This year, on Saturday, Sept. 23, the nation will celebrate the 45th National Hunting and Fishing Day. This day recognizes the heritage and tradition of hunting and angling, as well as the historical and current contributions supporting sound, science-based fish and wildlife conservation.

Through purchasing licenses, tags and waterfowl stamps, and by paying excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other hunting and fishing equipment, sportsmen and women drive conservation funding in the United States. Collectively, these funding sources constitute the American System of Conservation Funding, a unique “user pays-public benefits” system, which this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Via passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Dingell-Johnson Act, and the Wallop-Breaux Amendment, this excise tax revenue is apportioned back to state fish and wildlife agencies, including the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Last year, Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson combined contributed $16.5 million, while hunting and fishing licenses brought an additional $19 million to fund conservation efforts in the state.

All Hoosiers benefit from these monies through improved access to public lands, public shooting facilities, improved water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife research, private and public habitat management, hunter education and numerous other DNR projects funded through this system.

Enjoy this special occasion and the vast opportunities to hunt, fish and experience the great outdoors. For more information on fishing and hunting in Indiana, click here.

More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.NHFDay.org or on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website at www.sportsmenslink.org/policies/federal/ascf.