State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin) will join millions of hunters and anglers across the nation on Saturday in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The lawmakers are co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Sportsmen’s Caucus which works to protect Tennessee’s long-held tradition of hunting and fishing.
“Hunting and fishing are foundational to Tennessee’s outdoor lifestyle,” said Senator Bell. “Anglers and hunters were some of the earliest conservation leaders, and they remain a key factor in safeguarding the important recreational opportunities provided by Tennessee’s unparalleled natural spaces. Sportsmen and women have willingly supported fish and wildlife like no other group. They have contributed billions of dollars to support fish and wildlife management through their purchase of hunting and fishing licenses as well as through excise taxes on firearms, fishing equipment, ammunition, and archery equipment. I am very pleased that this day has been set aside to recognize its importance and encourage outdoor enthusiasts to join our efforts to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.”
He said last year alone, hunters and anglers contributed nearly $63 million to fund state conservation efforts through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
All Tennesseans benefit from these funds through improved access to public lands, public shooting ranges, improved soil and water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife research, private and public habitat management, hunter education, boat access area construction and many other TWRA projects funded through Tennessee’s licensing and fee system.
“Tennessee hunters and anglers are the primary source of conservation funding for the Volunteer State,” added Rep. Reedy. “Their strong support over the past several decades has ensured the fish and wildlife successes we have experienced, so it is fitting that we pause in celebration of their role in preserving our state’s strong outdoor heritage. It’s a healthy part of our economy as well. Tennessee sportsmen and women spend nearly $2 billion per year on their outdoor pursuits, supporting over 26,000 jobs in the state and contributing over $167 million in state and local taxes.”
Senator Bell and Rep. Reedy are also supporting efforts to increase hunter participation in Tennessee called recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3). This movement works to engage new or lapsed hunters, anglers, and other outdoor recreationists through a variety of outdoor activities and programs. There are over 450 individual R3 programs nationwide.
They said, “We hope many hunters and fishermen will join our efforts to educate and involve outdoor enthusiasts in preserving the important cultural heritage surrounding hunting and fishing. This will help us preserve our state’s remarkable outdoor spaces for generations to come.”
More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.NHFDay.org or on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website at www.congressionalsportsmen.org/policies/state/national-hunting-and-fishing-day