On November 8, sportsmen and women of Kansas and Indiana will go to the polls and have the opportunity to vote on their respective Constitutional amendments ensuring the Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Wildlife.
Kansas Constitutional Amendment 1 and Indiana Public Question 1 would amend the Kansas Bill of Rights and the Indiana Constitution to add the Constitutional right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. This right would be subject to state laws and regulations that advance professional fish and wildlife conservation and management and that protect the future of hunting and fishing. In addition, hunting and fishing would become the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.
Nineteen states currently have the Constitutional right to hunt and fish. The Vermont Constitution included this right in 1777. Since 1996, 18 other states have added the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife to their constitutions in order to protect and advance their sporting heritage. Recently anti-hunting organizations have questioned the inherent right to hunt and fish, making this Constitutional amendment more important than ever for ensuring America’s sporting heritage in the future. The Indiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Kansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus both played an instrumental role in advancing the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife on the November ballot.
Spending $627 million annually, the 527,000 hunters and anglers in Kansas support over 9,000 jobs, more than the second largest employer (Sprint Corporation) in the Sunflower State. Indiana’s almost 900,000 hunters and anglers spend about $925 million annually on their outdoor pursuits.
Through the American System of Conservation Funding, sportsmen and women in the state of Kansas generate $69 million in state and local taxes and $76 million in federal taxes each year. Through hunting and fishing, Indiana contributes $103 million in state and local taxes and $106 million in federal taxes annually.
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?