Catching catfish, kayaking, rock wall climbing.
Those were only a few of the activities at the 10th annual National Hunting and Fishing Day hosted at Duke Energy’s World of Energy education center on September 24.
More than 1,000 guests visited the education center, located at Oconee Nuclear Station in Seneca, S.C., to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including archery, air rifle shooting, interactive demos with professional bass angler Martha Goodfellow and more. All of this took place against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Keowee and the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment.
National Hunting and Fishing Day has been a group effort since the beginning. In 2016, partners included Duke Energy, South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Cabela’s, Upstate Forever, Trout Unlimited, Clemson University Cooperative Extension, South Carolina 4-H Shooting Sports, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, Weatherby Foundation International, Elkmont Trading Company and Academy Sports and Outdoors.
“Clemson Extension and the Clemson 4-H Shooting Sports program are proud to be partners for the past 10 years with this celebration of hunting and fishing and the outdoors,” 4-H Natural Resource Specialist Rick Willey said. “We look forward to this event every year. It is a great opportunity for the community to come and enjoy the great outdoors in a safe, educational environment with family and friends.”
In South Carolina, natural resources produce almost $30 billion in economic benefits for the state, according to a 2009 study by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, published on the S.C. DNR website. “Natural resources are the basis for most recreational activities in South Carolina,” the report states. Additionally, more than a quarter million jobs are tied to the state’s natural resources activities.
National Hunting and Fishing Day serves not only as a day of free, family fun, but also as an educational opportunity for children and adults who may have an interest in outdoor recreation.
“National Hunting and Fishing Day is an enormously important event for Upstate families,” S.C. DNR spokesperson Greg Lucas said. “A generation ago, virtually everyone in the South hunted or fished. That's not the case anymore. So an event like National Hunting and Fishing Day gives families the chance to experience these wonderful pastimes that can bring them closer to nature and closer together as a family.”