On November 8, Kansas voters overwhelmingly supported a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution providing people the right to hunt, fish and trap. More than 80 percent voted yes to the amendment.
The right includes the use of traditional methods and is subject to reasonable laws and regulations that promote wildlife conservation and management, and preserve the future of hunting and fishing. It also states that public hunting and fishing shall be the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. The right does not modify any provision of law relating to trespassing, property rights or water resources.
Before the election, some voters questioned the intent of the proposed amendment and expressed concern that it could change the way the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) manages wildlife and our hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities.
“I am pleased with the outcome, but just as importantly I appreciate the amount of concern and discussion about the amendment I heard prior to the election,” said KDWPT Secretary Robin Jennison. “I think it shows not only the value Kansans place on our wildlife resources and our hunting, fishing and trapping heritage, but it also is a vote of confidence in the job our department has been doing.”
Jennison assures Kansans that the amendment won’t change the way KDWPT manages and conserves the state’s wildlife resources, nor will it change the way laws and regulations are set and enforced. Licenses, permits and tags will still be required as they are now, and trespassing will still be illegal.
“We will continue to manage our wildlife resources with the best scientific tools we have available and responsibly promote opportunities to hunt, fish and trap in Kansas,” Jennison added.
While the constitutional amendment won’t impact current hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities Kansans enjoy, it should help shield these outdoor traditions from future challenges. The large margin of voter support shows how important preserving and protecting these traditions are to Kansans.