The Monroe celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day enters a new era this Saturday, Sept. 28, although for most folks in the public it won’t be noticeable. But for those who have been involved in it over the years, the change will be extremely obvious.
While thousands of youngsters are shooting bows and arrows, riding in canoes, listening to duck call demonstrations, shooting clay pigeons, casting for prizes and fishing in the ponds at the LDWF office in Monroe from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Bill Breed will quietly be making his rounds at the show in a new capacity: Retiree.
Friday was Bill’s last official day at the LDWF after 32 years on the job. He started out in Monroe as an education specialist and eventually became the State Coordinator for Hunter Education. Union Parish is certainly proud to call him one of her own since he grew up in Bernice and raised his family and currently lives in Farmerville. Bill will continue to volunteer at the show, but he’s turning over the reins to his very capable replacement, Dana Norsworthy.
“This has been a dream job for me,” Bill said. “It was designed for me. I never hated to go to work. I loved working for the Wildlife and Fisheries. I got to teach thousands of people about hunter safety and spend countless days in schools, with 4-H and Boys Scouts teaching about the outdoors. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Many local folks will also recognize Bill for his work with the “Wild Side” series at the Union Parish Library. Bill worked as a school teacher and some on off-shore jobs before he saw a story in the newspaper about Gerry Click, his predecessor in that position. He went and talked to Click and found out he was leaving in a year. When the time drew near, Bill applied and got the job. He’s a different “breed”. I never saw him going less than 100% or without a smile on his face whether he was teaching a class or picking up trash at NHF Day; whether it was a good day or bad.
I have to share this with you. I worked with Gerry to start up the first National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration in the state. A year later, Gerry left turned his part over to Bill. And then not too many years later, I changed careers and gave him my part, too. The celebration never missed a lick. In fact, it has continued to grow and prosper under Bill’s leadership. Today, Wildlife and Fisheries offices across the state host similar days. And it all started here!
I hope you can make it Saturday. It will be fun for you and your family, and a record crowd would be a fine tribute to Bill. If you are there, take time to find him and tell him THANKS!