Sept. 23 marks annual National Hunting and Fishing Day

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The hunting and fishing seasons are now upon us. As the weather cools, now is the time many outdoor sportsmen take to the woods to hunt dove, duck and deer, as well as fish in the cooler waters for everything from trout to freshwater salmon.

As the gateway to the Sierra, many residents who enjoy the Clovis Way of Life take part in such recreational activities, heading up to nearby Millerton, Shaver or Huntington lakes to fish and to the surrounding foothills and high sierra to hunt.

While many do so just for sport, these hunters and anglers play an important role in the conservation of the land and, believe it or not, of the wildlife as well. To recognize the vital role sportsmen play in this conservation, in 1972 President Richard Nixon officially declared the fourth Saturday of September as National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Sept. 23 marks the 45th annual National Hunting and Fishing Day since Nixon’s proclamation.

Steve Newman, the general manager at Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis, said the special day really acknowledges that for many hunting and fishing is so much more than just a hobby.

“It’s a lifestyle,” Newman said. “Those of us involved love the sport of it and there is this camaraderie for people who share in this lifestyle. We always love to share those stories with each other about that big fish we caught or that deer we shot just at the right moment and for as many success stories as we have, we also have an equal number of those stories about the ones that got away. When you have hunting or fishing in common, you can connect with a stranger and come together as friends, and hunting and fishing just really go well together, there is a crossover there.”

Newman said he expects this season will be a great one, especially for fishermen, due to the increased amount of rain and snow the Sierra received last winter.

“We’re right in the midst of dove season and deer season just started for rifles, though it has been going on a couple of weeks for archers, and duck season starts soon, and I think fishing has been and will continue to be really good this year because the lakes are so full,” he said.