Indiana Public Question 1 has easily been approved by voters. At last count, the margin was around 80% approval. That is known as “a landslide” in political circles.
However, that isn’t much of a surprise to most observers because they know Hoosiers support hunting and fishing.
WildIndiana.com has been an outspoken supporter of Public Question 1 and was even quoted in several mainstream media outlets on the subject. Yet we’ve also been quite adamant that Public Question 1 isn’t quite what it seems.
For starters, there isn’t any real reason to monkey around with our most important state legal document (the state constitution) when there isn’t a clear and present danger afoot. We still believe that this legislation is overkill, attempting to solve a problem that currently doesn’t even exist. However, in the end we supported the passage of Indiana Public Question 1 because defeating the measure would send an encouraging message to those who actually do want to curtail our abilities to hunt and fish.
In that regard we have been on the receiving end of comments and questions from those opposed to passage of Public Question 1, some of which almost seem laughable. Now that it has passed, be believe the opponents can rest easily because this law isn’t going to cause existing hunting and fishing laws and rules to be overridden, private property rights won’t be declared null and void, animal-rights activists will not flock to the state to file lawsuits and commercial or recreational fishing is not in any danger, at least from this amendment.
As we’ve said all along the sun will come up today, November 9, 2016, and nothing much will have changed from yesterday, at least in regards to your ability to hunt and fish in the great state of Indiana.
But, as we also pointed out in our editorial from October 21, Public Question 1 was only a warning sign, not a solution to the big problem. The real threat to hunting and fishing rights comes from burdensome licensing requirements, greater liability concerns, price increases, unfavorable environmental rules, land use restrictions and other “hidden” means. Eventually, hunting, trapping, shooting and maybe even fishing will become so expensive and difficult to practice that most folks just give up.
“They” won’t take away your ability to hunt and fish; “they” will quietly and insidiously be the reason you put away your guns and rods voluntarily. Don’t let it happen.
Indiana Public Question 1 was a victory, albeit a small one, which reaffirms folks in these parts like their hunting and fishing. However, as we keep trying to point out, it won’t really do anything to help keep those traditions alive and well.
That job falls back to you.