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Right to hunt and fish goes to the ballot
Hunting and fishing are important pastimes to many Nebraskans. So important, that the right to hunt and fish is on the ballot to become a constitutional amendment this election.
There actually aren't any specific movements in Nebraska against hunting and fishing. But, activists for the amendment cite efforts in other states like a temporary ban on hunting black bears in New Jersey back in 2007.
This is more of a pre-emptive effort.
"There are just people out there that really don't understand hunting. They think that we go out there and shoot animals for nothing," said Old Market Firearms owner Clark Williams.
As the owner of Hastings' Old Market Firearms and an avid hunter, Williams hopes to see the amendment pass to make sure his guns will keep shooting.
"We're helping wildlife. We're eliminating the excess by our regulated hunting," Williams said.
The key word is "regulated."
The current laws will stay in place and endangered species will stay protected.
"They can't just go out and shoot anything," said Williams.
People like Williams fear animal rights groups may take away their rights.
"Right now we can, but if this amendment doesn't pass, there's still a chance that it can be eliminated," said Williams.
But some people are asking why the state needs a constitutional amendment when there aren't any groups actively working to hinder anybody's right to hunt and fish.
"I'm very conservative about what we put in the constitution," said former District 33 Senator Ardyce Bohlke.
Bohlke supports hunting and fishing, but opposes the amendment.
"I was endorsed by the NRA my first time running because I stood up for the rights of hunters," Bohlke said.
She says a law would be more fitting.
"It has to be a critical problem before we even consider it. I don't see that as a critical problem," said Bohlke.
There are four states with similar proposals on the election ballots.
The others are Idaho, Kentucky and Wyoming.
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