy through spending more than $629 million while engaged in their pursuits which supports more than 9,331 jobs and generates $69 million in state and local taxes.
National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 to celebrate and recognize hunters and anglers for their immense contributions to fish and wildlife conservation, and to our society. The KDWPT is grateful for the passion of hunters and anglers in supporting the state’s conservation programs that provide sustainable habitats benefitting all the species of wildlife and fish that Kansans enjoy.