October 17, 2014

Alabama and Mississippi Protect the Right to Hunt and Fish

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is proud to support both the Alabama and the Mississippi State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses in their efforts to ensure the right of their citizens to hunt and fish in their states. On November 4, residents of Alabama and Mississippi will each have the opportunity to vote on statewide ballot referendums regarding the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife. 

As members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) – a bipartisan network of 44 state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses across the nation with a collective membership of over 2,000 legislators – the sportsmen’s caucuses in Alabama and Mississippi work tirelessly to protect and advance hunting and angling in their respective states.

Earlier in 2014, Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Vice-Chair Representative Mark Tuggle sponsored legislation that proposed an amendment to the Constitution known as the “Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights.”  The legislation would strengthen a previously approved ballot referendum that gives Alabamians the right to hunt and fish while also codifying that hunting and angling are the preferred means of managing and controlling fish and wildlife. 

The Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus shepherded a very similar legislatively referred constitutional amendment in 2012 that would constitutionally protect Mississippians right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife including by the use of traditional methods, subject only to such regulations and restrictions that promote wildlife conservation and management as the Legislature may prescribe by general law. 

In early October, the NASC Executive Council passed individual resolutions commending the caucuses for doing their part to ensure that hunting and angling remain a valuable and inherent components of their states’ heritage.  The resolutions emphasized the importance of using sound-science and state-based management objectives in promoting and regulating hunting and angling. 

CSF recognizes the significant, positive economic impact of sportsmen and women who directly support conservation, as well as the right to continue a consumptive, yet responsible use of fish and wildlife resources. Unfortunately today, anti-hunting organizations often lead the public to believe that hunting, fishing, and trapping are only a privilege subject to social pressures and prevailing public sentiments rather than an inherent right. 

CSF applauds the Alabama and Mississippi Caucuses for their efforts in safeguarding this right and ensuring that state fish and wildlife management objectives are science-based, and remain under the responsibility of the respective state natural resource agency.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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