Idaho voters approve amendment protecting hunting, fishing and trapping

Idaho voters approve HJR2

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - In Tuesday's election, Idaho voters passed a state constitutional amendment preserving the right to hunt, fish and trap.

The measure is known as HJR2 and it has some people wondering how these outdoor activities will be regulated.

There are no immediate changes to hunting, fishing and trapping in Idaho.

Members of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said this amendment is more of a safety net to protect these outdoor activities that 75 percent of Idahoans enjoy year-round.

"I voted yes because I believe it is a right to hunt and fish," said Wayne Tillery.

Tillery is an avid hunter and fisherman. He said it's a way of life and a constitutional right.

A sentiment Idaho Fish and Game Commission Chairman, Randy Budge, agrees with.  

"Citizens recognize that hunting, fishing and trapping is really a part of Idaho and why we have a conservation ethic for wildlife in the state that we all enjoy," said Budge.

Idaho Fish and Game said hunting, fishing and trapping are activities enjoyed by about three out of every four Idahoans.

The question remains, how do you manage this, when it's a right?

State lawmakers and the Fish and Game still have regulating control over these activities and nothing will really change.

"The last two days I've caught enough fish for two meals for my family," said Tillery. "I'm a disabled vet, so it does help. All of the meat we eat is deer and elk."

The amendment voters approved Tuesday night will protect these activities from any future attempts to limit or ban them.

"There's been a tendency to pass laws and initiatives that would restrict the citizen's right to hunt, fish and trap," said Budge. "We've seen that in some of the surrounding states who are more urban and we were concerned about that happening here."

The state of Wyoming passed a similar amendment to their state constitution, also protecting their right to hunt, fish and trap.

Senator Lee Heider, of Twin Falls, was behind the amendment.

HJR2 had approval from more than 70 percent of Idaho voters.

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