National Hunting and Fishing Day was observed on Saturday, Sept. 22 with the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife recognizing the longstanding commitment to wildlife conservation from hunters and anglers and the abundant fishing and hunting opportunities available in the state.
Participation in hunting and fishing has been steadily declining in California and nationally since the 1980s. The decline in these activities poses an ever-increasing threat to conservation of natural resources. CDFW is ramping up statewide efforts to improve recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of hunters and anglers to curb this threat. Currently the project is in the planning stage with implementation planned for early next year. If you aren’t an active California hunting or fishing license holder, consider helping by signing up to take a hunter education course, visit the CDFW website to learn more about participating in fishing and hunting opportunities, or reach out to your local CDFW office to seek guidance on getting started.
Last year, California’s hunter and anglers generated more than $125 million to support fish and wildlife conservation efforts. By participating in hunting and fishing, Californians have the ability to help keep the American legacy of public land conservation alive and fund the ever-growing need to manage the state’s wildlands and wildlife in the face of human encroachment and urbanization, wildlife diseases, a changing climate and other challenges.
California is the third largest state in the nation and about half of its land is publicly owned. That translates into millions of acres of excellent outdoor recreation spaces across the state. Many hunting and fishing seasons are currently open and provide opportunity to acquire wild, lean, antibiotic-free protein sources such as trout and other fish, deer, bear, dove, tree squirrel, rabbit and hare, and other upland game.
“In an era where so many competing interests exist for our time, Californians are losing their connection to the outdoors. Kids are spending less time playing outside, families aren’t hunting and fishing like they used to, and connections to public land are diminishing,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “CDFW encourages all Californians to help reverse this trend by getting outdoors.”
For more information on hunting and fishing opportunities in the Golden State, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov. For information on Hunter’s Education, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education. For information on how to purchase a hunting or fishing license, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales.