Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a special proclamation Friday in the Governor’s Conference Room at the state capitol recognizing Sept. 22-28, 2019, as Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week. He also proclaimed Sept. 28, 2019, as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas.

National Hunting and Fishing Day began in 1972 to recognize the contributions hunters and anglers have to conservation in North America. The vast majority of America’s funding for conservation relies on hunting license sales in each state and special excise taxes collected from firearms, archery and ammunition sales nationwide.

Championed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Hunting and Fishing Day was officially recognized after bills were passed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and the official proclamation was signed by President Richard Nixon.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and its partners have organized many special activities to recognize the week and the contributions hunting and fishing make to people’s daily lives.

The Big Catch community fishing event will kick things off at 8 a.m., Sept. 21, at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. AGFC and Community First Alliance expect well over 3,000 attendees to this fun-filled day surrounding the outdoors.

“We’ve stocked hundreds of hungry catfish in the pond, and everyone in the family can come join in the fun,” said Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program. “Anyone 16 and older must have a fishing license to participate, but youth under 16 fish free, just like always in Arkansas.”

Each of the AGFC’s nature and education centers will hold special programming throughout the week to celebrate hunting and fishing in Arkansas and help people connect with the outdoors. Visit agfc.com/naturecenters to find a location near you and plan a visit. Each center has its own Facebook page where they will post planned events as well as updates from daily activities.

The week wraps up on Sept. 28, which the Governor also has recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas. Additional events will be held at all AGFC nature centers on this day as well. The opening of archery deer season also falls on Sept. 28, enabling hunters their first shot at a white-tailed deer for the season on this celebration of hunting and fishing’s contribution to conservation.

Visit agfc.com to view a calendar of events.