Idaho Hunting and Fishing Amendment, HJR 2 (2012)

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Type:Legislative referral
Constitution:Idaho Constitution
The Idaho Hunting and Fishing Amendment, also known as HJR 2, was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Idaho as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure would add to the Idaho Constitution the right to hunt, fish and trap in the state. According to reports, the sponsor of the measure is State Senator Lee Heider, who introduced the measure during 2012 state legislative session.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are official election results:

Idaho HJR 2
Approveda Yes 456,514 70.3%

Results via Idaho Secretary of State.

Text of the measure

Ballot language

The following was ballot language that appeared before voters:[2]

Shall Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a New Section 23, to provide that the rights to hunt, fish and trap, including by the use of traditional methods, are a valued part of the heritage of the State of Idaho and shall forever be preserved for the people and managed through the laws, rules and proclamations that preserve the future of hunting, fishing and trapping; to provide that public hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing wildlife; and to provide that the rights set forth do not create a right to trespass on private property, shall not affect rights to divert, appropriate and use water, or establish any minimum amount of water in any water body, shall not lead to a diminution of other private rights, and shall not prevent the suspension or revocation, pursuant to statute enacted by the Legislature, of an individual's hunting, fishing or trapping license?[3]


The following is information obtained from the supporting side of the measure:

  • Sen. Heider, the measure’s lead sponsor in the state senate said, “I maintain that this amendment does indeed clarify our rights. I think this is a great amendment...The people of Idaho love to hunt, fish and trap.”[4]
    • Heider later stated, "I don't think anybody delights in being cruel. To make an animal suffer, that's just not something we do.”
  • According to Andy White of the Idaho Trappers Association, "In Idaho, trappers are required to check traps once every 72 hours. But most check once every 24 hours. The original mountain men, the original Idahoans, were much more involved in trapping, and that's why they came out here."[5]


  • Idahoans Against Trapping chairman Greg Moore stated, “Due to the inclusion of trapping in the amendment, if it passes, then torturing wild animals to death will have been declared legal in Idaho forever."[6]
  • Idaho resident Christine Gertschen, when contacting Ballotpedia: "Idahoans already have the privilege of hunting and fishing but it is subject to moderation by Idaho Fish and Game’s supervision. And of course all privileges come with responsibility. One of those responsibilities is to consider conservation and to respect wildlife as Fish and Game urges us. Idaho Fish and Game uses science to guide their management of Idaho’s plants and animals and that is why we must accept and abide by their regulations."
  • Idaho resident Ned Horner stated in a column published by the Idaho Spokesman-Review, "America is a model for wildlife conservation and management because of the excise taxes on hunting and fishing (PR and DJ) that have generated billions of dollars for wildlife and fisheries management, but also because a few enlightened people in our nations history (Teddy Roosevelt for one) understood the value of habitat for preserving abundant fish and wildlife populations. As a passionate hunter and fishermen, I want that opportunity and privilege protected, but not if it means changing the Idaho Constitution to make it even more difficult to protect critical habitat. Unfortunately, whoever wrote this legislation had something else in mind than protecting your right to hunt and fish. I intend to vote NO on H.J.R. 2aa."[7]

Path to the ballot

If a proposed amendment is agreed to by two-thirds of the members of both the Idaho State Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives, the proposed amendment goes on the next general election ballot.

During the week of March 20, 2012, it was reported that the language of the proposal was being re-worded. According to reports, language added by the National Rifle Association on controlling wildlife through hunting was met with opposition from the Fish and Game Commission. The main proponent of the bill, Sen. Lee Heider, tweaked the bill to alleviate those concerns, hoping those changes would result in the passage of the measure to the November 2012 ballot.[8]

On March 27, 2012, the Idaho State Senate gave final approval for ballot access when the chamber voted 31 to 3 in favor of the proposal. The measure was previously approved by the Idaho House of Representatives.[4]

See also

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