The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by hosting or supporting eight family-oriented outdoor events across the state on Sept. 22.
Through interactive activities and demonstrations, participants can connect with nature and test their outdoor skills. Some of the activities, which vary for each event, include:
- Fishing (with bait and tackle provided),
- Shooting a bow and arrow and pellet guns with a qualified instructor,
- Seeing live animals, such as reptiles, amphibians and raptors,
- Outdoor cooking over a fire — and tasting the results, and
- Learning about North Carolina’s hunting heritage.
The Wildlife Commission, in conjunction with conservation partners such as the N.C. Wildlife Federation, Wake County Wildlife Club, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, N.C. Bowhunters Association and others, will hold free National Hunting and Fishing Day events at its four education centers:
- Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education, located at 1751 Varsity Drive on the N.C. State University Centennial Campus in Raleigh. The center will have special Saturday hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a falconry presentation with live raptors, snakes and other reptile exhibits, a mountain man demonstration and fishing at nearby Lake Raleigh. For more information, contact Beth Gunn at 919-707-0205.
- Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, located at 1160 Village Lane, on Highway 12 in Corolla. From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. scheduled events allow participants to learn fishing and archery skills, tour the exhibit gallery and explore the hunting and fishing heritage of Currituck Sound. Fish-for-Fun bags will be given all participants. For more information contact Kelly Ondek at 252-453-0221.
- John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, located at 7489 Raeford Road in
- Fayetteville. The event is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with more than 15 hands-on, interactive exhibits and demonstrations, including kayaking, fishing and identifying aquatic insects, and seeing live mammals, frogs, turtles and snakes. For more information, contact Kristopher Smith at 910-868-5003, ext. 14.
- Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, located at 1401 Fish Hatchery Road, Pisgah Forest near Brevard. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. hands-on, interactive exhibits and demonstrations include fishing, outdoor cooking, archery and pellet rifle range. For more information, contact Lee Sherrill at 828-877-4423.
The Wildlife Commission is supporting four other National Hunting and Fishing Day in events:
- McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery, located at 220 McKinney Lake Road, Hoffman. A Greenwing Fishing Event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to youth ages 17 and younger. For $20, each participant will receive a fishing rod and reel with tackle, a Greenwing membership, which includes a youth magazine subscription four times a year, and lunch. For more information, contact Tommy Leak at 910-331-3135.
- Roanoke-Chowan Wildlife Club, located at 126 Hare’s Mill Road in Winton. The free Hunting and Fishing Day event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers black powder and trap shooting, archery and other activities. Commission fisheries biologists will be conducting two electrofishing demonstrations and will be giving out free Fish-for-Fun bags filled with fishing-related items. For more information, contact Lynn Henry at 252-794-3316.
- Rose Hill Farm, located 3881 Rose Hill Lane, Nashville. The Tar River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 11th Annual Jakes Day begins at 9 a.m. and is free for all children. Commission fisheries biologists will be at the event with an electrofishing boat and live fish while wildlife enforcement officers will staff the archery range. For more information, contact Jimmy Vickers at 252-813-4253.
- Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, located at N.C. Route 615, Knotts Island. This Greenwing event from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. is limited to the first 250 participants, ages 4 to 14. For $25, each participant receives a rod-and-reel combo, bait, a T-shirt, a Fish-for-Fun bag and a Greenwing membership. For more information, contact Sharon Meade at 252-619-0575.
For more information about these events, including times, a list of activities for each event, directions and more, visit www.ncwildlife.org/nhfd.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to celebrate conservation successes of hunters and anglers. Hunting, fishing and related activities directly support upwards of 29,000 jobs and $818 million in income in North Carolina.
This year’s National Hunting and Fishing Day is noteworthy because it is the culmination of a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program. WSFR uses the excise taxes paid by hunters, anglers and boaters to improve hunting, fishing and boating opportunities in North Carolina. Find out more about WSFR in North Carolina by visiting our WSFR page.
“National Hunting and Fishing Day is our chance to thank sportsmen for their contributions to conservation, and an opportunity to invite others, especially youth, to join us,” said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator. “The future of fish and wildlife depends upon tomorrow’s stewards.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has been named honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day 2012.
National Hunting and Fishing Day is a single-day example of the year-round efforts by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to educate and involve people in hunting and fishing. Learn more at our wildlife learning page.
Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission