Green Bay, Wis. Go to the polls on April 1, and take a friend or
two along to vote in favor of the constitutional amendment that
would protect the right to hunt, fish, and trap. That’s the message
Marie Fountain has been trying to get out to sportsmen during this
winter’s sport show circuit.
“When people stop by the booth and find out why I’m here, the
ask, Isn’t that already a right? Wasn’t that settled two years
ago?’ Most people don’t understand the process and believe the
amendment was already passed. We need sportsmen to go to the polls
on April 1 and vote on the amendment,” said Fountain, of the
Wisconsin Hunting and Fishing Alliance.
The work began about three years ago, but for a constitutional
amendment to be placed on a ballot, it must pass both the Assembly
and Senate two consecutive years, with no changes in language. If
that happens, the amendment then goes to a public vote. Both houses
passed the amendment the second time on Jan. 28.
“We need people to go to the polls. It doesn’t cost a thing.
Hunting and fishing is as big an industry as Exxon was, if you pull
all aspects of it together. That’s a lot of power that we have, but
many of us don’t realize that. Very few legislators hunt, fish or
trap. If we don’t get this passed now, it will be more difficult
for us in the future to maintain what we have now,” she said.
Fountain noted that anti’s are trying to ban fishing in some
state parks in other states. Even in Wisconsin, she said there are
legislators trying to stop bear hunting, bobcat hunting and are
blocking the mourning dove hunt, which is currently under appeal in
The Wisconsin Hunting and Fishing Alliance will run 8,500 radio
spots around the state before April 1 in an attempt to make
sportsmen aware of the April 1 ballot initiative. The alliance also
coordinates the Big Wild radio program on stations in Ripon, Park
Falls, Milwaukee, Sparta and La Crosse. The Big Wild will run
public service announcements before the election, too.
Mark Willems of Neenah and Gwen Schwartzkopf of Neenah stopped
by Fountain’s booth at the Northeastern Wisconsin Deer Classic in
Green Bay. Both were glad to see Fountain at the show.
“This (amendment) is very important. Without it, I don’t think
we’ll be able to hunt in this state eventually,” Willems said.
“Many of my co-workers are not aware of the amendment. I’m
telling them that conservation is important. We have to rally to
the polls,” Schwartzkopf added.
Fountain said legislation is often boring to most hunters,
fishermen and trappers.
“We have to ignite the passion and get people out to vote,” she
If the amendment passes, Wisconsin will become the eighth state
to protect hunting, fishing, and trapping rights.