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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- (WDRB) Should the right to hunt or fish be protected by the constitution? That's an issue Kentucky voters are about to decide.
Some hunters and fishermen are concerned they will come under attack by animal rights activists. So, they are firing the first shot.
Mark Nethery is surrounded by mementos of a life-long love of hunting and fishing. He's the current president of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, and he supports the proposed the amendment.
"Undoubtedly hunting and fishing is part of the heritage of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. You might say woven into our fabric. This constitutional amendment will guarantee that right of hunting and fishing with traditional means for future generations," said Nethery.
The amendment takes aim at animal rights activists. It says, in part, "Are you in favor of an amending the KY constitution to state that citizens of Kentucky have the personal right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife."
The amendment appears to have no organized opposition, but the Humane Society of the US give me a statement. It says the amendment is unnecessary because there is no threat to hunting in KY. It calls the amendment inconsequential and window dressing for the hunting lobby.
The National Rifle Association, which is pushing amendments like this state by state, calls it a pre-emptive strike.
"Certainly hunting will come under attack at some point in Kentucky, whether it's our generation or the next generation, it will happen. And so, we're just exercising some foresight with this in Kentucky," said Darren La Sorte of the National Rifle Association.
But Nethery says this is about more than gun rights. The amendment also contains language about conserving wildlife.
"If it wasn't for sportsmen and the dollars they put in to hunting and fishing, we wouldn't have the deer herds, we wouldn't have the turkey flocks, we wouldn't have the bear and the elk that we have in Kentucky that we can be very proud of having," said Nethery.
Hunting and Fishing amendments have already passed in 14 states. Three states, including Kentucky, will vote in November.