September 23 is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Held every year since 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates outdoor sports and their conservation contributions. It’s also the perfect day for sportsmen and women to share their passion by mentoring future generations of hunters, anglers and conservationists. Check out some of the favorite hunting and fishing memories from Interior employees -- the men and women who work and play on America’s public lands. We hope they inspire you to hunt and fish on your public lands this fall. Alisha Haken, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Waterfowl hunting with Alisha Haken, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Caption Alisha Haken, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One of Alisha Haken’s favorite hunting memories happened when she was working at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. She had the opportunity to be an instructor at a six-week youth waterfowl hunting course, teaching young hunters firearm safety, and the ins and outs of waterfowl ecology and hunting. At the end of the course, each student had the opportunity to hunt with a mentor on Youth Waterfowl Hunt Day. Alisha took this picture of her hunting partner, Piper, as they enjoyed the pink sunrise before their successful hunt on the refuge. David Hopkins, Bureau of Indian Affairs Randy, son of David Hopkins of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, poses with a mule deer. Caption David Hopkins, Bureau of Indian Affairs For many sportsmen and women, the experience is less about hunting and more about spending time with friends and family. David Hopkins of the Bureau of Indian Affairs made a wonderful memory recently hunting with his two sons in Montana. Even though a group of elk eluded them, David and his son Cody were able to help his other son Randy maneuver into bow range of a large mule deer. Watching his excited sons celebrate the successful hunt was a moment he’ll never forget. Tom O’Connell, U.S. Geological Survey. Tom O’Connell of USGS ice fishing with his son. Caption Tom O’Connell, U.S. Geological Survey. Have you ever been ice fishing? Tom O’Connell of USGS had his favorite fishing memory when he watched his son Tommy catch his first fish at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. According to Tom, wintertime fishing includes jumbo yellow perch, trophy Northern pike (which can exceed 40-inches), quality walleye and many other species. Tom is thankful for access to public lands because it allows him to pass on fishing traditions to his son like his father and grandfather did with him. Kari Boyd-Peak, Bureau of Land Management Kari Boyd-Peak of the Bureau of Land Management on a family pheasant hunt. Caption Kari Boyd-Peak, Bureau of Land Management For Kari Boyd-Peak of BLM, hunting is a way of life. Every year, she looks forward to hunting season so she can introduce her son to public lands in Montana and Utah, and share quality time with her family. Only missing one pheasant season in the last 20 years, hunting is important to her because, “we need to build our next generation of land stewards.” Here she is with her son, Joey. Brittany Sweeney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Brittany Sweeney of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service learning traditional fishing skills. Caption Brittany Sweeney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Brittany Sweeney works at Selawik National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where fishing is a way of life to the local tribes. One of her favorite experiences is getting to learn from area tribal members about harvesting, fishing, and food preparation and preservation practices. In this photo, she’s being instructed by one of her mentors, elder Hannah Paniyavluk Loon, in how to cut fish the Selawik way using an Inuit women's knife. Brittany says, “It's such an amazing opportunity for me to experience the rich, abundant resources as well as the interesting cultural exchange. I feel very blessed to have these experiences.” Janelle Bargmann, National Park Service A family hunt with Janelle Bargmann. Caption Janelle Bargmann, National Park Service Janelle Bargmann is proud to be Montana born and currently works at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. As a little girl, she loved being out with Mother Nature and learning about conservation. Her dad passed the values of a wise hunter down to her and her sisters. She looks forward to hunting trips with her dad, father-in-law and husband. Janelle says, “Those memories I will cherish and now I look forward to passing them down to my kids, on this land I love!” Here she is on a family hunting trip. John Detring, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. John Detring spearfishing at Channel Islands National Park in California. Caption John Detring, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. John Detring from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement loves the water. Diving off the coast of Channel Islands National Park in California gave him the perfect chance to test his spearfishing skills. Besides bringing in a nice catch, he also got to see seals and sea lions swimming nearby. Sounds like a great time to us! Before casting your line, don’t forget to check with the park about where fishing is allowed. Sarah Bullock, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sarah Bullock of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on an Alaska adventure. Caption Sarah Bullock, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sarah Bullock of the USFWS had her favorite hunting trip on BLM land at the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska. After carefully preparing for the trip, she and a friend paddled through gorgeous fall colors to their hunting site. Patiently waiting for the perfect opportunity, they bagged a large caribou with one shot. Along with their fresh game meat, they also gathered an impressive haul of fresh berries. What a fantastic memory! Christine Williams, U.S. Geological Survey Christine Williams (USGS) and her husband Drew (FWS) on a hunting trip in Wyoming. Caption Christine Williams, U.S. Geological Survey As both Interior employees, Christine Williams (USGS) and her husband Drew (FWS) love sharing public land adventures together. In 2015, they took a hunting trip to BLM land in Wyoming, looking for America’s fastest land mammal -- the pronghorn. Hiking through ravines and crawling under sagebrush, they were able to stalk a buck, and Christine took him down with one shot. After a long and exhausting day, they hauled the meat out under a gorgeous sunset sky. Wade Harrell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wade Harrell of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showing off a large red drum. Caption Wade Harrell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is known worldwide as the winter home of the last wild population of whooping cranes, a species of bird that nearly went extinct in the 1940s. Wade Harrell works at the refuge as the whooping crane recovery coordinator, and as an avid saltwater fisherman, he likes to remind people that Aransas also has spectacular public hunting and fishing opportunities as well. Here’s Wade, proudly showing off a large red drum, one of the popular game fish in this area of the Gulf of Mexico. Aransas is currently closed due to impacts from Hurricane Harvey. FWS staff are currently evaluating infrastructure and habitat assessments. Kate MacGregor, Acting Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management A fishing trip with Kate MacGregor in Yellowstone National Park. Caption Kate MacGregor, Acting Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management As a novice fly-fisherwoman Acting Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor loves getting out and exploring public lands. One of her favorite fishing memories is from Lewis Falls at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. She said, "The sound and spray of the falls and the slight chill of the water on my waders put me into a meditative state (far from the din of D.C.) The thrill of something big lurking below the surface is the only thing that kept me alert. I caught my first brown trout here - a monster at a mere 6 inches."