Sept. 26 is National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) all across the United States. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there will be no Outdoor Adventure Days or large outdoor gatherings in Georgia or across the nation to celebrate NHFD this year.
There are activities that individuals can do without placing their health in danger. You can load up the family in a car and take a trip to a local outdoor venue and breath in the air and check out the wonders of nature all around us. Take a boat ride around the lake or go fishing or hunting. Many outdoor activities can be done safely at this time.
The virus is keeping too many families hold up in their homes, but just a walk around the neighborhood can make you feel better and who knows what wonder of nature might appear during your walk. There are many walking trails in the local area that are open and all sorts of nature abound in those locations. Unless frequented by crowds, take off your mask, enjoy the fresh air, and look for nature to provide some inspiration during these troubled times.
We, humans, are living in very difficult times due to the virus that has plagued us now for nearly eight months, but the outdoors is one place where you can visit and be safe. Every part of our human society has been impacted by the virus but nature marches right on. The birds that visit our feeders are still there, the hummingbirds are still slurping up the sugar water and the deer that visit my yard to feed on my wife’s flowers are still undaunted.
Dove and squirrel seasons are open now, archery season for deer begins today, and fishing is available year-round. Hopefully, you can participate in some of those activities to celebrate NHFD.
To celebrate outdoor activities like those mentioned, a special day is set aside each year. National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) celebrates the great American traditions of hunting, fishing and target shooting. In normal times, more than 44 million Americans would enjoy fishing during the year and normally more Americans hunt and shoot than play baseball.
Every year NHFD names an honorary chairperson and for the 2020 NHFD celebration, which marks the 49th year for the NHFD event. This year’s chairperson is “Dude Perfect.” Now, when I saw the announcement, I thought to myself who in the world is Dude Perfect? I assumed the younger generation would know who that person or persons were but I had no idea.
After some research, I discovered that Dude Perfect is a group of four guys who were roommates at Texas A&M University and they make YouTube videos. I watched a couple of their videos like the one about doing trick shots in ping pong and the four of them eating dog food like it was cereal, but nothing about hunting and fishing. With as many as 20 million viewers, I may be the only person that has never heard of the group.
This annual celebration of NHFD creates a better public awareness of the important role that outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen have played in the conservation and improvement of our national resources. In the first half of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold were credited with developing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. That model says that every American is entitled to hunt and fish and that wildlife belongs to all citizens.
One event to be held on Sept. 26 is the Fifth Annual “Shoot for Seth.” The Sporting Clay Tournament at the Hudson Plantation in Sparta benefits the Seth Stapleton Memorial Scholarship Fund. The tournament is in memory of Seth who was tragically killed in an auto accident in 2015.
Registration is $100 for adults and $85 for youth 18 and under and activities begin at 8 a.m. The Hudson Plantation is located on Highway 16 just East of the Wallace Dam. The tournament is hosted by the Stapleton Family and the Lake Oconee Shotgun Team. A barbecue lunch will be served and provided to non-shooters for $12.
On NHFD, Georgia residents do not need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and Public Fishing Areas (PFA). In addition, residents do not need to obtain a wildlife management area (WMA) license to fish on a PFA or WMA.
NHFD is a great day to get someone (especially a child) involved in the outdoors and activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching and other outdoor activities.
For additional information about NFHD, visit www.nhfday.org. During this year’s NHFD, join with other Americans in celebrating the great American outdoors and the traditions of hunting, fishing and shooting.
See you next week.
—Outdoors columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached at