Richard Childress heads National Hunting and Fishing Day

Richard Childress is best known as a NASCAR icon, but there is another side of him that doesn't always grab the spotlight or capture the roar of the crowd. He is an outdoors man, a hunter, angler, conservationist and Second Amendment advocate.

Childress has been named honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day, Sept. 23. He is a good choice for pumping life into what has become a lackluster event in many areas, including ours.

The special day was established by Congress 45 years ago to recognize the achievements of hunters and anglers in their leadership role of wildlife conservation. In many cases, the event has stimulated a few displays here and there, and little else.

Childress has a different approach. He recognizes the need to attract additional people to hunting, fishing and shooting sports. So he has a special challenge for those of us who are outdoorsmen.

Between now and Sept. 23, anyone who pledges to take a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor with them hunting or fishing or a sport shooting, their name will be entered in a contest. The prizes are a VIP Race Weekend Package for two and a weekend of fishing and outdoor fun at Big Cedar Lodge in the Ozark Mountains.

Childress said it was his step-father who took him squirrel hunting in North Carolina and bass fishing in local ponds and rivers.

"Someone took the time to introduce you to the outdoors," he told potential pledge makers.

The pledge can be found at www.nhfday.org.

--- Roanoke Times ---