Hoosiers to vote on right to hunt and fish - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hoosiers to vote on right to hunt and fish

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- On Election Day, Hoosier voters will decide not just the White House, the governor's mansion and Congress.

Their vote could also have a long-term impact on local fishing holes and deer stands, thanks to a little-known proposal on the ballot that could change Indiana's constitution.

The ballot measure would place in the state constitution the right to hunt and fish.

Proctor James, who has owned the Sycamore Island hunting and fishing supply store for 22 years, says he is aware of so-called Public Question One, the Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, and he plans to vote for it.

“You should have the right to go where you want to, and enjoy fishing and getting outdoors,” he said.

It's a yes or no question:

“Shall the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended by adding a Section 39 to Article 1 to provide that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to:

(1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and

(2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing?”

The measure shot through the senate, 43-7, and the House, 95 to 1.

Supporters say it's designed to protect against what they see as efforts by animal rights groups to erode the right to hunt and fish.

“It's increasingly important to be reminded of where our food comes from and to make sure that the right to hunt ... is never undermined,” said Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany).

But opponents say state law already protects hunting and fishing.

“Statutes can be changed at any time, so, this provides another level of protection,” Clere said.

If voters approve, Indiana would become the 20th state to pass such an amendment.

“I just hope it passes for the future of the kids that are coming up,” James said.

Opponents say the measure is unnecessary and a waste of time and resources.

Hoosier voters will decide on Nov. 8.

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