Is this amendment to Idaho Constitution needed?

If there is any state where the abstract legal ability for people to hunt, fish and trap is guaranteed and there is no political threat, it is Idaho. Nevertheless, the Idaho Legislature has proposed and put on the November ballot a measure that would amend the Idaho Constitution to include a perpetual right for Idahoans to engage in these three activities.

Most ballot measures are long. Voters do not read them, and decide on the basis of campaigns whether to vote yes or no. This amendment is short. Voters will read it, and many will probably make up their minds in the voting booth.

In fact, it is so short, we can put it in the body of this story.

RIGHTS TO HUNT, FISH AND TRAP – Proposing a new section to the Constitution of the State of Idaho to provide that the rights to hunt, fish and trap, including by the use of traditional methods, are a valued part of the heritage of the State of Idaho and shall forever be preserved for the people and managed through the laws, rules and proclamations that preserve the future of hunting, fishing and trapping; to provide that public hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing wildlife; and to provide that the rights set forth do not create a right to trespass on private property, shall not affect rights to divert, appropriate and use water, or establish any minimum amount of water in any water body, shall not lead to a diminution of other private rights and shall not prevent the suspension or revocation, pursuant to statute enacted by the Legislature, of an individual’s hunting, fishing or trapping license. [boldface is ours]

It is important to note that the amendment changes nothing. It is also important to note (we have boldfaced it) that it does not create a right to trespass on private property. Property owners certainly agree on this, but the irony is, the only threat to engaging in hunting and fishing in Idaho is the trend toward privatization of wildlife and access to land and water.

This amendment was passed by the state legislature just as that body was considering laws that many said would in effect privatize much of Idaho wildlife by giving big landowners special privileges.  Whether that was really true has been a subject of argument in The Wildlife News. A cynic would say that the plan was to give Idaho wildlife away to the wealthy and geographically well-positioned, while in return Idaho hunters and and fishers would receive some nice words in the Idaho Constitution saying they have a right to hunt, fish and trap if they can find any public land with public game fish or wildlife on it.

While hunting and fishing rights are under no legal threat in Idaho, the last item — trapping — might be. It is not so popular. Because everyone votes on this, not just rural men, supporters of the measure fear that trapping might trap and drown the entire proposed amendment. While a majority of Idahoans almost certainly support fishing and hunting (at least passively), and are willing to make it a constitutional right, women in particular are not so fond of trapping.  This writer personally does not know of a single Idaho woman who likes trapping.

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Update after the election Nov. 7.  The  constitutional amendment passed easily with over 70% of the vote.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

112 Responses to Hunting, Fishing, Trapping to Become Constitutionally Protected Rights in Idaho? Updated.

  1. Jeff says:

    Wyoming is voting on this too. It seems like overkill for Wyoming to guarantee the right to hunt, fish and trap in the state constitutuion, but I’d be shocked if it doesn’t pass by a 2/3 majority or better.

    • Mark L says:

      Basically a guarantee that wolverines will never recover to 50+, as long as trapping is kept. Wonderful!
      I wonder if they are guaranteeing that rifles will be around to use also, and lead weights in fishing.

      • Jim says:

        Exactly how many wolverines are accidently trapped every year in Idaho?

        • Mark L says:

          I don’t know if statistics are even kept on whether they are bycatch in Idaho or not (on the off chance). The point I am making is that if one state’s residents say “hey, why do they get to trap (insert animal here) and we don’t?” it may be due to an issue that has been overlooked by the legislature. Did the legislature ask biologists and/or ecologists whether ‘right to trapping’ was a good idea in the state before the amendment was introduced? Why would they if they see it as a ‘rights issues’ and not an ‘ecological issue’? As Dr. Maughan said, the trapping is the clincher here, not whether anyone has guaranteed hunting or fishing rights.

        • skyrim says:

          If one (1) was, it would be too many……..(and I may be wrong, but I think that is the point being made)

    • Ovis says:


      Does Wyoming’s version have trapping as part of the mix like Idaho’s does?

      • Leslie says:

        WY proposed Amendment B states: The adoption of this amendment will recognize and preserve the heritage of Wyoming citizens opportunity to fish, hunt and trap wildlife, subject to regulation as prescribed by law.”

        Legislators are paid to sit around and put these unnecessary propositions on the ballot. I’m voting “NO”

        • Jeff says:

          Except in Wyoming where are state legislature is a Citizen’s Legislature that only meets for four weeks or eight weeks annually without pay. The recieve a small per diem when they are in session.

  2. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    Oh,I am sure it will pass.

  3. skyrim says:

    I’d like to propose some constitutional protection for The Easter Egg hunt, and the exchange of Valentines in February……

  4. ramses09 says:

    OMG ….. talk about wanting to control everything in your state. It’s absurd.

    • Jon Way says:

      Yet these are the same Republicans that believe in small government – that is, as long as it is for them and their beliefs – if not they will say that gov’t is too over-reaching.

  5. CodyCoyote says:

    Wholly unnecessary misguided referendum.
    But that’s my Wyoming, too, where a leading State Senator ( may have been Senate prez at the time) who was a baronial Sheep Rancher tried to make it a felony to ” Disparage Agriculture “. Of course we all called BS on that… and thankfully it did not pass or I’d be writing this from Box 400, Rawlins WY , the state pen.

    I’ve always been of the notion that hunting and fishing were privileges granted by the State, which ” owns” the wildlife and parcels out their use and consumption to inviduals ad usum proprium.

    To the best of my knowledge, hunting ” rights” only appear in the text of some treaties with various Indian tribes when they were assimilated.

  6. Chris Harbin says:

    There is also a constitutional amendment on the Kentucky ballot to guarantee the right to hunt and fish. This even though there is seemingly no opposition to this activity in the first place. It would be nice if our state legislators would work as hard on poverty, health and environmental issues (not to mention jobs)as they do on worthless crap like a constitutional right to hunt and fish.

    • Mark L says:

      Yep, so notice they’ll put a lot of effort into guaranteeing that people can fish, and no effort into making sure there is clean water to fish in (costs money and takes effort). Or that locally indigenous fish are protected (so we can have that great ‘generic’ fishing experience wherever we go in the country). Mmm…love those asian carp, right?

    • WM says:

      ++…there is seemingly no opposition to this activity in the first place…++

      Various states have pushed the constitutional right to hunt/fish issue in response to animal rights groups and others who are against hunting. This is hardly fighting windmills. It would also be reasonable to conclude some of the flack surrounding keeping wolves ESA listed, while perceptions of decreasing ungulated populations (eaten by wolves) increases the tension between state – federal relations.

      Having a state “constitutional right” to point to when battling the feds and the animal rights folks gives a point of solidarity and focus. While maybe no additional rights are created, it gives the appearance of high ground to states and their residents (voters of course) to protect “our heritage.” What is it, something like 13 or 14 states already have such provisions, and a couple have made it on the ballot every year for sometime, not always passing, only to be brought up again when the time is right. This sort of thing is not going away.

      • Louise Kane says:

        WM we agree totally on your interpretation and this is exactly why these amendments should not be ignored. You said, “Having a state “constitutional right” to point to when battling the feds and the animal rights folks gives a point of solidarity and focus. While maybe no additional rights are created, it gives the appearance of high ground to states and their residents (voters of course) to protect “our heritage.”” These amendments make it more difficult to change an already saturated culture of trapping, hunting and fishing. I think the most dangerous aspect of laws like these is that it makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to demand and integrate adaptive management in wildlife management. When hunting and trapping affect populations of animals and it becomes necessary to adjust or curtail an activity, the cry will be “its our right”. I know too that this is a push to protect trapping which is offensive to many. I read many of the comments submitted to Idaho and you’d be surprised at how many people were against trapping wolves, not just women either. I hope these amendments are taken seriously and just as seriously opposed.

        • ma'iingan says:

          Bag limits are adjusted frequently in every state I know of, depending on many parameters. In my state we adjust most hunting bag limits annually, based on abundance and harvest predictions.

          It has nothing to do with anyone’s right to hunt, and it’s not interpreted in that way by hunters – even when we have to close a season to temporarily eliminate harvest of a particular species.

          And yes, we’re one of the states with a constitutional right to hunt and fish.

        • Leslie says:

          Louise, The good news is that fewer and fewer people are hunting, trapping. Kids today ‘hunt’ on the computer. I suppose the bad news is that, for instance, WG&F says it needs more $$ and their only source is through killing animals and raising those fees. We need a new paradigm in the 21st to protect wildlife in the states where conservationists can also sit at the table.

          • TC says:

            Actually, no. The latest survey conducted by the USFWS shows that hunters are up 9% from 2006 to 2011, and people that fished are up 11% from 2006 to 2011. According to their survey, “wildlife watchers” are up only 2% from 2006 to 2011. So, not sure how that fits into your “good news” paradigm.

            • JB says:


              I know you know this, but it’s important to point out that those percentages are based upon whole numbers. What is (perhaps?) more relevant is the overall percentage of the population that hunts. I haven’t done the math, but I’d guess that % hunting has stayed relatively stable from 2006-2011, and the long-term trend is downward.

            • Mark L says:

              There’s also some gray areas in the percentages themselves through phraseology….are they people that ‘enjoy shooting’ as opposed to hunting (licensed, taxable), or go fishing but aren’t licensed (no tax benefit to states). I’d be curious to know if trapping is increasing for the sake of argument.
              (obligatory truth in advertising- I support both hunting and fishing in most circumstances, very little trapping)

          • Louise Kane says:


            The fewer hunter statistics may change as a counter culture emerges that glorifies killing. I see some alarming evidence of this. 15 years ago the Crocodile Hunter type shows typified animal-based media programming. Whether you liked Steve Irwin or not he loved animals! That message came through loud and clear and whenever he wrangled a croc he always explained how he attempted to prevent injury to the animal and expressed his admiration for them.The focus was on admiration, preservation and conservation. Now there is a proliferation of killing shows, including am ironic turn to shows that promote chasing down, wrestling and killing alligators as well as other animals. And recently I’ve noticed that some states (even with troubled budgets) have somehow pushed through hunting, trapping and fishing classes. I’m sorry but trapping and hunting animals is not a subject that needs to be taught to children in grade and middle school. These agendas are being pushed by special interest groups and will ensure that a killing culture is passed down from one generation to the next. Maybe it was relevant, necessary or valuable for survival 100 years ago, but not now.

        • timz says:

          “I hope these amendments are taken seriously and just as seriously opposed.”

          I’ll take all bets it gets 70% of the vote in Idaho.

          • timz says:

            Looks like I underestimated the stupidity of Idaho voters. I said 70% would vote yes, current numbers are at 73%.

      • JB says:

        “This is hardly fighting windmills. It would also be reasonable to conclude some of the flack surrounding keeping wolves ESA listed, while perceptions of decreasing ungulated populations (eaten by wolves) increases the tension between state – federal relations.”

        Honestly, I think this amendment is equal parts pandering and posturing–and the proverbial “devil” is in the details. This amendment creates a “right” that is subject to a whole bunch of exceptions (e.g., except when states say you can’t hunt, except when populations are too low, except for species that are protected, etc.). In essence, the legislature has said that residents will have a right to hunt except when they’re told otherwise (gee thanks!). From a legal standpoint, residents really haven’t gained any privileges over and beyond what they already had, but I’m sure it will make them feel good to ‘put those damn animal rights activists in their place’. And legislators will be sure to point to the initiative as an “accomplishment” when they seek re-election. An utter waste of time if you ask me.

        • Mark L says:

          Sounds great if you are a lawyer though…plenty of future lawsuits to come with deliberately nebulous amendments.

  7. rick says:

    If anyone knows what this amendment is attempting to accomplish, please let me know.

  8. LL says:

    The sad point, which most fail to recognize, wildlife and nature do not belong to the human inhabitants of this planet, nor the states, counties and towns that invisible lines are separated with. All living creatures are here by design, GOD’s design, not man’s and it’s we humans who keep overstepping our boundaries and infringing upon others. Nature is not an inconvenience that must be manipulated to suit our needs it is an integral part of who we are and whether we choose to recognize it or not, imperative to our survival.

    • rork says:

      Nice sentiments, but I’d skip the by GOD’s design part when biologists are around. You can manage to shoot both your feet clean off with one bullet. And maybe you didn’t need to.

    • JB says:


      Polio, bird flu, ebola and other bacterium and viruses are living creatures here by design as well. Do we overstep our boundaries when we take efforts to kill them? Where, exactly is the boundary you would have us draw…?

      • TC says:

        JB, yes, I agree on the survey above – haven’t read it in its entirety, don’t know enough about their methodology, and not quite sure what to make of it in the detail, except that it does seem to buck the trend of hunting and fishing declining precipitously as the theory put forth by some people and NGOs.

        As to your statement above, an argument could be made successfully that viruses are not living creatures and cannot be “killed” (but can be inactivated), but that’s interesting trivia for another day.

  9. Jeff says:

    I think this amendment would be more likely needed in Colorado or California—states that routinely use iniatives and referendums. States that are very democratic in their processes need to take steps to protect minority citizens within their population to avoid tyranny of the majority. California could easily vote to end hunting and fishing, thus a constitutional amendment in California would be appropriate in my view, a state like Wyoming that has very few iniatives because the system in more republican by design, thus less democratic is in less need of such an amemdnment as the state legislature has the power/duty to rebuff the demands of the majority, especially when it strips rights from the minority. I’m speaking in terms of a political scientist on this issue and my references to republican and democratic are in terms of governement design thus they are lower-case—I’m not referencing political parties.

    • JJ says:

      The amendment is to protect our rights from the people who are moving into Idaho. Protection from people who have their own agenda and want to destroy our treasured Idaho heritage. Groups like the United States Humane Society WILL target Idaho; it is only a matter of time. I am a native Idahoan and most Californians who now reside in Idaho (that I have personally met) are democrats. They are bringing their big city liberalism to Idaho. Hunting has been under attack in California and California has lost many of their hunting rights (that is a fact). I will not sit by and wait until it to happen to Idaho. I am voting YES!

  10. Mike says:

    Not too long from now, hunting will mostly be banned. I can see why the last few white machismos would want this in the state constitutions. They see the writing on the wall for a “tradition” that new kids rightfully acknowledge as neanderthal chest-thumping.

    Oh, and greetings from Missoula. Gotta run now, have a date with a great gal I met here in town

    • Craig says:

      While you are there you might want to check this place out:

    • Savebears says:


      Your not going to see hunting banned in your lifetime.

    • elk275 says:

      ++Not too long from now, hunting will mostly be banned. I can see why the last few white machismos would want this in the state constitutions. They see the writing on the wall for a “tradition” that new kids rightfully acknowledge as neanderthal chest-thumping.

      Oh, and greetings from Missoula. Gotta run now, have a date with a great gal I met here in town.++

      Have a very good evening. Go to the Stockman’s and cross the street and listen to some music in the Top Hat. The old college bars. Becareful Missoula does not allow driving on auto pilot anymore, those were the days. Have a good time.

      Wedesday night, I had a date with a young lady 34 years younger. We had a bullet making date; I help her load up fifty 270’s and she texted me back saying that she shot them all up and could she come over and reload them again. She is not a red neck Montanan but a gal from the Big Apple who attended the fine Northeaster prep school and college. It is not the white trash male anymore. I have come across numberous women lately who have more interest in starting hunting than men.

      Well later this week she is coming over for a sage grouse dinner; I shot one this yesterday using lead shot and additonal reloading instructions. In a week or so we are going elk hunting.

      A women place is hunting these days.

    • Dan says:

      My wife was born and raised in San Francisco. She was and still is very San Franciscan even though she’s been in Idaho and Washington for 17 years. Until she meet me she hated guns, wouldn’t even touch one and definitely never fired one. She never dreamed she could ever harm an animal. 12 years later she has killed an elk and two deer. This year she has two deer tags and intends to fill them both. My point is, there are many urban people who are only against guns and hunting because they are so far removed from it but when presented with the safe and honest introduction to it take to it easily. My wife is all woman and all liberal but very much in line with hunting and putting healthy wild game on the table.

      • Mark L says:

        How does she feel about coyotes, wolves, bears, etc. as far as hunting and competition?…just curious.

        • Dan says:

          She would never hunt any of them but she does understand why I hunt them – mostly competition.

  11. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I guess it was just a matter of time when certain people,would rather throw slings at each other or just not called for.Craig,don’t bother reading Mike’s post or posts,if it bothers you.There is no need for that comment.There are probably alot of poeple out there one short of a six pack.I think most people here are intelligent enough to sort out the rubbish and continue with the dialogue or case in point.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks Rita that link and related post was really offensive and mean spirited.

    • Savebears says:


      Not that I agree with Craig’s post, I do know there are many barbs thrown at the hunters on here day in and day out. I guess Mike has thrown enough of them, it has become a tit for tat thing with some.

    • Craig says:

      Everything he says bothers me! He has know basis for his comments, he is just anti hunting and nothing else matters! He has know reason, know real knowledge, just a hate for people who hunt or fish! Ken Cole is a big Fisherman maybe Mike should debate him about the ethics of fishing and how wrong it is!

      I have no problem with people that do not care to hunt or fish. That is there own decision , but when they judge people who do, it is wrong and does not make them right.I don’t judge people who would rather take a picture than kill an animal.
      It’s an individual choice and nobody should have a say in what each person decides to do.

      • Savebears says:

        I agree Craig,

        Mike deserves just about everything he gets, such an anti, should spend some time and find a website, the caters more to his belief’s

      • Louise Kane says:

        Craig, I don’t believe the issue is as simple as individual choice. Its also about abusing public trust resources, ethics, and the fact that wildlife have no voice – other then humans that advocate for them. If you believe that all wildlife exist to be exploited then what you say about it being an individual’s choice to hunt or kill may be true and then your statement that “nobody should have a say in what each person decides to do” might also be true But this train of thought ignores the fact that opinion drives the laws that dictate what people can and can not do. A great many people are dissatisfied and disillusioned by the way that wildlife is exploited. Its also our right to express our opinions and to express an opinion that we hope will result in a change of laws in the way wildlife are treated and managed. Mike consistently does this and is often ridiculed for his opinion and passion.

        • Savebears says:


          Mike is ridiculed for his opinion, because he always condemns hunters, even those of us that are not trophy hunters and hunt for food only, he gets what he gives, he is not passionate, he is obsessed and continually degrade all hunters, he groups ALL hunters the same!

          • Craig says:

            SB, could not have said it better! Louise,
            “A great many people are dissatisfied and disillusioned by the way that wildlife is exploited”.
            Well look at how many people in this country fall into that catagory with the postition we are in!
            Wildlife is not going to take precedent in the welfare state we are in! Poor people can’t buy food, therefore they hunt to eat! Unless Obama gives them a nice fat credit card to buy smokes, beer, ect!
            I advocate for Wildlife, I plant food (bitterbrush) for the f&G for elk an Deer ect. I donate to RMEF who buys land for all wildlife, I donate to the WTF, the DU, the MDF,the BF, and the IWF. I care and donate and put in time to help.
            I also agree there should be no cattle/sheep on our public lands. I do hunt and fish! Mike doesn’t, he just bitches!

            • Mike says:

              I guess you haven’t seen the waders a and fly rod in my trunk. I was fishing when it was 32 degrees in Glacier.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Craig just because there are other concerns and issues in domestic policy does not mean that issues related to environmental policy and conservation don’t exist or deserve attention. In fact, there is a dearth of attention paid to these issues and while they are being largely ignored during the election, and the last 12 years, some really ominous legislation is being pushed for and sneaked in while we are all screaming about the economy.

            • Louise Kane says:

              you might want to take a look at the predator no tolerance policies of RMEF before you spend any more money there.

            • WM says:


              Would the RMEF position be “no tolerance” or “low tolerance?”

              It would also be good for you to know your adversary and the work it has done. RMEF has preserved alot of land which has been donated (purchased then given over) or permits access to federal lands from conservation easements. You know, the ones you have previously stated you want to protect. Stop the flow of money and some of those lands are not preserved for all.

              That RMEF leadership, David Allen its CEO/President, has taken a strong stand against wolves because they eat alot of elk (I have seen nothing on coyotes, bears or cougar) does not mean the whole organization has done so. But as the effects of expanding bear and cougar populations are more commonly known in some local areas that may happen. In the meantime more RMEF donations/memberships means more federal and state land protected for wildlife habitat. Something to think about, while the likes of Defenders and Sierra club just spin their tales of opposition and don’t do much to add to the acreage.

            • DLB says:


              Fishing in 32 degree weather isn’t that big of a deal.

            • WM says:

              ++Fishing in 32 degree weather isn’t that big a deal.++

              I guess Mike’s was some kind of machismo statement that he indeed is a fisherman.

              I was focusing more on the thought that Mike would consciously harass and maybe even catch and kill trout in those conditions, deceiving them with artificial flies as a substitute for food, then deplete their energy reserves once hooked, and then return them to the stream,…or worse kill them for food of his own.

              On the other hand if it was 30 degrees, sleet/rain or snow running down or accumulating on the back of his neck, while standing butt cheek deep in near freezing water in those waders (presumably unisulated), with a 10 mph wind hampering his fly cast with nearly frozen polr guides…. that would be impressive.

              We do that all the time winter steelhead fishing in WA (fly fishers anyway, the bait casting guys are a little smarter, but not much).

            • DLB says:

              ++On the other hand if it was 30 degrees, sleet/rain or snow running down or accumulating on the back of his neck, while standing butt cheek deep in near freezing water in those waders (presumably unisulated), with a 10 mph wind hampering his fly cast with nearly frozen polr guides…. that would be impressive.++

              I bet you a beer Mike’s Missoula dinner date will be hearing all about the exact scenario you outlined above. Maybe he’ll even stretch it a bit more and talk about the trophy rainbow he fought while riding the rapids on his back “A River Runs Through It” style.

              She will surely be overcome with primal emotions as she realizes what a pillar of masculinity she is seated across from.

        • elk275 says:

          Louise, wildlife is managed by the states and the states manage wildlife according to the wishes of the residents of that state and state laws. I hope that Montana makes a wildlife decision based on what non residents want. You and Mike have an opinion but that opinion should never be weighted against the wishes of the states redidents.

          This forum has a number of non resident reader yet with few exceptions those readers are only interested in the Northern Rocky Mountian states. Try expressing your concern about Texan wildlife management, they could careless about what you or I have to say.

          The majority of interest is in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Why don’t you look closer to home.

          • Mark L says:

            Didn’t the south have the same attitude about slavery around 150 years ago, that ‘non-southerners’ should not be telling them what to do with slaves? How did that work out?
            If you choose not to listen to differing opinions, that’s your choice. That doesn’t mean you get to silence the other opinions due to your disliking them.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Anyone that knows me understands I work for my passions at home too. My interest is in carnivores, and especially canids and the bizarre and twisted persecution that is directed at them. When Idaho, Montana, Wyoming stop trophy hunting carnivores and using traps and snares I’ll sleep better. And much of your states’ lands are public so the rest of us do have a vested interest. These public lands provide the last substantial wilderness areas in the US, its up to all of us to take an interest and to work to conserve and protect them.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Same here; whether in my own backyard or around the world, wildlife preservation and wild lands preservation are extremely important to me. I care about what goes on in Texas, Florida Everglades, Alaska, California and we’ve had some good discussions about Washington State recently. I am an Easterner and my husband is a Westerner so I love that area of the country too. It’s just that some of the most grievous offenses and threats to wildlife and wildlands, one of the last stronholds, have come from of the Intermountain region recently …

  12. Craig says:

    If he want’s to spew that crap he’s going to get it right back! An actually as a Hunter/ fisherman I feel it is more of a privilege, than a right to hunt and fish. What happens when a poacher gets a lawyer and says it’s his right to hunt and fish? Did they look at that scenario?

    • Savebears says:


      Here in Montana, we have had a constitutional right to hunt and fish for a few years now, and the claim to this right has not had any impact on any poaching cases, it is the right to hunt and fish during legally established seasons, not the right to hunt or fish at anytime you wish.

      • Craig says:

        That’s good. But what happens when some rich prick does something wrong and lawyers up and gets off because it’s his constitutional right? It will set precedent for other cases, that the one thing that scares me!
        I need more clarification on this before I vote YES!

    • Mike says:

      I just turned in three Montana hunters for feeding a coyote in Yellowstone.

      Of all the outdoor groups, hunters lack the most self-awareness. I’ve been in the Rockies for a month now dealing with many of them.

      If anything, they sure love giving their money to arabs. They speed past me in SUV’s and pickups that normally get 15mpg highway, only now since they’re doing 95, they’re probably getting 12 mpg. I give a little toot o’ the horn when I pass them at the gas stations.

      • rork says:

        Generalizing about out-groups. So tribal.

      • Craig says:

        How the hell would you know they were Hunters in Yellowstone? Yellowstone does not allow HUNTING! You make shit up that is so far outta context it just shows you lie to make Hunters look bad! You just proved it with your ignorant comment! Your lies and misconceptions only prove your ignorance to anything really happening! Enjoy your byass one sided view that keeps you in the dark. Really check out the Missoula Mental Health Institute, you do need it seriously!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mike says:

          Craig, I think you may have emotional issues. Either that or you don’t quite grasp proper usage of exclamation points.

          As for knowing they were hunters, they had a RMEF sticker and an NRA sticker, plus camo. Two of them threatened me when I politely asked them not to entice the coyote. Of course, when they saw me walk over they immediately backed down. But I did get the incident on video and on “film”.

          All of the dumb incidents I’ve seen the last month were from locals, and most of them were hunters or involved in hunting (tanning, etc).

  13. A Western Moderate says:

    I don’t have a strong opinion on this amendment, in part due to the reasons already stated in the original article and earlier comments.

    For a different perspective though, maybe the politicians are finally getting the horse in front of the cart and taking a proactive step, rather than waiting to react to a problem.

    The population of western states is increasing rapidly, and the newcomers often show no respect for those whose home they are moving into. At best, they complain about the culture and traditional values. Often, they bring in their politics and world view, and with a condescending attitude, demand the rest of us conform.

    Perhaps this amendment would serve as WM posted. It may be an established bulwark against intentional erosion of part of the heritage that makes the western states such a great place to live.

    • Mark L says:

      Notice how many on this site have talked about the right to ‘hunt and fish’. That’s NOT what this amendment is about…it’s about right to ‘hunt and fish AND TRAP’. It’s just trappers trying to get in with the “cool gang” of hunters and fishers and call themselves ‘legit’. Nothing more. I’m curious if the other states have added trapping to their ‘rights’ by inclusion of this word.

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes Mark exactly, its partly about ensuring that the barbaric, insanely cruel, indiscriminate and largely opposed trapping and snaring culture is preserved…..

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        As I wrote, the inclusion of trapping in the measure might well drown the whole thing. Trapping is much less popular.

        This didn’t just occur to me while I was writing the article, a number of other media commentaries on the measure have made the same speculation.

    • JJ says:

      Well said!

  14. Nancy says:

    “I am no longer able to get on “interest wildlife news”, the thread is to big, hint, hint Ralph”

    Yep. 600 + posts, is 300 too many for some of us 🙂

  15. Jerry Black says:

    “Exposing the Big Game”……Living Targets of a Dying Sport
    (for the “open minded” individual)

    Please!…..spare the “he’s never hunted crap” because I hunted for many years with both rifle and long bow. Also an NRA member till recently.

  16. Chuck says:

    This was already mentioned above, but not having read all the details about the subject, I was curious how many people have had their hunting/fishing rights banned for life or lesser, would try and use that argument that you can’t take away my constitutional right to hunt and fish. I personally don’t think it should be a constitutional right, its a privilege just like driving. Just my opinion. I hope it doesn’t pass.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Is voting a constitutional right? Am I wrong in thinking that a convicted felon loses his/her right to vote? I expect a quick and just correction if I am wrong.

      • Savebears says:

        Yes, Voting is a constitutional right, until such time as your convicted of a felony, hunting and fishing in Montana is a state constitutional right, until such time as you are convicted of a game crime. These are state constitutional rights we are talking about, they are not amending the constitution of the United States, and when it comes to State constitutions, you have the ability to speak your opinion, but you have no say to the change, unless you are a state resident. The only people that have the say in changing a state constitution, is those who reside in that state.

        • JEFF E says:

          that is not entirely true

          • Savebears says:

            How so Jeff, you cannot vote on a state constitutional issue, unless you are a resident of the state in question, legally able to vote.

            • JEFF E says:

              Yes Sb. One can not vote on a state issue, constitutional or otherwise, unless one is a resident(part time resident?) of a state.
              That is not what I was referring too however.

            • Savebears says:

              Then why not state what you are talking about, there are several issues being discussed in this thread, I don’t quite understand what there is to hide?

            • JEFF E says:

              I have nothing to hide, certainly not from you.

              What I am referring too as “not entirely true” is the assertion that a convicted felon has permanently lost his/her civil rights.
              I have done the research due to family/friends/co-workers being systematically disenfranchised by an ever increasing fascist local,state and national gov.
              Do your own research and get back to me if you want

            • Savebears says:


              Someone else must have said they permanently loose their constitutional rights, because I didn’t say that.

            • JEFF E says:

              I guess I misunderstood this statement.
              “Yes, Voting is a constitutional right, until such time as your convicted of a felony, hunting and fishing in Montana is a state constitutional right, until such time as you are convicted of a game crime.”

            • Savebears says:

              “What I am referring too as “not entirely true” is the assertion that a convicted felon has permanently lost his/her civil rights.”


              Yes, you misunderstood as I did not say permanently.

            • JEFF E says:

              of course you didn’t……

            • Savebears says:


              Why are you taking the attitude?

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Whether a felony disqualifies a person from voting depends on the state. For some states it is only while incarcerated. For others it is permanent.

          Because no country locks up people like the United States, significant numbers of people cannot vote because of a present or a past felony.

          • Savebears says:


            It does depend on the state, it also depends on if you are incarcerated, it can also depend on how long ago the felony occurred, there are many different things that come into loosing you right to vote. Some states automatically expunge certain felonies after a certain amount of time, if you don’t have any other violations. Many things can affect your civil rights.

  17. I was somewhat surprised that the author didn’t know of one woman who supported trapping. Doesn’t that speak more about her circle of friends than the opinion of Idaho women about trapping?

  18. Craig says:

    Mike, How the hell would you know they were Hunters in Yellowstone? Yellowstone does not allow HUNTING! You make shit up that is so far outta context it just shows you lie to make Hunters look bad! You just proved it with your ignorant comment! Your lies and misconceptions only prove your ignorance to anything really happening! Enjoy your byass one sided view that keeps you in the dark. Really check out the Missoula Mental Health Institute, you do need it seriously!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Craig says:

    So no comments? lets do a little recap! Hunting season: hunters go to yellowstone which does not allow Hunting! People feeding Coyotes must be hunters?(probably wearing camo)so all hunters follow this practice. Only Hunters wear Camo not people who take photos and follow Hunters leads to get closer to game.
    So, it has to be Hunters taking time out of their days off to hunt to go feed Coyotes and drive around the park instead of Hunting? All makes sense to me! Mike you are a Genious and know it all! Can I get your email so I can ask questions to live the rest of my life in mikeland?

  20. Louise Kane says:

    some notes on the impact of the ammendment as proposed

    • TC says:

      A rebuttal, if I may. Some gloriously wild and fantastical speculation on the impact of the proposed amendment. I don’t belive there is a need for such amendments to state constitutions, but that is not license to write inflammatory tripe like the material at this site.

      You denigrate the hunting sites for their outrageous misappropriation of the truth (and often correctly) – should “Wolf Army” not be held to the same standards?

      • Louise Kane says:

        TC while I am responding. I denigrate certain “hunting sites” (as you say) when they spew crazy lies and hate, to provide justification to persecute, torture and kill wildlife, and especially wolves and other predators.

      • Savebears says:

        Give it up TC, The wolf warriors, are never going to admit, they are just as bad as the wolf haters, two extremes, what we really need is leaders who know how to negotiate and meet in the middle with actual solutions that will move things forward!

  21. Kayla says:

    Yes this is also on the Wyoming ballot this election. I personally am voting ‘FOR’ the measure. Anymore in society there seems to be too many who would like to do away with all hunting, fishing, and trapping it seems.

    Also I have been criticized – severely criticized by some people, who were former friends here in Jackson, just for using the wild edible and medicinal plants in the wilds. Good Grief!

    Now I personally know who is a good friend, a professional trapper In Idaho and he is very much environmentally minded. Also I know alot of hunters locally who really care for the land, the wildlife,and everything. But some will that these people are just soooo evil because they do hunt or trap. guess i am evil also because I use the edible and medicinal plants and kill wild plants in my wilderness sojourns. Good Grief! Yes I am voting for the measure here in Wyoming.

    Just my opinion.

    • Louise Kane says:

      well you are welcome to your opinion but your respect for the environment obviously does not extend to trapped animals who become trophies as you defend a constitutional right to torture. and the good griefs in the world won’t change the fact that trapping causes excessive pain and suffering for sentient beings and its way overdue to stop thinking about this as a cultural right and a heritage to be proud to pass on. Good Grief

      • Savebears says:


        Where was the last time you spent a few months in the back county with little contact with civilization? I know for a fact that Kayla(LEW) does it every year.

        • Louise Kane says:


          If you must challenge my opinions based on your assumptions about my experience or lack of, in backwoods or wilderness areas, then I’ll respond to you about some of my experiences. So have you ever been to Mona Island? I spent many weeks over several years working 50 miles offshore on an island with no facilities to document a coral restoration by one of the world’s foremost coral experts? Ditto for the Florida Keys on another coral restoration. How about traveling through Corcovado, after surfing through some fairly astounding surf break in small skiff with attending fear. Corcovado is a reserve where you can’t see a light, house, or anything but a sky full of scarlet macaws and the occasional jaguar on the beach. Have you been to the to the top of Cotapaxi? Maybe taken a kayak trip through the Gulf Islands or traveled around the Galapagos, before they allowed cruise ships in. The Columbia Glacier? How about spending a good part of your younger life commercial fishing (most times more than 100 miles offshore) for a week at a time. Please don’t use that tired argument about having opinions on hunting trapping or snaring or other wildlife issues based on one’s experience in the backwoods. I’ve done my fair share of travel in many places including the west. Even if I had never been able to do any of the amazing things I’ve been lucky enough to do, I’d still recognize that people treat wildlife with little or no respect. I’ve come away from some incredible experiences finding some of the most amazing being contact with marine or terrestrial life. My question is, if Kayla and you spend so much time in the wilderness why object so loudly when someone else is trying to protect the resources you claim to love. The whole urban dweller issue is not relevant to being able to comment trapping and why I think its an obscene activity. That is what we were discussing. Stay on point please.

          • Savebears says:

            Louis, I will have to give you this, you are a freaking amazing woman! But, I would say, you have very little knowledge of what many us of have done and continue to do to preserve the areas that are most important to us. Mongolia was an amazing place, the Galapagos with Tom Ulrich would last a life time, no more trips needed, visiting many areas in Africa, South America, Australia, China, Russia, etc.

            These are areas that I have visited on my own time, now if we talk about those areas I went while in the Military.

            I personally know Kayla, I know her passion for preserving many areas of this country, especially the West, she gives up modern life for much of the year to be in the environment you claim to fight for.

            So get off your high horse and work to find solutions that take in all sides of the problem, both the cheesy part as well as the high and mighty part, which you belong to!

            There is a hell of allot of culture that is going to have to be changed before your utopian world will even be close to a reality, stop with your BS of saying everybody else that don’t agree with you is not on point!

            So lets just admit, there are many of us posting on this blog, that have a hell of a bunch of experience in many areas.

            • Kayla says:

              Louise, one of the things that guide my life when in the backcountry is living in balance and harmony. I know a friend over in Idaho who is a professional trapper and how much he is quite environmental it seems. I remember him talking and him saying that when you trap, you make it a point that the animal does NOT suffer but has a quick death. And he indeed knows how to set a trap where this happens. And one only goes lightly on the land and does not ever ever overtrap an area. I could go on but for myself it was a real learning experience in talking with him. Guess it was for myself included when talking with him, in learning how a real trapper approaches things with all the misconceptions that are out there. There are alot of trappers in the back woods who really care for the land and the environment also. But they and PETA will never see eye to eye on many things I guess. I myself do not hunt or trap. But I have taken classes in trapping and how to make some primitive traps and what to do just in case whenever in the wilderness and something happened, that I would be able to take care of myself.

            • Kayla says:

              Louise, just a little more to say on my trapping friend. He would say that one has a obligation to the animal to dispatch or put down the animal as quickly and as humanely as possible. Also that you eat what you kill! For years in my trapping friend’s life, he lived high up in the Colorado Rockies, way in the backcountry with his girlfriend and dogs in some log cabin miles and miles from the nearest road. He lived up there also thru the whole winter for years. He and his girlfriend lived and ate off of his trapping with them living more of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. He calls this time the very best years of his life. It has always been really interesting to hear him talk. Not many people I know of have spent years including thru the winter living high up in the Rocky Mountain Backcountry. He has also been a dogsledder for years and he has the best dogs that I have ever seen. And the way he treats his dogs – Wow! Just to say again, have learned so much. He has been a real trapper and has lived off what he has trapped in the backcountry. I for one had many misconceptions as to trapping and it was a real learning experience in talking to him. Could go on and say much more but will end it here. Maybe all trappers are not like him. But as for my friend, he does care. And again I for one do not hunt or trap personally.

  22. Kayla says:

    Now also I would like to remark that I remember that the Environmental Community and the Hunting Community used to pretty close and in one accord on many issues as effecting the land and wildlife it seemed. It was many a hunting conservation group that helped bring back much of the wildlife after it was decimated in the settling of the west. Also it was the certain outfitters that I know of that prevented Wyoming’s Thorofare Country from ever having had a road punched thru it or an airstrip developed in that country. How many hunters at onetime was in one accord with environmentalists in helping some area become wilderness here in the west. But now all of this one accord and getting along between these two groups have vanished it seems. How many now think of the other side as enemies it seems. We need these two groups to come back together in my opinion, for we both face enemies that would love to decimate – log, mine, develop every acre of the west just for their greedy profits. I personally live here in Jackson, love to wander the wilderness, and know many on both sides of this issue. I personally think that us com ing back together again to face the real enemies we all face is like blowing in the wind with now so much extreminism on both sides. Just like my former friends who severely cricized me for using the edible and medicinal wild plants in the wilds. Good Grief! The only reason these admendments to different states constitutions hasve come about were by animal activists who tried to elimenate all of these activities in these states. My former friends were also completely against all hunting also, wanted all guns in the country to be banned, and were members of the PETA group. So many might point fingers at those that might be extremist among the hunting fraternity. But there also those who are extremist among the environmental community as well.

    I personally have neen criticized by some environmentalists for even going offtrail in wilderness areas, having fires in my hikes, even going into wilderness area with thinking if any endangered species in that area then that area should be completely be left alone and offlimits to all people, etc. etc.

  23. Mark L says:

    You make some great points with the split between hunters and environmentalists, and yes, I will agree that roads, airstrips, shopping malls, mines, and houses are the true enemy to any wild area. We can mitigate some of the damage, but inevitably any conflicts are met with personal property rights claims and gunshots (wilderness almost always loses). To me, holding lands in common trust without overusing their resources is a sign of a mature culture. I respect and encourage your collection of natural foods and medicines, it’s a skill that has more value to humans than aiming a gun (only 500 years of use) or even using a bow (we can’t live on meat alone).
    Truth in disclosure==I’m part Native American and have studied ethnobotany, so I probably have a ‘skewed’ point of view towards your skillset also. I just collected some chicken of the woods today. Even the fires on the hikes makes me laugh and cringe at the same time as I’m sure somebody is thinking “hey, she got to build one, why can’t I?” Nevermind theirs may be on a dry bed of timber without a firebreak, right. All I can say is keep up the good work and always teach the younger ones everything you know.

    • Kayla says:

      Mark, Thanks for your comments. Now I salute you for how much do I love your Native American ancestors. Do think many of the old ones could teach us so much in this modern day world. Also several times a year I go to some Primitive Skill Gatherings where they teach the old skills. Wishing You the Best!

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Why would you be criticized for collecting edible and medicinal plants – I think it is a wonderful, fascinating thing, the study of plants, something to be preserved.

  24. Dora Herbert says:

    This definitely has its advantages in controlling wildliffe but sometimes people tend to overdo things that can instead harm wildlife and pose a threat to the survival of the species. These activities can sometimes destroy their habitats which will lead to their extinction.


October 2012


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey