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National Hunting and Fishing Day
By Gordon McHenry

Besides Free Fishing Day in California this Saturday, Sept. 25, hunters and anglers of all ages will also be observing the 33rd annual National Hunting and Fishing Day and celebrating nationwide. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created to heighten public awareness of the important role that outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen have played in conservation and improving our natural resources.

NHF Day events around the country provide opportunities for outdoor-oriented people and urbanites alike to learn more about outdoor skills and activities, many offering hands-on events for archery, firearms and muzzleloader shooting, fishing, canoeing, cooking or duck calling. Wildlife art and taxidermy, dog training, hunter and/or wildlife education and outdoor skills enhancement for camping, hiking, bird watching and photography can be found at most events.

Congress and President Nixon established NHF Day to recognize generations of hunters and anglers for the time and money they have donated to wildlife conservation programs - to date totaling over $23 billion and uncounted hours of work on habitat improvement and other projects.

Some 3,000 clubs and affiliates of national organizations staged the first "open house" observances, providing some four million Americans with a chance to experience the outdoor sports. In the years to follow, these local observances expanded, many developing into information fairs at public places such as shopping malls, libraries, schools, and nature preserves.

Sportsmen's clubs also took part by inviting the public to visit their facilities to shoot clay targets, learn about local conservation activities and take part in hands-on demonstrations of the outdoor skills. Sporting goods retailers observed the day with product demonstrations and 11 percent discount sales, thanking their customers for paying the 11 percent excise taxes on sporting equipment.

In the years since then, NHF Day has celebrated with thousands of special events organized by sportsmen's clubs, conservation groups and state wildlife agencies - together introducing many millions of Americans to hunting and fishing while highlighting their vital role in conservation.

For more information about how you and your children, parents, friends, and neighbors can get involved in this year's National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration, go to and click on Scheduled Events to view a list of events to help you celebrate this very special day.

You can also celebrate by supporting the first-ever Cops & Kids Fishing Derby this Saturday, Sept. 25 at Green Valley Lake. The Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA) members will be joining hands with local children for a fun day of fishing.

The derby is open to children only but anyone can come and fish. Saturday is also Free Fishing Day in California. While all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect; anyone no matter their age, can fish without purchasing a fishing license.

Adult tickets are $25. First- through third-place trophies are for the children only, but everyone who participates will be eligible for the more than $3,000 in prizes offered in the prize drawing.

Members of the community are welcome to sponsor tickets for less fortunate mountain area children or purchase tickets to attend. Sponsorships help pay for fishing poles, tackle boxes and bait and they are only $25 per child, a real bargain when you consider you will be helping to start a kid on a lifetime of fishing fun. The funds raised from this event help benefit SEBA's Children's Charities Fund.

Registration is from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., fishing from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and weigh-in and prize drawings will take place from 12:30 p.m. to just after 1 p.m.

For more information on the charities S.E.B.A. supports go their website. For information regarding sponsorship or tickets please call (909) 777-3404.

Green Valley Lake has been kicking out nice limits of trout. Anglers have been catching lots of five-trout limits in as little as 30 minutes on Power Bait. Be sure to get out there this Saturday and catch yours! Good fishing.

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