Although the approaching midterm elections do not have presidential candidates on the ballot, there are important issues that sportsman need to vote on.
Some of those issues include the following:
Right to Hunt Votes Initiatives in Mississippi and Alabama
The Mississippi Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, HCR 30 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Mississippi. The measure, upon voter approval, would establish a constitutional right to hunt, fish and harvest game species throughout Mississippi.
Alabama already has a hunting rights amendment ballot, but it will ask voters whether they want to add, “Hunting by the public and fishing by the public shall be the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife,” to the amendment.
While a “no” vote majority in either state would not strip any current rights hunters have, it would turn hunting and fishing into a right and not a privilege. It’s also an extra layer of protection from agendas against hunting.
Maine Bear Hunting Vote
A majority “yes” vote on the Maine ballot question, “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?” could make those hunting methods illegal when hunting bear in Maine.
Michigan Wolf Hunting Vote
In Michigan, there are two hunting referendums: Proposal 1, which upon voter approval would uphold Public Act 520, which allows for establishing wolf hunting seasons and designates the wolf as a game animal.
Proposal 2, upon voter approval, would uphold Public Act 21 of 2013, a law that allows the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to directly designate game species and determine hunting seasons. The wolf hunting referendum is an attempt to overturn PA 520. However, PA 21 superseded PA 520, so it’s merely symbolic.
But really, whether they are passed or not, both are merely symbolic. Neither Michigan Proposal 1 nor Proposal 2 will have any practical effect due to the work by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management (CPWM), a group supporting wolf hunting and fought Proposal 2 with their own indirect initiated state statute, the Natural Resources Commission Initiative. Through the filing of signatures with the Secretary of State, the measure was certified, supported by the Michigan Senate and passed by the House of Representatives giving the Natural Resources Commission in charge of deciding about wolf hunts. However, the results of the vote can be a public relations issue and affect wolf hunting decisions down the road.
Take some time to research the candidates in your state’s election and the issues on the ballot. Here is a handy website that tells you if politicians consistently vote for legislation to strip us of our rights to hunt, fish, and own pets and livestock.
November 4 will probably be primetime for a deer hunt, but on the way to the stand, stop at the polls to have your voice heard.