Celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day with the perfect gift — buy a license for conservation

21 September, 2022
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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day with the perfect gift — buy a license for conservation

LANSING, Mich. — With a milestone anniversary on the horizon, Michigan Wildlife Council Chair Nick Buggia has something special in mind — he wants every Michigander to celebrate conservation by buying fishing and hunting licenses — even if you don’t hunt or fish.

Why? Because buying a hunting or fishing license plays a significant role in preserving our natural resources since it is chiefly where the money comes from – not taxes.

If you know someone with a hunting or fishing license, thank them. If not, join them in helping to keep our state’s water, woods and wildlife as treasures for current and future generations.

The reason to celebrate now: It’s the golden anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. An official presidential proclamation in 1972 established this annual occasion to recognize all the benefits of hunting and fishing in Michigan and nationwide.

Since Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ conservation funding relies primarily on license fees, fewer licenses sold results in less funding for conservation and wildlife management. And that is why it is so important to appreciate those who underwrite our natural resources management efforts with the purchase of those licenses.

Hunting numbers in Michigan have been declining overall for decades as hunters have gotten older and younger generations have been slower to fill the void. In the last 25 years, the number of Michigan hunters has decreased by 250,000. That means less money for conservation, habitat restoration and protection from invasive species.

Last year, licenses purchased by anglers and hunters generated more than $65 million for the Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund. The fund is the DNR’s largest revenue source — not state taxes — and is critical to its conservation work. Hunting and fishing equipment sales raised an additional $32 million to support wildlife and natural resource management.

“All Michiganders benefit from the water, woods and wildlife that make our state a great place to live, play and raise a family,” Buggia said. “Buying a hunting or fishing license — even if you never cast a line — is a great and inexpensive investment in conservation and wildlife management. Buy a license in memory of a loved one or to honor an outdoors enthusiast you know. It is a wonderful way to show appreciation for the legacy of outdoors recreation gifted to future generations by Michigan anglers and hunters past and present.”

Buggia added, “Besides, you might just decide to head to the water or woods yourself to enjoy all that our state offers in recreational opportunities.”

Conservation activities keep animal populations in balance and protect Michigan waters from habitat degradation and invasive species, as well as safeguard the state’s forests to provide habitats for thousands of wildlife species and reduce the risk of wildfires and flooding.


And you don’t have to look any further than the uptick in the state’s turkey population to see results.

From the early 1900s to the 1950s, wild turkey had all but disappeared from Michigan due to unregulated hunting and habitat degradation. Michigan is now No. 8 in the nation for its wild turkey population. Hunting license sales directly provided and continue to provide much-needed revenue to fund wild turkey management efforts.

Additionally, hunting and fishing have a combined $11.2 billion economic impact on Michigan and provide an estimated 171,000 jobs annually, according to a 2019 study released by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs in partnership with Michigan State University.

“Michiganders cherish spending time in the outdoors and we know the value of protecting it not only for fishing and hunting but for all the other activities we love like boating, bird-watching, hiking, camping or just taking in all the natural beauty around us,” Buggia said. “So, I urge you to join me and your fellow Michiganders by buying a fishing or hunting license on this golden anniversary to honor the bountiful beauty that surrounds us in every corner of our great state.”

“Buy a license today and preserve our great outdoors for yourself, your children and your children’s children,” Buggia added.

The Michigan Wildlife Council is a bipartisan-approved panel tasked by the Legislature with conducting a public education campaign emphasizing the importance of wildlife management and the role hunting and fishing play in protecting and enhancing Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources.

More information about the Michigan Wildlife Council and its work is available at www.HereForMiOutdoors.org.

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