Enshrining the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife

Posted by: Courtney Scott  | Tuesday, April 14, 2015

STATEHOUSE – State Representative Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee the rights of Hoosiers to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2 passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 81-12.

The question will now go on the ballot in November 2016 for state voters to decide if it should be added to the Indiana Constitution.

SJR 2 maintains hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife as a valued part of Indiana’s heritage, but does not limit the application of any laws relating to trespass or property rights and does not limit the General Assembly from promoting proper wildlife protocols.

“Hoosiers have enjoyed the freedom to hunt, fish and harvest since the first settlers arrived,” said Rep. Eberhart. “Having this in our state constitution simply adds a layer of protection to those liberties and protects the people of our state against any future infringement.”

This year alone, approximately 965,000 Hoosiers engaged in hunting or fishing, creating an $818 million economic impact for the state. The industry employs 16,000 people across the state.

“Not only is this amendment necessary to maintain the rights of Hoosiers, but it also has a strong economic impact on the state,” said Rep. Eberhart. “As a legislator, I consider it my duty to uphold the rights of Hoosiers and protect our state’s economy. I am proud to have carried this legislation which I believe does both.”

The first state to provide constitutional protection for its citizens’ right to hunt and fish was the state of Vermont in 1777. Since then, 18 other states have followed suit, and nine states have this before their legislatures this session.

For more information about SJR 2, please visit iga.in.gov.