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Kentucky Hunting Amendment

By S.A.J.

Murray, KY – Hunters in Kentucky would have constitutional protections under an amendment that will go before the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly. If approved by lawmakers, voters may be asked in November 2012 to guarantee that hunting and fishing could never be outlawed without a statewide vote first. House Speaker Greg Stumbo calls it a legacy' issue.

"The rights of our current sportsmen and the rights of those sportsmen in future generations ought to be protected and make it clear that the people of Kentucky want our game management practices to remain as they are today," said Stumbo.

Pike County Representative Leslie Combs adds her constituents want hunting and fishing activities to continue in their current form.

"I hear from a lot of Pike countians about the love for hunting and fishing and the fact that they don't want anything to disturb that or come in its way and they don't want anything to disturb the way they are able to hunt now. That's what I hear a lot of," said Combs.

Some 12 states have similar amendments, which were promoted by the National Rifle Association. The state's Fish and Wildlife Department says out-of-state hunters and anglers bring in more than 100 million dollars annually. League of Kentucky Sportsmen President Bill Haycraft says about 300,000 hunting and fishing licenses are issued each year.

"Its a way of life in Kentucky. I grew up with it. My father, it was almost like a transference of a legacy," added Haycraft.

Without such a constitutional amendment, Stumbo claims a real threat to hunting and fishing could surface in the Commonwealth.