Montana Right to Wild Game Hunting and Fishing, Measure C-41 (2004)

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The Montana Right to Wild Game Hunting and Fishing Measure, also known as C-41, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Montana, where it was approved.[1]

The amendment sought to recognize and preserve state citizen's right to hunt and fish.

Election results

C-41 (Right to Wild Game Hunting and Fishing)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 345,505 80.6%
No83,18519.4%

Official results via: The Montana Secretary of State

Measure impact

C-41 would amend the Montana Constitution to add a provision specifically to recognize and preserve the opportunity of Montana citizens to harvest wild fish and wild game animals. The amendment specifies that this new provision does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminish any other private rights.

Support

The proponent argument was prepared by Senator Duane Grimes, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee; Rep. Joe Balyeat, Chairman, House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commitee; and Gary Marbut, President, Montana Shooting Sports Association.[2] They made the following points:

  • Hunting and fishing is an important recreational opportunity, a multi-million dollar source of tourist income, and a great source of healthy food.
  • Hunting is a major facet of Montana culture, with more Montanans hunting than any other state.
  • Revenue from hunting/fishing licenses provide the bulwark of wildlife conservation funding.
  • Hunting/fishing are "perhaps the healthiest environment to connect with our children; especially teens."
  • C-41 would help protect Montana's hunting/fishing culture from "'animal rights' extremists."
  • The amendment strikes a "great balance." While it recognizes hunting/fishing in the constitution, it does not create an absolute right that would prevent the Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks from continued regulation of hunting/fishing activity. The amendment also balances hunting/fishing rights against property rights, recognizing that sportsmen have no right to respass.[3]

Opposition

The opponent argument was prepared by Senator John Cobb.[4] He argued that the amendment was "a solution in search of a problem" and that there was no threat of banning hunting or fishing in Montana. Senator Cobb also argued that the amendment has no real impact on hunting/fishing rights and would do little to protect those rights if they were under attack in the future. The Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the state legislature would still have the power to "regulate hunting and fishing to its death.".[5]

Campaign financing

Montanans for Our Hunting and Fishing Heritage, proponents of the amendment, donated $199 towards the measure.[6]

See also

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References