If you don't like fishing and hunting, you don't have to fish and hunt.
But, if you like to hunt or fish, or have nothing against others who hunt and fish, vote YES to public question Number 1 on your 2016 Indiana Election Ballot.
It really is that simple.
The ballot referendum is straight-forward legislation to ensure Hoosiers have the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife and the management of such activities will continue to be based on science, not emotion.
In order to be put on the ballot, the amendment had to be approved by the majority of both sides of the General Assembly in two legislative sessions. In 2015, the measure passed with 86 percent (42 to 7) approval in the senate and 87 percent (81 to 12) in the house. Now it is up to the voting public to ratify.
Public Question 1 reads: "Shall the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended by adding a Section 39 to Article 1 to provide that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing."
If ratified by the public, the complete Section 39 of the Indiana Bill of Rights will read:
(a) The right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife:
(1) is a valued part of Indiana's heritage; and
(2) shall be forever preserved for the public good.
(b) The people have a right, which includes the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assemble and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to:
(1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and
(2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
(c) Hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.
(d) This section shall not be construed to limit the application of any provision of law relating to trespass or property rights.
If passed, Indiana would become the 20th state to have constitutional provision protecting the rights to hunt and fish.
A yes vote adds a significant barrier against those who wish to erode or eliminate sportsmen’s and sportswomen’s rights. There’s no other way to spin it.
Organizations for the amendment include the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International. Those against include the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
• Outdoors report: Sure doesn't look or feel like November around here, but the statewide, small-game opener is Tuesday (Nov. 1). Pheasant and quail season continues through Dec. 15 while rabbit are legal until Feb. 28. Deer-firearms opener is Nov. 12.
Seen a few fresh-run steelies showing up in harbor and stream catches this week. Action should continue to get better through Thanksgiving as water temperatures drop.