Legendary Angler to Support NHF Day
National Freshwater Hall of Fame member Bill Dance will serve as the honorary chairman for National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Dance understands what it takes to win and the necessity of preserving our hunting and fishing legacy. The fishing icon has three B.A.S.S. Angler of the Tear titles, caught the first bass in B.A.S.S. history, earned 7 B.A.S.S. titles and is also a member of the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.
But Dance is a workhorse on and off the water and has been recognized for his work with many philanthropic organizations including: American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Arthritis foundation, “Make a Wish,” Dreams Come True and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This year, Dance pursues a different ‘cause’ as he has been named the honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day 2013.
“We are excited to have Bill Dance as honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day. It’s good to have the voice and perspective of one of America’s favorite anglers. His work and dedications shows that hunting, fishing and conservation remain important in all walks of American life today,” said Misty Mitchell, Director of Conservation Programs for Wonders of Wildlife.” The museum, in Springfield, Mo., is the official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Since launching in 1971, the day has been formally proclaimed by every U.S. President and countless governors and mayors. Dance joins an elite fraternity of entertainment and sports figures that have served as honorary chairs, including Hank Williams Jr., Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy, Jay Novacek, Robert Urich, Wade Boggs, Ward Burton, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, the USA Olympic Shooting Team, Tony Stewart and many others. The annual celebration is set for Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.
“This is truly an honor to be selected to serve as honorary chair for National Hunting and Fishing Day,” said Dance. “I hope all will join me in celebrating the fourth Saturday in September, which was set aside to join together likeminded sportsman in the pursuit of conserving our outdoor heritage. There are thousands of events that all are welcomed to join in and celebrate a great day for sportsman everywhere.”
Bill Dance, one of the world’s most famous fishermen, always planned to be a doctor like his father, grandfather and three other generations of Dances. Then, driving home one night in Memphis, Tenn., in the early 1960s, he came upon a horrific motorcycle crash. The grisly encounter changed his life. Since that moment Dance focused his attention on a more calming, relaxing profession – fishing. He began competing—and winning—in bass tournaments and landed a lure manufacturer for a sponsor. The sponsor encouraged Dance to start a TV show to help promote the product. Bill Dance Outdoors premiered on a Memphis ABC affiliate in 1968 and has been growing in popularity ever since. Today the show is televised nationwide and its host has achieved celebrity status among the nation’s 45 million anglers.
“A sense of outdoorsmanship was instilled in me at a very young age,” said Dance. “I couldn’t imagine where I’d be if it weren’t for folks taking time out to show me how my actions as a sportsman affect the conservation side of things. We have an obligation to future generations to expand their knowledge and capabilities in outdoor pursuits so they to can expand on our conservation efforts.”
Wonder of Wildlife coordinates public education and awareness campaigns to promote traditional outdoor sports. The museum recently opened the newly constructed Conservation Education Center. The museum itself has also undergone extensive renovations and is now open to the public.
Dance is one of America’s 34 million hunters and anglers. Together, their licenses, permits and special taxes contribute more than $4.7 million each day for fish, wildlife and habitat programs. No one contributes more for conservation.
The growing list of sponsors for National Hunting and Fishing Day 2013 includes Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Realtree, GunBroker.com, North American Hunting Club, Ducks Unlimited, North American Fishing Club, Smith & Wesson and Rather Be Hunting Guy.