Plans to amend the state Constitution to make hunting, fishing and trapping a right rather than a privilege fell short in the Senate today, getting an 18-16 vote – well short of the two-thirds required to amend the Constitution. Among the concerns: If hunting is a right, that restricts the state’s ability to remove hunting privileges for such reasons as child support violations, not to mention poaching. The measure had 14 co-sponsors, including Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, and Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard. Had it passed – which would have required two-thirds votes in both houses plus a majority vote of the people – Idaho’s Constitution would have gotten a new section that started with: “RIGHT TO HUNT, FISH AND TRAP. All wildlife within the state of Idaho shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated and managed to provide continued supplies for the citizens of Idaho to harvest by hunting, fishing and trapping for the continued benefit of the people.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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