The smoke is clearing from the mid-term elections, and voters in a number of states with hunting and/or fishing-related ballot items have spoken. Four states, Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina and Tennessee had ballot measures that would make hunting and fishing constitutional rights. So how did they fare. Well…

Good news if you live in Tennessee…

From this story on
Tennessee voters have approved a constitutional guarantee to hunt and fish. In order to pass Tuesday, it needed to receive a number surpassing half the votes cast in the governor’s race, plus one. With most of the vote counted late Tuesday night, it was well beyond the threshold. Sponsors of the ballot initiative said they wanted the right to hunt and fish embedded in the constitution where government couldn’t infringe upon it. Similar measures were on the ballot Tuesday in Arkansas, South Carolina and Arizona. Ten other states already have such a right. Georgia passed a similar measure in 2006, and Alabama in 1996.

Pretty good news if you live in Arkansas, too…

From this story on
For many Arkansans, hunting is a way of life, and voters decided to make it a constitutionally protected right in Tuesday’s election. The amendment makes hunting, fishing, trapping, and harvesting wildlife a right. Supporters say it was proposed in response to fears – which were echoed nationally – that animal rights groups are trying to restrict hunting in other states. And some of those animal rights groups say hunting doesn’t deserve constitutional protection, while others say, it’s just not necessary.

And what about South Carolina? Check that one off as a win, too.

From this story on
South Carolina voters on Tuesday approved four proposed amendments to the state constitution, including support for the right to hunt and fish. By an unofficial margin of 87 percent to about 13 percent, voters approved Constitutional Question 1, which asked if hunting and fishing should be established as a constitutional right in South Carolina. There wasn’t an active threat to residents’ right to hunt and fish, but a growing number of states are ensuring those activities are expressly protected in their constitutions.

And now on to Arizona where things didn’t turn out so well…

From this story on
_Arizona voters have said no to making hunting and fishing a constitutional right. Proposition 109 would have made hunting and fishing on par with freedom of religion, free speech and the right to bear arms. It also would have given the Legislature exclusive authority to regulate those activities, although it could delegate rule-making to the state Game and Fish Commission.

Critics, including major environmental groups, called the measure unnecessary because there are no real threats to hunting and fishing in the state. Supporters called it a pre-emptive strike against any threat that may arise to these long-standing traditions. The measure failed despite the support of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, the Game and Fish Commission and the National Rifle Association.
Doh! What the hell happened in Arizona? Your thoughts? Why do you think these amendments passed in South Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee, but failed in Arizona?