DNR wildlife technicians, biologists and law enforcement personnel will be on hand to stress the importance of safety at every station.
“We’ll have a climbing wall, we’ll have a live snake show,” said Chuck Waters, the DNR Region One Game Management Supervisor in Floyd Springs. Since it is National Hunting and Fishing Day there will be free fishing in the lakes at the park so parents do not have to be concerned about having a fishing license and can bring their own gear to try to land the big one. The lake is generally well stocked with bass and catfish.
“Hunters and fishermen are really the first conservationists,” Waters said. "They fund the vast majority of conservation (programs), both game and non-game habitat protection and management.”
Federal taxes on arms and ammunition as well as fishing tackle and related equipment are returned to the states through formulas specified in the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act for hunters or the Dingell-Johnson Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act for fishermen.
“Those funds are the backbone of each states conservation organization. In our case it’s the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division,” Waters said.
"It's huge that we introduce kids to outdoor activities," Game Warden Shawn Elmore said. "A lot of them spend all of their times inside on video games or phones. Their parents have to work so much that they don't have the time to be doing things outdoors with them."
Part of the rationale behind the event involves the introduction of outdoor sports and recreation to the next generation of hunters and fisherman. License sales dropped across Georgia for a number of years and budgets are, at least in part, tied to the number of license sales. A lot of youngsters that are growing up in single-parent homes, or who have an absentee father, may not be as likely to get involved in hunting or fishing.
“It’s a family event, it’s not something you can just drop your kids off,” Waters said. “You’re not going to a show somewhere where somebody is trying to get your money at every booth. It’s mom and apple pie stuff.”
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be free hot dogs while the supply lasts. The only fee is the typical Georgia State Park parking fee of $5 per vehicle.