Indiana’s Sportsmen’s Caucus Celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day
INDIANAPOLIS – As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Indiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and as a member of the 48-state National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses network, my fellow Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Sean Eberhart, Senator Jim Tomes, Senator Dave Niezgodski and I are proud to join like-minded sportsmen-legislators from across the nation in celebrating the 45th National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, September 23.
In celebrating this day, we recognize the time-honored traditions of hunting and angling, as well as the historical and current contributions of the original conservationists—hunters and anglers—in 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 (DNR). Last year alone, 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 funds through improved access to public lands, public shooting facilities, improved water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife research (game and non-game), private and public habitat management, hunter education, angler access area construction, and numerous other DNR projects funded through this system.
The Indiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus recognizes the contributions of sportsmen and women to conservation; without them, Indiana’s fish and wildlife would not be nearly as abundant, nor would our economy be as vibrant. Through these contributions, hunters and anglers have made it possible to open 350 public boating and fishing access sites, conserve almost 200,000 acres of public land, and fund wildlife conservation efforts like bobcat monitoring programs, avian influenza research, and the dramatically successful bald eagle reintroduction program.
In addition, the caucus thanks the DNR for their tireless efforts to support hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping in our great state.
Today we celebrate the many and varied benefits that hunting and angling provide for the Hoosier State. Enjoy this special occasion and the vast opportunities to hunt and fish in Indiana.
The outdoor traditions of hunting and angling should not be taken for granted and opportunities to hunt and fish should continue to be abundantly available for future generations.
More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.NHFDay.org, on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website at sportsmenslink.org/policies/state/NHFD, or at www.in.gov/dnr/.