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September 23, 2023: Hunting and Fishing Day

WHEREAS, Michigan has a rich and storied tradition of hunting and fishing that dates back further than the state itself and carries forward to this day; and,

WHEREAS, hunting and fishing continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state, and over recent years have offered a growing number of participants an opportunity to connect with nature on a personal level while simultaneously providing food security, a sense of self-sufficiency, and both mental and physical health benefits; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s hunters and anglers were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitats, and through their license fees help fund state efforts to provide for healthy and sustainable natural resources; and,

WHEREAS, upon realizing that license fees alone were insufficient to restore and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, hunters and anglers supported self-imposed excise taxes on firearms and ammunition, fishing tackle, and motorboat fuels to raise additional conservation funds; and,

WHEREAS, last year alone, Michigan’s hunters and anglers generated $95.8 million through this system to support the conservation efforts of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and,

WHEREAS, more than 1.4 million hunters and anglers support the state’s economy through their spending, contributing to the $9.5 million spent on outdoor activities in Michigan last year; and,

WHEREAS, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, on the national level hunters and anglers spent more than $39 billion on hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting, which does not include spending on items such as trips and travel or license fees that were necessary for their participation. This spending helped fuel the outdoor economy, which comprised 1.5% of Michigan’s GDP that same year; and,

WHEREAS, National Hunting and Fishing Day was established in 1972 to celebrate and recognize hunters and anglers for their immense contributions to fish and wildlife conservation, and to our society;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 23, 2023, as Hunting and Fishing Day in Michigan.