For many residents of Florida, time spent hunting and fishing are treasured moments. Hunting and fishing bring friends and family together and provide one of the most immersive outdoor experiences you can have. To encourage people to share their love of the outdoors, the focus of this year’s National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated Saturday, Sept. 23, is to challenge every hunter and angler to take someone with them on their next outdoor adventure.
“Not only do hunting and fishing allow you to connect with nature on a profound level, those who take part in these activities also contribute to conservation,” said Nick Wiley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director. “Every time someone buys a firearm, ammunition, archery equipment or fishing tackle, they are contributing to science-based fish and wildlife management through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. This program brings funding from the sporting arms, archery and fishing industries and from sportsmen and women back to state wildlife management agencies like the FWC. This support, in addition to hunting and fishing license fees, is critical for conserving fish and wildlife.”
Involve others in the outdoors between now and Sept. 23 by pledging to take someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. By taking the pledge at NHFDay.org, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package for two or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience at the famous Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
“If you are a sportsman, sportswoman or an angler, you can make a difference and support National Hunting and Fishing Day by becoming a mentor,” said Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day. “Mentoring is critical to ensure our outdoor tradition lives on through future generations. Make the commitment to take someone outdoors and show them why you value hunting, fishing and target shooting.”
This is a great time of year to introduce a friend, family member or co-worker to the outdoors, and FWC offers several resources on MyFWC.com and GoOutdoorsFlorida.com to help you get started:
• Saltwater fishing
• Freshwater fishing
• Find a boat ramp
• New hunter information
• Find an FWC-managed public shooting range
• Get your hunting/fishing license
If you’d like to take someone hunting or fishing but don’t know where to go, consider Florida’s wildlife management area system. At nearly six million acres, Florida’s WMA system is one of the largest in the country and offers a variety of #WMAzing destinations. Hurricane Irma impacted some WMAs resulting in area closures. However, the FWC and its land management partners are working hard to address storm impacts so these public lands are available for recreation while balancing the need for public safety. Information about the open/closed status of WMAs can be found at MyFWC.com. This list is updated as new information is received, so check back regularly.
This year, Florida’s WMA system is celebrating 75 years of conservation success. For more information, go to MyFWC.com/WMA75. Learn more about our great natural treasures and download WMA regulations brochures at MyFWC.com by clicking on “Hunting” then “WMA Brochures.”