This past election day, citizens in Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wyoming voted on separate proposals to add protection for hunting, fishing and trapping to their state constitutions. The measures were approved in all four states and now those activities are protected rights in each state’s constitution.
Voters in Idaho overwhelmingly approved proposal HJR2, which received 452,950 favorable votes, or 73.4 percent of the vote. Blaine County contained the most people opposed to the measure, where 65.3 percent of voters rejected protecting hunting in the constitution. Nebraska passed its own similar measure with a 76 percent approval rate.
These four states join 13 other states which had previously amended their constitution to protect these rights in their constitution, according to the Associated Press. Those states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont, which is the only state to have written the measure into its constitution in 1777.
Kentucky.com writes, “voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment that the General Assembly passed in 2011 as a pre-emptive strike against anyone who would challenge Kentuckians’ right to “harvest wildlife.” At present, nobody is lobbying against hunting and fishing in Kentucky or legally challenging it. But somebody in the future might have, such as an animal-rights group, said the amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville. Now they can’t, Combs said.”
According to supporters, these new amendments also enable lawmakers and state game and fish departments to continue managing hunting and fishing, setting bag limits, regulations and choose hunting and trapping as the preferred methods of wildlife management.