AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is encouraging Texans to bring their family and friend into the outdoors to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday. National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated on the fourth Saturday of every September, recognizes hunters and anglers for their contributions and leadership to wildlife and conservation.
Hunters and anglers primarily fund the state’s wildlife management programs through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and stamps, as well as through taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment, motorboat fuel, firearms and ammunition. License purchases generates millions of dollars for conservation programs that benefit both game and non-game species statewide.
“The significant contribution made by Texas’ outdoors women and men toward research and species management is one of the reasons why the tradition of hunting and fishing in Texas has endured for generations,” said TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz, Ph.D.
“Without the help of Texas’ hunters and anglers, biologists would not be able to complete critical projects aimed at preserving and maintaining the state’s natural spaces and wildlife population,” said Yoskowitz. “This year, in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day, I invite all Texans to take a hunter education course, attend a neighborhood fishing event and learn how participating in these activities aids in conserving the environment and our native species.”
For many years, the proportion of people who hunt and fish in Texas has lagged behind huge increases in the state population. While Texas has experienced a recent pandemic-influenced surge in outdoor recreation, this hasn’t created a significant long-term increase in the total number of people participating in hunting and fishing, which could spell problems for natural resource conservation in the future. Conservation is mostly funded by these participants.
In 2021, TPWD launched the Texas Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Strategic Plan on this day to connect more Texans to outdoor recreation and carry forward these time-honored traditions to future generations. Increased participation in fishing, boating, hunting, and shooting sports brings funding for conservation agencies like TPWD to continue supporting efforts such as fish stocking, access and habitat improvements, and mentored hunting programs (to introduce new hunters to the sport in a safe environment).
In addition to conservation, TPWD endeavors to foster lifelong participants in hunting, fishing, boating, and shooting sports, and create a better-informed public with more interest in conserving wild things and wild places in Texas and beyond.
To learn about hunting, take an online or in-person hunter education course. Hunter education certification is required for anyone born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 and equips them with the necessary tools and information they need to be safe in the field: basics about firearm safety, species identification, zones of fire and more.
Texans who want to learn to fish can also find many resources on the TPWD Fishing for Beginners webpage: how to get started, safety, basic gear assembly, tackle boxes and supplies, bait and lures, how to cast and more. Individuals interested in becoming a volunteer fishing instructor can visit the TPWD angler education instructor website. Fishing events around the state are listed on the online event page and no license is required to fish from the shore or dock at a Texas State Park.