Right to Hunt and Fish
Voters in four states -- Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee -- considered constitutional amendments guaranteeing their right to hunt and fish. Three of the four (Arizona is the outlier) were approved on Nov. 2. This is not a new issue on state ballots, having appeared on the ballot in nine states since 1996. It was approved by voters in all nine cases. Read more about this issue here.
There were two additional measures on the ballot dealing with hunting this year.
- I-161 in Montana, an initiative measure (APPROVED), abolishes outfitter-sponsored hunting licenses. Under previous law, outfitters could obtain licenses for out-of-state residents who booked hunts with them, and 5,500 licenses were reserved for outfitters. Under the provisions of I-161, out-of-state hunters will have to enter a lottery to obtain a license, and those 5,500 licenses that are currently reserved for outfitters will go into the general pool. The fees for certain types of licenses for non-residents are also raised under I-161. Outfitters generally opposed I-161, for fear that it would discourage out-of-state hunters and hurt their business. Supporters hoped that abolishing outfitter-sponsored licenses would open up access to private land for hunters.
- Initiated Statutory Measure 2 in North Dakota (REJECTED) would have made it a misdemeanor to receive payment in return for allowing a person to hunt big game inside a fenced enclosure. The question turned into a fight between animal rights advocates and those who supported private property protections.
In Missouri, voters approved an initiative that will regulate so-called "puppy mills." Proposition B will regulate the care dog breeders are required to provide to animals, including food, water, veterinary care, exercise and space. It also prohibits any one breeder from having more than 50 animals, and makes violations a misdemeanor. This marked the first time such an initiative has appeared on a statewide ballot..
For More Information
For more information ballot measures, contact Jennie Drage Bowser in NCSL's Denver office.