A measure on the Kansas ballot this fall would enshrine rights for hunting and fishing in the state constitution.
Bans on certain types of animal hunting have been put in place in other states. Moriah Day, with the Kansas State Rifle Association, says hunting and fishing should be protected.
“Here in Kansas, hunting is a huge part of our economy as well as a pastime. It’s also a huge part of our conservation effort,” says Day.
Republican state Representative Ken Corbet runs a hunting lodge outside Topeka. While he doesn’t expect any efforts to limit hunting soon, Corbet wants to make sure the sport is preserved into the future.
“You might be thinking forty years or fifty years. My grandkids, it might not be as easy for them to do it,” says Corbet.
The ballot amendment says hunting and fishing can still be regulated, but Midge Grinstead, with the Kansas branch of the Humane Society, is concerned that the amendment could be used to block some sensible restrictions.
“I think it will and I think it raises the argument for reasonable quotas and season closures. They’re unconstitutional,” says Grinstead.
She says the amendment isn’t needed and opens the door to a raft of other activities being added to the constitution, such as hiking or canoeing.
“I think when you’re enshrining recreational activities and pastimes, it doesn’t belong in the state constitution,” says Grinstead.
The Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly passed the amendment earlier this year. It will become part of the state constitution if approved by voters next month.
Stephen Koranda has more: