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Do you think Kansans should have a constitutional right to hunt and fish?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on April 4, 2008

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Photo of Robin Jones

“Well, enough of our rights have been eroded that I think we ought to write it down, so yes, I do.”

Photo of Javon Plantt

“It wouldn’t bother me, but I’d have to say that I’m somewhat indifferent to the issue.”

Photo of Carolyn Jones

“Yes, I do. It seems like a survival issue to me. It may not be necessary to do so in today’s society, but I think the ability to provide sustenance for one’s self is something that a free society should protect.”

Photo of Charles Hart

“Yes, I agree with that. I would like to preserve that right for the future.”


jonas 9 years ago

Haven't they always been? I think its a fallacy if we look to the constitution for everything that one special interest group or another is trying to ban.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years ago

This is a natural right, but one that must be regulated to prevent abuse...kinda like having children!~) If we didn't have so many of them danged things, this wouldn't have come up!~)

jaythomp11 9 years ago

having the right to hunt or catch your own food? thats ludicrous! i'm with le on this thing you know hunters and fisherman will be considered terrorists!

jonas 9 years ago

I think the constitution was made sparse and vague for a reason. We should avoid manipulating it and changing it for things that are not fundamental in their nature. The right to provide sustenance to your family could be considered fundamental, I suppose. But c'mon, who out there is so daft as to think that such is what hunting is really about. Sustenance is simple an offshoot result. Hunting is superfluous to gaining sustenance. Should people be allowed to hunt? Sure, with some regulations and restrictions. Things that would be more difficult to enact if it was made constitutional.

Bill Chapman 9 years ago

It should be included, if for no other reason than to make difficult for groups like PETA to pass anti-gun/ hunting laws. While I don't have any thing against PETA (or other groups of a similar creed), I object to their insistence in attempting to interfere with something I consider to be a useful hobby (and in many locales a needed one). Humans have so altered the environment/ habitat of animals that, in many locales, hunting is necessary to control the local large animal population. Without hunting, many cities would have elk, deer, bears, etc. wandering through the streets and eating our trash (this is a current/ continuing problem with bears right now). This isn't a problem for large cities like New York, L.A., etc. as most of the large animal population in the area is no longer there, but for smaller cities, towns, etc. it can be a very bad problem. There have been cases where bears, deer, elk, etc. have actually entered peoples houses in search of food, shelter, whatever - and people have been hurt or even killed by these animals. Controlled hunting helps to control this. From a "wacked - out" point of view, hunting is very much a "survival" skill. I seriously doubt that your average PETA member would (or could) survive for very long in the wild without shopping malls, supermarkets, etc to buy their food from. While many hunters (those that are serious about it, anyway) would have a much better chance of survival. Limiting hunting for safety reasons or wildlife population control is not wrong, in fact, it is a very smart thing to do. Just look at the decline in fishing hauls due to over - fishing in the Atlantic. Limiting hunting because hunters "are torturing animals" or "hurting the peace of the wild" is just foolish and ignorant of the cycle of life.

sgtwolverine 9 years ago

It bothers me that we have to consider something a "right" in order to ensure that it will be an allowable activity. I think we badly overuse and abuse the idea of rights. The bill of rights provides the right to bear arms; I would think hunting would be a naturally permitted activity because of that. If we really need to start spelling out every specific allowable activity as a right, then our lawmakers are going to have to start working overtime.

jonas 9 years ago

"It bothers me that we have to consider something a "right" in order to ensure that it will be an allowable activity. I think we badly overuse and abuse the idea of rights."Applause!I would go further and say that by doing such we are weakening the very idea of what "rights" actually are. The more increasingly petty things that become constitutionally derived rights, then the more that constitutionally derived rights lose their meaning. We have plenty of allowable behaviors that we do not feel the need to enshrine as rights, yet they continue to be allowable. If we can't stop PETA, of all things, without diving into our constitution, then I'm afraid I have a concern about where our society is heading.

dminear60 9 years ago

Hunting is necessary to control the animal population. But, to amend our Constitution is over the top. Hunting and fishing should be a privilege, not a right. That school of thought opens a huge Pandora's box.

beawolf 9 years ago

"The bill of rights provides the right to bear arms", somehow I don't believe our forefathers considered Uzi's, 30 shot automatics, armor piercing ammo, etc. etc. Ban all guns except single shot, muzzle loaders and you are reflecting the intent of that passage.But I digress, we do have a constitutional right to hunt and fish, but it is also with the governments constitutional rights to regulate in order to protect certain species including human beings.

jonas 9 years ago

R-I: I guess it depends on whether hunters are taking off their hunting caps when they go eat at restaurants, doesn't it? I think most hunters probably don't order bruschetta.

dminear60 9 years ago

logicsound04: I cound not agree with you more. A perfect analogy.

sunflower_sue 9 years ago

I'm w/ sgt...and, I like Ted, but president? Well, OK. I guess when you think about it, it's not such a strange idea after all.

sunflower_sue 9 years ago

"I think most hunters probably don't order bruschetta."jonas, I know some that do, but you're right, they probably don't classify as "most." R_I, taking off your hat depends on where you are. Sit down dinner...take it off. McDonald's and the ilk...feel free to leave it on. And women should always be exempt. It might be a bad hair day for goodness' sake! C'mon! Geez!

Ceallach 9 years ago

Maybe I'm taking the term "fundamental right" too literally, but it seems that a fundamental right should apply to everyone, everywhere. We should be very careful about what we raise to that status.

sgtwolverine 9 years ago

Hey, Ted Nugent is from Michigan. His election to any public office would make the Detroit metro area cringe, but really, sometimes that's not a bad thing. Plus, his office would rock.

jonas 9 years ago

blue: As long as we're clarifying small but vocal interest groups, does anyone have the total number of licensed hunters in Kansas?

sherbert 9 years ago

I think it should be a right to hunt, but the problem is where? We live close to public hunting area and as in most things, the rules are greatly abused, and since it involves firearms and can be extremely dangerous, it should either be better monitored or restricted to private property and/or hunting clubs. And by private property, I don't just mean people who can afford to own property, but many outdoors people know others who will let them hunt if they're trustworthy friends.

EasilyAmused 9 years ago

Would this "right" allow people who fail to pay child support to get hunting and fishing licenses?

jonas 9 years ago

R-I, O-bob: Thanks. It's really, really hard to look up information just from my phone. Screen's way too small, and all the labs were taken at the time. I was not under the impression that hunters and PETA were comparable in any meaningful way.Anyway, I believe we should take a serious look at the viability of banning hunting, which I perceive to be quite low, despite the existence of semi-comparable scenarios such as the SLT situation, before we really start fiddling around with a document as important as our constitution, to ease the minds of a minority of our population. (If 15%, they make up as much of a minority as smokers do, don't they?)

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years ago

We already have a right to do this with certain regulations. It's a waste of paper and time to put this on a ballot.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years ago

Well dang I thought if I paid for the right licence I had the right.? Feel dumb now:)

beatrice 9 years ago

Blue is obviously suffering from Cat Scratch Fever. people should be allowed to hunt and fish anywhere they choose ... but only if they use their bare hands. I think jonas is right when he says that the constitution shouldn't be changed every time a group with an agenda wants to ban something.

SpeedRacer 9 years ago

I think that right is already guaranteed by the state constitution in sections 1 and 20.Sec. 1. All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Sec. 20. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people; and all powers not herein delegated remain with the people.I don't think the bill of rights should be tinkered with. When you start trying to list specific rights, you start to diminish the rights inherit in all people.

jonas 9 years ago

O-Bob: I think we may have a winner. . . .

RedwoodCoast 9 years ago

I definitely think that hunting is essential for controlling the deer population, unless we want to release wolves and mountain lions. However, I can definitely see abuse of this "right" should it become such. Say goodbye to all of the big bucks and toms. Of course, some people would exercise it responsibly, but trophy hunters would no longer have any limits on their hunting. Fishing is another story. While size limits are probably a good idea to keep the populations viable, I don't see why people shouldn't be allowed if they want to. I don't think that a free-for-all would be a wise idea.

sunflower_sue 9 years ago

Redwood, many landowners only allow hunters that take does first. Trophy hunters can say bye-bye to their hunting privlidges if they go against the landowners wishes. The landowners also have a tendancy to revoke hunting privlidges to idiots that drive nails into trees.

beatrice 9 years ago

Blue, I thought for sure you were throwing your support to Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey of the Vampires, Witches and Pagans Party.

2002 9 years ago

PETA and the ultra-animal rights groups can be defined as a group that advocates:fascism - a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism) or Oppressive, dictatorial control.The issue isn't whether or not hunting and fishing is a right; it is the desire of extremists to control and take advantage of others. Groups like PETA are inherently evil, just like the KKK or Fred Phelps and his "so called" church. They are Nazi like in their approach and I am more afraid of them than I am Muslim fundamentalists.The similarities between the tactics of many animal rights groups and historical examples of proponents of National Socialism are scarry. "Ve know vat es best for you." "Vould you like tofu vith dat?"

Charlie Naramore 9 years ago

The fact that all of the lakes in Kansas are man-made with taxpayer money (and that no one should really consider eating something that has come out of the polluted rivers...) sort of indicates that it is our right to eat from those stocked lakes.

jonas 9 years ago

Well, finally with the Godwin. What took us so long?

BorderRat 9 years ago

I belonged to PETA but left the organization when I found out the initials didn't stand for People Eating Tasty Animals.

Kathy Theis-Getto 9 years ago

Bingo, logicsound. Hunting is a privelege we have IF the rules are followed, just like driving. This is the most asinine idea that's come along for awhile. Obob - yup, smoke and mirrors by our esteemed legislature. Go figure.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years ago

Why aren't they working on bringing business to Kansas? What about funding for schools? What about removing the statute of limitations on rape and child abuse? There are real issues out there. I don't think PETA has enough influence even in other states to stop hunting and fishing.

RedwoodCoast 9 years ago

blue73harley, yeah, you got me. Late, late study night last night... wasn't fully conscious yet when I posted earlier.sunflower_sue: you say that landowners don't like the nail-driving treestand folks, though I've seen quite a few of these over the years. I guess I'm wondering about this recent practice of leasing land for hunting. I assume you have to follow the terms of the lease. I am unfamiliar with the details of the practice, but how much freedom to hunters have within these leases?

sunflower_sue 9 years ago

Redwood, the landowners can write whatever they want into the lease. The hunter has only as much freedom as the landowner is willing to give him. Also, the hunter might be leasing only for the hunting season or maybe they will lease for an entire year. In the latter case, I would think that the hunter would have a bit more freedom because the landowner simply wouldn't have as much current interest in the ground (i.e. he is not planting it to crops). We have had several hunters try and lease land from us. At the end of the day, having responsible hunters that we know will take a shot at a doe and fill a tag is worth more than leasing to some rich dude that will wait forever for that trophy buck. And since we also harvest trees, our hunters are told that if they drive a nail, they will be looking for a new hunting spot next year. Another no-no is driving a vehicle across a field because someone doesn't want to drag that far. Boo hoo. And while I'm listing no-nos...cutting a fence is liable to get them shot ...well, permanently banned and blacklisted, anyway. (You can tell I get a bit edgy when talking hunting. I'm not at all against it, on the contrary, I'm very supportive of it. I've just had too many yea-hoos who just can't seem to follow a few simple rules.)We also have turkey hunters, but I don't get nearly as worked up over them. I've never had a problem with a turkey hunter. We don't allow quail hunting as there are just too few of them around.We've not ruled out leasing to hunt, it just hasn't ever made sense (yet) to do so over letting local hunters have a go. Over the years, you get to know your hunters and the ones that respect your wishes will always get to come back. Sorry for the long post.

greasyllama 9 years ago

Absolutely,and the homeless should have the constitutional right to camp!

aginglady 9 years ago

jonas (Anonymous) says: R-I: I guess it depends on whether hunters are taking off their hunting caps when they go eat at restaurants, doesn't it? I think most hunters probably don't order bruschetta.__Deer hunters eat Buck Bruschetta you ninnies!:)

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