Right to hunt, fish catches voters by surprise

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Advanced voting is underway and one issue on the ballot is catching some Kansans by surprise.

It’s the hunting and fishing amendment and while it’s a relatively simple issue, not everyone is sure why the issue is on the ballot.

“I had no idea that we were going to have to vote to retain what we already have for our rights for hunting and fishing,” said Barton County voter, Jamee Dannebohm.

The measure would add a section to the state constitution, saying that hunting and fishing are preferred ways to maintain wildlife.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said, if it passes, it won’t change anything about your right to hunt or fish in Kansas. However, it would protect against any possible future threat to ban hunting or fishing.

When voters go to the polls, here’s what they should know…

A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to make it a constitutional right to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife in Kansas. Laws relating to trespass, property rights and water resources remain the same.

A ‘no’ vote is a vote against a constitutional right to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife. It would maintain existing state laws and rules on hunting, fishing and trapping wildlife.

Some county election officials said voters have been asking questions about what it means, so they’ve provided the wording in a handout.

“So if a voter’s in line, waiting in line, that way they have the time to kind of research it and review it,” said Donna Zimmerman, Barton County’s election officer.

The Department of Wildlife and Parks told KSN they’ve received a lot of calls about this measure, and they encourage people to continue to reach out to them if they have more questions.