SPRINGFIELD, MO. As a leading philanthropist and successful businessman, T. Boone Pickens has added a new role to his illustrious career – honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day 2011.
The annual celebration is set for Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011.
Pickens is one of America’s most prominent and influential businessmen. He is a top authority on world energy issues, president and CEO of the investment firm BP Capital Management and founder of Mesa Petroleum. He is often quoted in the media and has testified many times before Congress.
A strong advocate for alternative energy in the U.S., his renowned “Pickens Plan” is designed to decrease dependency on OPEC oil while harnessing domestic energy alternatives such as wind power. He is the author of “The First Billion is the Hardest” and “Boone,” both New York Times best-sellers. Pickens also is a noted philanthropist with gifts to charitable causes exceeding $800 million.
The Dallas resident spent his early years hunting and fishing with his father on farms near his hometown Holdenville, Okla. Pickens learned early on that conservation is an understood necessity that provides better hunting and fishing for the future.
“My father and I didn’t talk about conservation,” said Pickens. “It was just considered routine that you harvest only the legal limits, and only take what you plan to use. There were plenty of times I can remember going on hunting trips with friends where we only ate what we could trap, catch or shoot. There were some pretty hungry nights, but I learned what it meant to enjoy the outdoors.”
Today, Pickens applies what he learned at an early age to his 68,000-acre ranch, managing what used to be a declining quail population. Pickens’ ranch can now be considered one of the best quail hunting properties in the nation due to his continuous efforts to manage overgrazing of cattle and habitat for quail.
Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Since launching in 1971, the day has been formally proclaimed by every U.S. President and countless governors and mayors. Pickens joins an elite fraternity of entertainment and sports figures that have served as honorary chairs, including Hank Williams Jr., Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd and Jeff Foxworthy.
Other National Hunting and Fishing Day honorary chairs have included Wade Boggs, Jay Novacek, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Tom Seaver, George Brett, John Havlicek, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, Luke Bryan, the USA Olympic Shooting Team and many others.
“We are excited to have Mr. Pickens as honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day. It’s good to have the voice and perspective of one of America’s most respected businessmen and philanthropists. His volunteerism shows that hunting, fishing and conservation remain important in all walks of American life today,” said Misty Mitchell, Director of Conservation Programs for Wonders of Wildlife. The museum, in Springfield, Mo., is the official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Wonders of Wildlife coordinates public education and awareness campaigns to promote traditional outdoor sports. The museum will open the newly constructed Conservation Education Center in late 2011. The museum itself has also undergone extensive renovations and will open in 2012.
Pickens is one of America’s 34 million hunters and anglers. Together, their licenses, permits and special taxes contribute more than $4.7 million each day for fish, wildlife and habitat programs. No one contributes more for conservation.
“Hunting and fishing have been such a great part of my life,” said Pickens. “It truly is a privilege to be selected. I hope through National Hunting and Fishing Day future outdoorsman can learn to appreciate everything that I was able to enjoy growing up as a kid. I hope to continue hunting and fishing for many years to come.”
The growing list of sponsors for National Hunting and Fishing Day 2011 includes Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Sportsman Channel, Realtree, GunBroker.com, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Cabela’s, Smith & Wesson and Yamaha.
For more information, visit www.nhfday.org.