West Virginia Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment (2014)

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The West Virginia Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment was not on the November 4, 2014 ballot in West Virginia as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have provided for a constitutional right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.[1]

The measure's assigned name was Right to Hunt and Fish in West Virginia Amendment.[1]

The proposed amendment was sponsored in the West Virginia Legislature by Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-16) as Senate Joint Resolution 10.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot summary

The proposed ballot purpose summary read as follows:[1]

The purpose of this amendment is to protect the right of West Virginians to hunt and fish and to ensure access to hunting and fishing for future generations.[3]

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendment would have added a Section 23 to Article III, also known as the Bill of Rights, of the Constitution of West Virginia:[1]

§23. Right to hunt and fish.
The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to reasonable laws and rules to promote wildlife conservation and management and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. This section shall not be construed to modify any provision of law relating to eminent domain, trespass or property rights.


Before the November 2014 election, seventeen states had constitutional amendments providing for the right to hunt and fish. Vermont was the first state to constitutionalize such a right in 1777. The other sixteen states have all adopted right to hunt and fish amendments since 1996:[4]

California and Rhode Island have constitutional amendments guaranteeing the right to fish, but not to hunt.


The measure was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-16).[2]


Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the West Virginia Constitution

According to the West Virginia Constitution, a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature was required to refer the amendment to the ballot.

See also

Suggest a link

External links


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