September 24, 2022 was National Hunting and Fishing Day throughout the United States.
The day was first established in 1972 and is celebrated on the 4th Saturday of every September to recognize hunters and anglers for their contribution to fish and wildlife conservation. Last year alone, hunters and anglers generated $90,223,780 to support the conservation efforts of ODFW through their purchases of hunting licenses, tags and permits.
They generate additional funding for conservation and outdoor access through their purchase of hunting and fishing equipment including firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing rods, boats and boat fuel.
Federal excise taxes paid on purchasing this equipment are apportioned back to states in what's known as the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. In place since the late 1930s, the program funds fish and wildlife management, scientific research, habitat restoration and protection, land and water rights acquisition, hunting and boating access and outdoor education. "Everyone benefits from these investments, which have ensured a legacy of wildlife and outdoor opportunities for all," noted US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams in a February release announcing Oregon's apportionment of more than $26 million for wildlife and nearly $9 million for fish in 2022.
Even people who don't hunt and fish benefit by enjoying Oregon's sustainable fish and wildlife resources and the use of state wildlife areas like Sauvie Island, Summer Lake and the new Minam River Wildlife Area. All these areas were purchased at least partly with Wildlife Restoration Funds generated from excise taxes on hunting equipment purchases.
Hunters and anglers also help support local economies, often in rural areas, as they purchase gear at local shops, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and gas up their vehicles during their hunting and fishing trips.
Combined with wildlife viewing and other activities like hiking, overall outdoor activities in Oregon contributed $5.3 billion to the state's economy according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. "Hunters and anglers help conserve fish and wildlife for future generations by supporting ODFW programs through their purchase of licenses and equipment," said Curt Melcher, ODFW Director. "Please take a moment on National Hunting and Fishing Day to thank the hunter or angler in your life—and why not ask them to take you along on their next trip."
Fishing opportunities are available all year in Oregon and the state's most popular hunting seasons are soon to kick off this fall, including buck deer season on Oct. 1, 2022.
MyODFW.com has all the information you need to get started fishing or hunting game birds or big game. Those who don't want to fish or hunt can still contribute directly to fish and wildlife management and supporting outdoor recreation with a donation to the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund