You soon will have the constitutional right
to hunt and fish in the state of Indiana.
Not that you ever didn’t have the right. And that right was never at risk.
But, well, now it is in our Bill of Rights and you’ll never have to worry about it again.
Now we just have to worry about plenty of other issues as pointed out by NUVO contributor Lori Lovely’s article Does the Indiana constitution need amending for right to hunt and fish?
As Erin Huang of the Humane Society points out in that article: "The problem is, it invites lawsuits. It invites problems; people will challenge limits and restrictions, so the state will spend money on defense." The limits referenced here are the hunting seasons, the amount of deer allowed per hunter, the weapons used and it goes from there.
It also will "limit the ability of the state to protect the lives of endangered species and non-game animals and make it harder for the DNR to do their job," says Tim Maloney, senior policy director for the Hoosier Environmental Council.
When looked at from afar it is easy to surmise that this amendment will lead us to the point where we simply are killing off animal populations instead of resorting to non-lethal ways of population control. While the DNR believes that it won’t affect its ability to handle wildlife due to statutory authority, it doesn’t mean that this is a fact, especially since the state constitution is literally the law of the land.
The most glaring issue with this is constitutional amendments are typically held for truly pressing matters — like making women equal citizens and the right to free speech — and not for protecting rights that are already protected by law and have always been protected by law and have never been threatened by laws.
As Lovely’s article brings to light: Maloney says, "It's inappropriate to seek protection for them. It trivializes the importance of rights when you introduce things like this." And Kerr hypothesizes that "the only reason it's on the ballot is because our legislators did a favor for the NRA and animal agriculture lobbyists."
We will see where it leads from here, both sides are full of speculation as to where we go from here. As Lovely points out, “Hunting and fishing in Indiana constitute an almost-$1 billion-per-year industry and support more than 14,000 jobs. This is one of the top ten deer-hunting states in the nation.” So there is a possibility of positives coming out of this. There is also the blatantly scary aspect of making such a major change with a bill that is truly so vague.