Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right

Feb 15, 2017

A bill in the Montana Legislature would ask voters to decide whether the Montana Constitution should establish hunting, fishing and trapping as "a right essential to pursuing life’s basic necessities."

Senate Bill 236 would also add that fish and wildlife management and conservation efforts would have to be done for scientific reasons, and whenever possible, public hunting would be given priority to help control fish and wildlife populations.

Republican Senator Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls is carrying the bill.

“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 says.

Democratic Senator Jill Cohenour of East Helena says Montana already protects the heritage of hunting.

“We have the ability to do this already in our state constitution. We don’t need to add it as a paramount right that now can never be changed,” she says.

The Senate Fish and Game Committee will hear the bill Thursday afternoon.