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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ind. Law - "Legislatures Weigh Constitutional Amendments Enshrining Right to Hunt"

The $$$ WSJ has a long, important story on April 27th headed "More States Aim to Protect Hunting." Indiana has such a constitutional amendment pending, it will be up for second passage in the General Assembly next year. Here are a few quotes form the story by Arian Campo-Flores; the story also includes a national map.

For Don Knight, little compares to the adrenaline rush and camaraderie he feels heading out with friends to hunt rabbits, raccoons and deer in Alabama.

But he said he worries that animal-rights groups around the country are intent on restricting his cherished pastime by pushing measures that, for instance, would forbid the use of dogs to pursue game. * * *

Similar efforts, which have been promoted by the National Rifle Association and sportsmen's groups in recent years, are unfolding in eight other states, while 17, including Alabama, already have such constitutional guarantees. A proposed amendment to create a constitutional right to hunt and fish also will appear on the November ballot in Mississippi, where some lawmakers worry that campaigns in other parts of the country to forbid hunting certain game could make their way to the Magnolia State. * * *

Some animal-rights organizations say fears of outright hunting bans are unfounded. The amendments "are largely an overreaction to efforts that seek to curb abusive or unsporting practices," such as using dogs to corner and tree bears, or baiting animals with food, said Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer at the Humane Society of the U.S. "Eliminating bear baiting doesn't mean there's no bear hunting."

In Maine, a ballot proposal this fall would prohibit bear hunting with bait, dogs or traps. In California, two laws tightening hunting restrictions were signed in the past two years: one banning bear and bobcat hunting with dogs, the other use of lead ammunition. The second law is aimed at protecting condors and other wildlife that sometimes scavenge carrion with lead fragments in it.

And a lawsuit filed by conservation groups in North Carolina last year seeks to ban coyote hunting in a region of the state populated with endangered red wolves, which are sometimes mistaken for coyotes.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 29, 2014 02:24 PM
Posted to Indiana Law