Senate Candidates Discuss Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Amendment
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) In a little over two weeks voters will be heading to the polls.
One of the items on the ballot is a constitutional amendment regarding the right to hunt, fish and trap.
Constitutional Amendment HJR2aa would upgrade hunting, fishing and trapping from a privilege in Idaho to a right protected by the state's constitution.
Twin Falls Senator Lee Heider crafted the bill.
"The reason we wrote this constitutional amendment this year is to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap for the people of Idaho for future generations,” said Sen. Lee Heider, (R) Dist. 24 Candidate.
Pat Marcantonio, who's running against Heider for the District 24 Senate seat, sees it differently.
"That one is totally unnecessary. I think laws are already on the books for hunting, fishing and trapping. I don't understand why we need it,” said Pat Marcantonio, (D) Dist. 24 Senate Candidate.
Heider believes there are groups out there who would like to see what he calls part of Idaho's heritage come to an end.
"The Humane Society...they may think that it's inhumane to shoot an animal, or bow hunt, or to trap an animal. And, so those very people are the ones that are really a threat,” said Sen. Heider.
"To me it's kind of like well, they say it's going to happen, but is it really going to happen? I see no threat looming over the horizon, so,” said Marcantonio.
The amendment states that hunting, fishing and trapping wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing wildlife.
"It's the Idaho Fish and Game that are responsible for protecting and for propagating our deer and elk herds, so that there will be animals to hunt in the future,” said Sen. Heider.
"My husband, he's an angler from way back and he thinks it's unnecessary. It just clutters up the Constitution," said Marcantonio.
On November 6th it will be up to voters to decide.
Those who oppose the legislation fear future lawmaking regarding inhumane and unsportsmanlike practices could be affected by the amendment.