As the author of Amendment # 2 (SR 67), I wanted to explain the need to enshrine the Right to Hunt and Fish in the State Constitution. I believe a “YES” vote is deserved.
As we become more urbanized, we will face a future where our legislature in controlled by city dwellers – many who will never have had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over a duck pond. Some folks already believe that deer are an endangered species (ignoring the fact that there are more in our state today than when Oglethorpe landed). With Georgia’s population predicted to double in the next 20 years, hunters (currently less than 500,000) and anglers (just over one million) will drastically decrease as a percentage of the total state population. The political strength to maintain the traditions in question will also diminish. The most effective way to preserve these traditions is through constitutional protection.
For years, animal rights extremists have been systematically campaigning against hunting and fishing throughout the country. It is only a matter of time before they set their sights on Georgia. For those who do not think the Right to Hunt and Fish is under serious threat, they need to know that extremist organizations like PETA are lurking in the background. PETA supporters testified against this amendment in Committee. And here is what Humane Society of the United States Senior Vice President Wayne Pacelle had to say about their strategy in an October 1990 interview in the magazine Full Cry – “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped.”
The main purpose of the amendment is to assure that Georgians, urban and rural, will have the opportunity to share family traditions with their children and grandchildren. Another critical purpose is to ensure that Georgia’s vital natural habitat and wildlife continues to be professionally overseen by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The proposed amendment specifies that the “tradition of hunting and fishing, and the taking of fish and wildlife, will be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the common good.” This is simple language like the words used by our forefathers. Thousands of parents and grandparents are sitting quietly, fishing with children, talking, reflecting on the wonder of nature, and how we treasure Georgia’s natural resources. Help keep these moments alive.
Be sure to vote “YES” on Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2 and encourage all of your friends and family to do the same! The future of hunting and fishing in Georgia depends on it!