Floridians will vote on right to fish and hunt this November

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Hunting and fishing amendment on November ballot

A push to give Floridians the right to hunt and fish under the state's Constitution will be on the ballot this November. FOX 13's Evan Axelbank talked with supporters about why they believe it's necessary.

Floridians will have the chance to vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution later this year.

Amendment 2 will need 60 percent support to pass. It reads in part, "To preserve forever fishing and hunting, including by the use of traditional methods, as a public right and preferred means of responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife." 

Current FWC rules would not be impacted. Backers say a dozen states have tried to narrow hunting and fishing rules.

In Oregon, for instance, there is a push that some say would remove certain exemptions for animal abuse that protect hunters and anglers, and to make it illegal to sell animals for slaughter.

Pictured: Dylan Hubbard

Dylan Hubbard is a fourth-generation Floridian, angler and business owner, who depends on fishing for food, family and livelihood.

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"This, to me, is a lifestyle. It's the way I was raised," he said. "Without being able to get out there on the water and have fishing, I don't think you have true Florida."

Those trying to line up opposition to the amendment say its wording is dangerous because it effectively makes hunting the preferred method of managing wildlife.

They also say the words, "by traditional methods" prevents the regulation of trapping, baiting, hunting with dogs and even trophy hunting.

"We're not trying to stop hunting or fishing in the state of Florida," said Chuck O'Neal of "NoTo2.org." "That's not the point of the campaign at all. The point of the campaign is to keep hunting and fishing as a regulated activity."

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Supporters of the Florida amendment argue FWC would still dictate seasons, bag limits and declare which species are off limits.

Fishing and hunting brings in $16 billion a year for Florida, and supports 134,000 jobs, including Hubbard's.

"This is a huge part of what I do, how I make my living, how I feed my family," said Hubbard.

In Florida, amendments need 60 percent support to pass.

In 2020, Utah voters approved something similar with 75 percent, while North Carolinians passed an amendment in 2018 with 57 percent.

The Oregon amendment that has inspired the Florida push only missed the ballot by 20,000 votes.

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