Goshen News, Goshen, IN


February 17, 2013

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Support builds for sportsmens’ rights

GOSHEN — In case you haven’t heard, Indiana sportsmen are closer to having a Constitutional right to fish and hunt.

Wait a minute, you say; don’t we already have that right?

Of course we do. But backers of proposed legislation at the statehouse believe nailing those rights to the constitution gives sportsmen protection from anti-hunting groups that would dearly love to deny those rights.

The Indiana Senate passed SJR 0007 by a 38-10 vote this week, sending the proposed amendment to the House for its approval. If passed, Hoosiers will vote on it in next year’s state election.

It likely will. The same proposal sailed through the General Assembly two years ago. Under law, a Constitutional amendment must be approved by two separate Legislatures before going on a statewide ballot.

The proposed amendment “Provides that the people have a right to hunt, fish, harvest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products, which is a valued part of our heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject to laws prescribed by the general assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the general assembly. Provides that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. Provides that this constitutional amendment does not limit the application of any laws relating to trespass or property rights.”

If successful, Indiana would join 17 states that have added similar constitutional amendments in recent years.

Oddly enough, Michigan, one of the nation’s most popular hunting and fishing states, isn’t one of them.

Bill sponsor Senator Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said the amendment would protect Indiana’s $8 billion a year in agricultural products sold, and more than 950,000 residents who hunt or fish each year, from animal-rights groups trying to impose more limits. The amendment continues to give authority to state agencies to regulate hunting and fishing.  

“You think (anti-groups) haven’t spread their tentacles?” Steele said in an Associated Press story this week. “I merely ask you to go to your computers and look them up.”

If the referendum goes public, expect heavily financed anti-groups to bombard the state with a media campaign filled with lies and misconceptions to sway votes of those who don’t fish and hunt.

Antis spent millions a few years ago when a dove hunting referendum was defeated on Michigan ballot.

Stay tuned.

License changes coming?

Southwest Michigan wildlife Biologist Steve Chadwick hinted at some major license changes coming.

In a media note this week, Chadwick said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s new budget proposal calls for a change in the state’s license structure and fees.

“Currently we have over 200 license types for hunters and anglers to navigate and the governor has asked us to bring that to 31,” said Chadwick. “Secondly, some fees will change which is expected to bring an additional $18 million in DNR coffers.”

Although specific details have yet to be ironed out, it’s likely there will be one license to cover both inland and trout and salmon. Of course, that means that inland anglers who don’t fish trout and salmon will be expected to pay considerably more.

Hunters might see similar changes, such as they will buy a basic hunting license and add whatever tags – deer, turkey, bear, etc. – on top of that.

Fee increases, Chadwick noted, will boost the state’s matching dollars for federal funding. The Wildlife Restoration act and the Sport Fish Restoration Act returns $3 in federal money to states for every $1 they put up.

Both of those funds are derived from federal excise taxes applied on sporting equipment at the retail level. Those excise tax collections are then allocated to states based upon their respective number of paid licenses.

The funds must be dedicated to fish and wildlife projects, including research, surveys and public access development.

“With the increase in gun and ammunition sales this year, we expect more money being made available to the states next year,” Chadwick explained.

Before a state can claim its allotment on a project, it must cover one third of the costs from its own money. For simplicity sake, say Michigan is offered $9 million in Wildlife Restoration Act funds, it must ante $3 million of its own.

Increasing license revenue will make that more feasible.

There may be a glitch, however.

Chadwick says if Congress allows the Federal Budget Control Act “Sequester” go through in a couple of weeks, all of that excise money will be lost.

Don’t you just love politics?

Lunker’s signup

The general public can begin signing up Monday for next summer’s annual Lunker’s Bass tournament on Eagle/Juno lakes.

The tournament will be held Aug. 3. Entry fee is $110 per team. Starting position is based upon the order entries are received. Call Lunkers, 269-663-3745, for details.

Classic night

Beef O’ Brady’s will host its 5th annual Bassmaster Classic Party next Sunday at the Granger restaurant.     Live coverage of bass fishing’s world championship finals will be streamed from Bassmaster.com onto the big screen TV in the restaurant. The weigh-in will start at approximately 5:30 p.m., South Bend time.

Bassmaster Classic competition starts Friday on Grand Lake O’ Cherokees, some 90 miles from Tulsa, Ok., where the indoor weigh-ins will be conducted at BOK Center.

Beef O’ Brady’s will provide free chips and salsa while supplies last. Anglers are encouraged to bring tournament schedules to share with others, fishing photos to post on a braggin’ board, and any used bass fishing tackle they might want to trade or sell.

For more information, call Rick Kedik, 269-240-4917.

Wild game dinner

The Dowagiac Conservation Club will host its annual Wild Game Dinner next Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Adult meals consisting of venison, rabbit, elk, pheasant, squirrel, goose and other game meats prepared by club members will be served for an $8 donation or $4 for children. Beef and pork will be available as well as salads, side dishes and desserts.

Proceeds go to the club’s Youth Education Fund. For information, call Andy Parmley, 269-782-5046.

The club is located north of Dowagiac on M-51.

Contact Goshen News outdoor writer Louie Stout at info@louiestout.com.

Text Only
  • GN140802 girls golf letterwinners 01 GIRLS GOLF: Goshen begins season on Tuesday at MCC GOSHEN — Desire, dedication and determination are going to be key words for the Goshen High School girls golf team during the 2014 season. “We are going to be talking a lot about the three D’s this year,” seventh-year Redskin coach Brock Rose said. “The belief you can play is a huge part of this game. “We are not going to be a deep team, but I am really excited about the upcoming season. The girls have put in a lot of time on the driving range and working on their chipping and putting. They have not had a lot of course time, but I’m happy with the work they did over the summer. As a group they have done more over the summer than some past teams.”|GOSHEN — Desire, dedication and determination are going to be key words for the Goshen High School girls golf team during the 2014 season. “We are going to be talking a lot about the three D’s this year,” seventh-year Redskin coach Brock Rose said. “

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT GN140802 Kelly press conference Kelly: "I'll make the (quarterback) call when it's clear" At the first official press conference of the 2014 Notre Dame football season, Irish head coach Brian Kelly made it clear he’s got a quarterback battle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • PODCAST: TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 41

    Question of the Week: Which year did Brock Rose take over the Goshen High School girls' golf program?

    Do you think you know the answer? Send your answer to sports@goshennews.com. Correct answers will be entered into a weekly drawing and the winner will be announced during the next week's podcast.

    August 1, 2014

  • Colts Camp Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: Colts lose 2nd starter with season-ending injury ANDERSON — The injuries are already piling up in Indianapolis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Britain Commonwealth Games [TGN online] England wins diving gold to increase medal lead GLASGOW, Scotland — England added to its burgeoning gold-medal lead at the Commonwealth Games when divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won the synchronized 3-meter springboard on Friday. At the Royal Commonwealth Pool at Edinburgh, about an hour's dr

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crystal Palace signs defender Brede Hangeland LONDON — Crystal Palace has signed former Fulham captain Brede Hangeland for the new English Premier League season. The 33-year-old Norway central defender left Fulham after the London club opted against offering a new contract following relegation

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers-Rays-Mariners Trade Baseball [GOSHEN NEWS] MLB: Flurry of moves made at trade deadline Baseball fans were still trying to sort out the dizzying deals for postseason aces Jon Lester and John Lackey, Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when they were treated to a most curious sight Thursday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nadal Withdraws Tennis [GOSHEN NEWS] TENNIS: Nadal withdraws from two tournaments Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL: Colts look for second-year LB to take big step forward ANDERSON — Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner -- the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts -- is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results