On Election Day, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wyoming joined a growing list of states that have amended their constitutions to guarantee citizens’ right to hunt, fish and trap. Although most of these states have added these provisions in the last 15 or 20 years, adding these protections to a state’s foundational document is not a new concept. In fact, language in the Vermont Constitution has protected the sportsmen’s heritage from threats in the Green Mountain State since 1777.
The motivation for amending these state constitutions is based on the recognition that anti-hunting forces are actively working to restrict or eliminate sportsmen and women’s access to public wildlife resources throughout the country. Consequently, voters and state legislators have taken it upon themselves to make it clear that hunting, fishing and trapping are safe, responsible and fundamentally important recreational activities that should be protected for generations to come.
Fortunately, citizens in Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wyoming have shown that they recognize and appreciate sportsmen and women’s contributions to conservation by overwhelmingly approving constitutional measures that protect the right to hunt, fish and trap. Supporters of fish and wildlife conservation in these states approved ballot measures by the following margins:
• Idaho – 73% YES, 27% NO
• Kentucky – 84% YES, 16% NO
• Nebraska – 77% YES, 23% NO
• Wyoming – 89% YES, 11% NO
For more information on constitutional amendments that guarantee the right to hunt, fish and trap, please refer to CSF’s issue brief on the subject.
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- User conflicts with non-consumptive users (7.79%)
- Inadequate funding (whether due to budget, fire-borrowing, or other reasons) for improving wildlife populations and habitat (10.39%)
- Poor habitat and land management (12.99%)
- Access restrictions to hunting, fishing, or recreational shooting (11.69%)
- Privatization or transfer of federal public lands (57.14%)