Hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages celebrated Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday. WUKY’s Dan Collins reports from the celebration at the Salato Wildlife Education Center.
National Hunting and Fishing Day actually takes place the 4th week of September, but Kentuckians celebrated early this past Saturday with archery, fishing, air-rifle shooting, hunting dog demonstrations and more.
Jules Foster, Branch Manager for the Salato Wildlife Education Center, says events like this help to get people interested in the outdoors.
“It’s really important for us to raise awareness about the native species that exist here in Kentucky,” Foster says. “It’s part of the mission of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife to help conserve these animals, and national hunting and fishing day is one way we bring awareness to that.”
It might sound odd that hunting and fishing can help to preserve wildlife, but Foster says that--in part--it comes down to money.
“A lot of people don’t realize that we are not supported by tax dollars,” Foster says. “We get our funding through proceeds that come from the fishing and hunting licenses. It’s really important to us to promote those activities because they go right back into conserving our state’s resources.”
Foster says the Salato Wildlife Education Center hosts about 55,000 visitors each year, and that their mission is to educate the public, especially younger generations. She says it’s easy to get wrapped up in technology and overlook the beauty of Kentucky’s great outdoors.
“It’s also a really good way to share and build memories with your family,” Foster says. “I think you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have outside.”