Many hunters and anglers in Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee are trying to protect their right to their beloved pastime this November 2nd. They fear they may lose the ability to enjoy the sport if many animal activist groups get their way.
Steve Faris, a Democratic Arkansas state senator and bill’s lead sponsor says, “When you have something protected in your constitution, then it is very difficult to use the courts or other types of ballot activities to thwart, for example, hunting and fishing. They start with cats and dogs and the next thing you know, someone says it’s inhumane to shoot a deer. It’s like buying an insurance policy.” (Reuters)
Right now only 10 states guarantee the right to hunt and fish, with Vermont’s provision the right in 1777 in their constitution, and the rest since 1996.
Current data shows that in the U.S. hunting and fishing is in a slow decline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that in 2006 only 12.5 million Americans went hunting, down 11 percent since 1991. The report went on to state that anglers fell 16 percent in 2006 to 30 million.
Even with the lower hunting and fishing participants in 2006 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates hunters and anglers spent $76.7 billion dollars on the sports.
Here are a few links we found for the four states.
http://huntandfishtn.com/ – Information for Tennessee hunters
http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Arkansas_Hunting_Rights_Amendment,_Issue_1_(2010) – General information about Amendment 1.