Voters to consider hunting and fishing protection - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voters to consider hunting and fishing protection

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Albany- The question posed to voters will be simple,"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good."Citizens will vote either yes or no, but is it necessary?

Hunting and fishing are more heritage than sport in Georgia. Just ask Bill Bowles who manages Wynfield Plantations in Albany.

"Often times we see three generations of the same family enjoying a quail hunt or fishing together in one of the ponds, streams, creeks, or the Flint River. It's a wonderful, wonderful past time and a wonderful heritage in our state," said Bowles.

Do those traditions need to be protected in the state's constitution? State legislators say yes. The resolution's sponsor fears that activist judges and future legislatures could place restrictions on hunting and fishing.

"I don't think too many people are seriously trying to take away hunting rights. There have been some efforts by PETA and things like that, but I doubt that they would be successful in Georgia," said associate professor of Political Science at Darton College, Roger Marietta.

Marietta says, he expects the measure will have the support from citizens and hunters.

"I don't really see this as a partisan issue at all and I see this as a great opportunity for Georgians to endorse the concepts of hunting and fishing," said Marietta.

Those close with the business feel that hunting and fishing have been such an accepted way of life for so many years that the traditions should continue.

"I feel that it's important and I think most citizens again in the state will feel that it is important to protect the ability for those to be able to hunt and fish for generations to come," said Bowles.

Voters will see the issue on the state ballots in 2006.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com