National Hunting and Fishing Day

By Ken Schultz

Sep 23, 2021

Why National Hunting and Fishing Day was created, how it’s celebrated, and how anglers contribute to fisheries management and conservation programs

Every year the fourth Saturday in September is recognized in the United States as National Hunting and Fishing Day. This designation to commemorate hunting and fishing traditions and activities, and the contributions to conservation made by hunters and anglers, was established by an act of Congress in 1972.

President Nixon made the following comment when he signed the National Hunting and Fishing (NHF) Day proclamation on May 2, 1972: “I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.” Each year, the current President expresses similar sentiments about hunting and fishing when signing an NHF Day proclamation. In 2021, NHF Day is Sept. 25.

Events and Activities

National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed every year through diverse public events across the country, some of which have attracted thousands of attendees in the past. They’ve been focused on education about fishing and conservation topics and, in some cases have been participatory. In fact, a few states have a free fishing day on NHF Day (as well as on other days during the year). You don’t need a license to enjoy angling on these days, which is great for getting started in the sport.

To find events in your state, check the website of your state wildlife agency and visit the website home of NHF Day. Keep in mind that there may be pandemic-related cancellations, changes, and some restrictions.

Funding Conservation

Here at TakeMeFishing, we’re always promoting recreational angling, as well as providing information about how anglers enhance and support conservation. Since National Hunting and Fishing Day was in part established with a conservation theme, it’s worth noting that on the fishing side, more than 50 million Americans fish, and that fees derived from the purchase of state-issued fishing licenses and permits, as well as boat registrations, together with funds obtained from excise taxes paid on fishing tackle and related items, support fisheries management, fisheries research programs, habitat improvement projects, angler safety and educational programs, fishing and boating access projects, and much more. Some of this occurs through the congressionally legislated Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.

If you don’t already have one, get a fishing license to help support fisheries conservation in your state, and visit TakeMeFishing’s conservation page to find a lot of informative content on how recreational angling supports fisheries and aquatic conservation programs.

Ken Schultz
Ken Schultz
Ken Schultz was a longtime staff writer for Field & Stream magazine and is the former Fishing Editor of He’s written and photographed nineteen books on sportfishing topics, plus an annual fishing tips calendar, and his writing has appeared on various websites for more than two decades. His author website is