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A lifelong friend of mine, Steve Gore, owner of Sportsman's Depot, in North Shreveport, had a bunch of bumper stickers made a number of years ago, that he still gives away to customers today.

They read: "Kids who hunt and fish, don't steal and deal."

Wow, truer words could have never been written! That's why this news bothers me immensely.

In response to Louisiana's COVID-19 situation, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has elected to cancel all state sponsored events that were scheduled for National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 25 across Louisiana.

According to nhfday.org,

National Hunting and Fishing (NHF) Day brings together sportsmen and women to celebrate the rich tradition of hunting, target shooting and fishing with national, state, regional and local organizations hosting related events. Launched in 1971 by Congress, NHF Day has consistently recognized hunters and anglers for their leadership in wildlife and conservation.

In response to the decision, LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, "This was a tough decision, but we think the right decision. Like so many others, I looked forward to attending the events and watching families, especially young people, learn about hunting, fishing, shooting, and other outdoor activities. But, the risk to the public’s health to hold the NHFD events was too great.”

This includes the annual event that has always attracted a huge crowd at Bodcau Wildlife Management Area. That's the toughest part of this pill for me to swallow. I was always amazed at the amount of young people who came out for the event and were exposed to so many of the things I consider the finer parts of life. Shooting events, hunting tips, fishing, wildlife identification, even game testing, with everything from bobwhite quail to rattlesnake.

While I understand the LDWF decision, I truly believe we are a lot worse off when our kids aren't exposed to awesome events like this. Hopefully, we'll have this behind us next year and we can celebrate twice as hard.

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