A bill introduced earlier in the month to the Montana Legislature is asking the state’s voters to decide whether hunting, fishing, and trapping should be established as “a right essential to pursuing life’s basic necessities” under the Montana Constitution.

Carried by Republican Senator Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls, Senate Bill 236 is two-pronged in that it sets out to constitutionally protect hunting and fishing rights, and would also ensure that all fish and wildlife management and conservation efforts would be done for scientific reasons.  Additionally, public hunting would always be given priority when it came to controlling both fish and wildlife populations.

“We’re safeguarding the right to hunt, fish and trap while simultaneously allowing statutes that govern the management of wildlife for sustainability of the resource,” Fielder said.

The Senator believes the bill if passed, would allow the state to properly manage wildlife resources based on what is best for wildlife.

“We just don’t want to get into managing because it looks good or feels good,” said Sen. Fielder “We want to manage based on what’s actually best for wildlife resource and conservation management practices.”

An amendment to the Montana Constitution would require a two-thirds majority from the entire legislature to put the measure on the ballot in the fall of 2018.

The bill was before the Montana Senate Fish and Game Committee late this afternoon.