Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day and is celebrated in a number of ways from demonstrations of fly casting to classes on outdoor cooking fish and game.

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day and is celebrated in a number of ways from demonstrations of fly casting to classes on outdoor cooking fish and game.

The timing is just right to interest Missouri hunters and anglers with hunting seasons opening and the good fall fishing starting.

Events to celebrate the day are planned all across the state that include hunting and fishing expos, outdoor cooking demonstrations and a host of other outdoor events.

This year marks the 39th National Hunting and Fishing Day. The concept started back in 1972 when more than 3,000 clubs and 49 national hunting and fishing organizations supported holding such a day to remind everyone of the vital part of the American sporting tradition.

Many things have changed in the past 39 years, but hunting and fishing continue to be all-star family activities, and National Hunting and Fishing Day is a special day to honor the contributions of sportsmen to conservation.

The three objectives of this special day are to provide newcomers with an introduction to the outdoor sports, to encourage participation by existing sportsmen and to increase public knowledge of the important part sportsmen play in conservation.

“National Hunting and Fishing Day is a good time to invite a non-hunter or angler to get outdoors.

Last year, Carl Thomas and George Jackson of Warrensburg took advantage of NHF Day by taking their sons hunting and fishing.

“We took our teenage sons teal hunting in the morning and fishing in the afternoon,” Jackson said. “They had a ball. We took some teal and caught crappie and all had plenty of action. It was a great way to celebrate the day. This year we have invited a couple of non-hunters and anglers to go do both with us.”

Along the same line, Jane Mason, a single mom from Moberly, encountered the request from her young son, “Hey Mom, I want to go fishing.”

Mason found an old video put out by Zebco that shows a single mom, with no fishing experience, on a shopping trip for fishing tackle. It’s a process that can be intimidating for first-timers trying to accommodate a child that has expressed an interest in the sport.

In the video, just as the mother becomes so overwhelmed by the various selections and prices of tackle that she attempts to convince her son to buy a video game instead. A helpful clerk comes to the rescue to explain that fishing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

The story has a happy ending as her son got all rigged up for a fraction of what she thought it would cost and with the help of a fisherman neighbor, her son is at the lake as often as he can and is catching fish.

Today’s parents, and not just the single ones, too often take the easy way out when it comes to spending what little time they have with their kids. They might rent a movie, buy a new video game, watch TV or whatever. Nothing brings parent and child closer than an outing in the totally natural setting afforded by the outdoors.

David McDaniel of Belton took his three young kids on their first camping-fishing trip over the Labor Day weekend and they had so much fun they planned on spending National Hunting and Fishing Day at the same campsite at Truman.

McDaniel said, “I should have taken them earlier since they enjoyed it so much. I would encourage all parents with young children to take them hunting, fishing, camping or any outdoor activity and NHF Day offers a good time to start.”