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please contact the
Hunter Education Program.

Eastern Washington
Spokane office
(509) 892-1001

Ephrata office
(509) 754-4624

Yakima office
(509) 575-2740

Western Washington
Mill Creek Office
(425) 775-1311 Ext. 106

Olympia office
(360) 902-8111


Washington Hunter - Online Hunter Education Course
National Hunting and Fishing Day -
A Great Tradition, Source of Pride Since 1972

In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't understand the role that sportsmen and women played—and continue to play—in the conservation movement.

With urging from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Congress unanimously authorized National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. On May 2, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed the first proclamation of the annual celebration.

Today, National Hunting and Fishing Day continues as an opportunity to celebrate outdoor sports and conservation—and as a day to share the pride in conservation successes led by hunters and anglers across the nation.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is hosting a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration on September 23, 2017, 9:00am to 4:00pm, Camp Pigott, 24225 Woods Creek Road, Snohomish, WA 98250.  

"This family oriented event is a great way to introduce youth and newcomers to target shooting, hunting and fishing," said David Whipple, WDFW hunter education division manager. "It's also an opportunity to recognize that hunters and anglers are and will continue to be among the most active supporters of wildlife management and conservation."

Youth 17 years of age and under who attend the event with an accompanying adult can shoot WDFW firearms, archery equipment and air rifles for free. Agency staff and WDFW hunter education instructors will be on hand to teach shooting safety and provide instruction and guidance.  

For those interested in learning to fish, participants can take part in a walleye fishing clinic and learn to cast a line with spinning reels. "There are few things better than fishing to instill appreciation and respect for nature – and maybe also a bit of patience," said Bruce Bolding, WDFW warmwater fish program manager.

The event also features:

  • Lunch provided for free for the first 150 youth attendees and accompanying adults.  
  • Free participation bags with shooting safety gear for the first 150 youth attendees.
  • Door prize drawings.
  • A turkey hunting clinic, and presentations on scent-free hunting.
  • Opportunities to learn basic knot tying.
  • Opportunities to make plaster casts of animal tracks and Japanese-style (Gyotaku) fish prints.
  • Conservation organization displays and information.

The free event is hosted by WDFW's Hunter Education Division and the Volunteer Program. It is sponsored by the WDFW, hunter education instructors, master hunters, Volterra Restaurants (Ballard and Kirkland), and Pacific Food Importers.

National pastime; conservation benefits

In March, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed $1.1 billion in revenues, collected from fishing and hunting related excise taxes to support outdoor recreation and conservation efforts in all 50 states through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. The State of Washington received a $20 million portion of this funding.

And this is not a new phenomenon; billions of dollars have been contributed to state agencies since the 1930s by American hunters and anglers in support of conservation and wildlife management efforts.

Facts on hunting and fishing:

– More than 34 million Americans six years of age and older enjoy fishing every year.

– More Americans hunt and shoot than play baseball.

– Twenty-five percent of anglers are female; and women and teenage girls represent one of the fastest growing groups of new hunters. 

– Funding from hunters has helped restore wildlife populations and habitat:

  • Whitetail deer populations have rebounded nationally to 30 million from just 500,000 deer in 1900.
  • Wild turkey populations have rebounded to over 7 million from 100,000.
  • Rocky Mountain elk populations have rebounded from 41,000 in 1907 to over one million today.
  • Revenue from hunting excise taxes has purchased millions of acres of habitat, maintained by state wildlife agencies.
  • These lands support game and non-game species alike, as well as provide rich opportunities for outdoor recreation such as birdwatching, hiking, camping, climbing and canoeing.

– Funding from anglers helps manage America's 3.5 million miles of rivers, 40.8 million acres of lakes, 34,400 square miles of estuaries, 58,000 miles of ocean shoreline and 277 million acres of wetlands. 

Hunters and anglers have been among the nation's largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit America's wildlife and all who enjoy the outdoors

(Sources: National Hunting and Fishing Day®, USFWS, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation)