Three Things to Know About Your Hunting Rights

1.  Your Hunting Rights Are Not Absolute.

Your right to hunt, fish, and trap can be taken away easier than you realize.

In fact, they are generally treated as “privileges” in the eyes of the law (not much different from driving.)  Legislators and government officials have the ability to easily amend, restrict, or prohibit hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Threats to your rights pop up across the country constantly.  They come from legislators, government agencies, and at the ballot box and can come from all levels of government – the local, state, and national levels.

2.  Sportsmen Must Take Action.

You only have the right to hunt because someone else took action before you.   But to keep those rights, you must be willing to speak up for what you believe in.  If not, anti-hunting groups will gladly help fill the void!

Often, it doesn’t take more than just a few minutes of your time to make a difference and help protect your hunting rights.  If you’re like me, you’ll spend more time laying out your hunting gear the night before your next hunt then you will making a call to an elected official and asking a few friends and family to do the same.  That short phone call will help make sure you actually get to use that gear.

Yes, some cases will require more of your time than just a few phone calls.  However, it would be a real shame if the next generation didn’t get to experience our hunting heritage and you could have done something about it.

Don’t know who to call when an issue comes up?  Visit the USSA Legislative Action Center where you can find contact information for your elected officials.  While you’re checking out the Legislative Action Center, look up your U.S. Senators’ numbers and give them a call asking them to support the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.

Also,  consider joining USSA.  We work to keep you informed of threats to your hunting, fishing, and trapping rights and help you fight them.

3.  Animal Rights Activists ARE a Real Threat. 

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about all of the groups out there working to take away your rights to hunt, fish, and trap.

I see these groups in action every day and there is a reason we continue to talk about them – they’re a real threat.  It’s easy to dismiss these groups as radical/fanatical folks.  Although this may be true, they’re spending tons of money working to mainstream their anti-hunting ideas to the general public.

Take California for example, the Humane Society of the United States is pushing a bill that would ban bear and bobcat hunting with hounds.  They’re spending money to misdirect the general public (and legislators) that hound hunting is cruel and not an accepted hunting practice.  You can be sure that if this bill passes it won’t be the end to HSUS’s assault on hunting, they’ll just try and ban another form of hunting.

Don’t just roll your eyes whenever you hear the latest crazy attack by the animal rights groups.  Use it as a reminder as why you need to be active in protecting our great hunting and outdoors heritage.

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7 comments on “Three Things to Know About Your Hunting Rights

  1. Chuck says:

    Hunting and fishing to feed yourself is a God given right that should be protected as 9th amendent right. Just because it is not listed in the constitution does not mean it is not a right. Sport hunting is another thing.

    • Jeremy Rine says:

      Chuck – thanks for leaving a comment.

      I think we can all agree that we as sportsmen view hunting as a right even though the law may not. However, we all know that even those rights that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution (like our 2nd Amendment rights) can come under attack.

      Without sportsmen who are willing to stand up and defend those rights when needed they’ll slowly be taken away bit-by-bit by anti-hunting groups until we have very little left.

  2. Kelli says:

    I come from a family of hunters and do my best to support. As I am looking at the list candidate’s for the upcoming elections I am wondering if there is an online resource that can help me see what candidate’s support my rights an beliefs as a gun owner and hunter.

    • Jeremy Rine says:

      You can check out USSA’s website at http://www.ussportsmen.org to read up on issues that your elected officials might have been involved in. For example, USSA has posted how the California Senators voted on SB 1221 or how the members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 4089 – the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.

      For 2nd amendment rights a good new resource to check out is the National Shooting Sports Foundations #gunvote page at http://www.nssf.org/gunvote/.

  3. Mark D Fox says:

    It’s sad to say that even hunter’s, fisherman and all the rest of the outdoor’s people won’t come together on issues like this. I’m saying anyone who likes outdoor activity’s. Yes, camping, hiking your next.

  4. Richard M says:

    In some states the right to fish is outlined in the State Constitution and California is one of those states. Why the right to hunt was never added eludes me but that was a mistake that we made over the years. Instead if end fighting we could/should have been on the offensive and tried to get legislation passed. In all more than thirteen states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions. Now this doesn’t preclude them from enacting laws that limit your abilities or means to hunt but it doesn’t make it harder for them to completely revoke those rights.

    We need to take action, but we also need to know how to take action. We need to get people from within the districts these legislators preside over to make calls, write letters and generally get involved. You have to keep in mind first and foremost they want to represent their voters and the people that keep them in office.

    • Jeremy Rine says:

      Richard,

      You bring up a very good point here about the constitutional right to hunt in some states – they don’t typically stop laws that severely restrict hunting. California Senate Bill 1221 is a prime example. California’s right to hunt is outlined in its constitution but it does not stop the legislature from passing SB 1221 and banning all hunting of bear and bobcats with hounds. Even with the constitutional protections anti-hunting groups can continue to chip away at hunting until it is effectively gone.

      Grassroots work by sportsmen – sending letters and making calls to legislators – is the best way to stop these efforts and to pass pro-sportsmen legislation. Involvement, like you’ve pointed out, is key!

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