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The Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish, Public Question 1 will be on this November 8, 2016 ballot in Indiana. It is a Legislative referred constitutional amendment which means that it would permit the constitutional right to hunt, fish, and trap. Local government would be prohibited from passing laws and regulations regarding hunting and fishing. Elevating hunting to the front of wildlife conservation and management.

The amendment would be added to the Indiana Bill of Rights. Under this amendment hunting and fishing by the public would be the main method of wildlife management.

The following is how Public Question 1 along with its summary, will appear on the ballot:

Public Question #1
Shall the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended by adding a Section 39 to Article 1 to provide that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to:

(1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and
(2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing?

Provides that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is a valued part of Indiana’s heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good. Provides that the people have a right, which includes the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to the laws prescribed by the general assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the general assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Provides that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. Provides that this constitutional amendment does not limit the application of any laws relating to trespass or property rights. This proposed amendment has been agreed to by one general assembly.

There will be no changing of any language to the Indiana Constitution. Public Question 1 would add an additional 39th Section to Article 1 of the state constitution. Out of the fifty states, 17 have a constitutional right to hunt and fish amendment, with Rhode Island and California proclaiming a right to fish but not hunt. Florida and New Hampshire have statutes, not constitutional amendments, proclaiming a right to hunt and fish. Kansas will also be voting this year on a constitutional amendment for the right to hunt and fish.

The proposed constitutional amendment will not effect existing trespassing or personal property laws. If the amendment passes the language states that laws relating to hunting and fishing could be changed by future General Assemblies.

This is how Section 38 to Article I will appear on the Indiana Constitution, if passed:

Section 39.
(a) The right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife:

(1) is a valued part of Indiana’s heritage; and
(2) shall be forever preserved for the public good.
(b) The people have a right, which includes the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to:

(1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and
(2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
(c) Hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.
(d) This section shall not be construed to limit the application of any provision of law relating to trespass or property rights.

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