As the time to vote draws closer, it seems that one of the hot issues on the minds of many local citizens is how to vote on Proposition 109, that if passed would amend the Arizona Constitution and make hunting and fishing a right.
Proponents of the proposition are saying that out-of-state anti hunting groups including the Humane Society of the United States are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertisements that contain false and or/misleading information about what the proposition would do if passed.
It is interesting to note that HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle said in an interview, "If we could ban all sport hunting in a moment, we would."
HSUS leaders have also said in the past, "We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California.
"Then we will take it state by state."
Recently, a number of current commissioners on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission formed a group to speak out about Prop. 109. Surveys have shown that the people of Arizona respect and trust the commission when it comes to matters involving the management of Arizona's wildlife.
Headed up by Vice Chairman Robbie Woodhouse, the group has put together a website that dispels the myths and misinformation about the proposition.
Their web site is www.commissionersyeson109.com and all interested persons should look at it before making a decision on whether to support Prop. 109.
Woodhouse says that the main focus of Prop. 109 is that it will ensure that sound science is the basis for wildlife management.
Other statements by Woodhouse's group include debunking the myths that Prop. 109 is nothing more than a power grab by the Legislature, and that Prop. 109 is a solution looking for a problem. I'd say refer to Mr. Pacelle's statements to see if that problem is here.
The proposition also ensures that hunting and fishing are the primary tools used to manage wildlife in Arizona, and it will protect our hunting and fishing heritage.
Woodhouse also noted that extreme activist groups have successfully banned hunting in other states, with a detrimental effect to wildlife.
Prop. 109 has a long list of supporters including Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. John McCain, and representatives Trent Franks, John Shadegg and Jeff Flake, who said, "Arizonans enjoy a rich tradition of fishing and hunting. And Proposition 109 will protect that tradition for generations to come. I am proud to support Proposition 109."
Others who have come out in support of Prop. 109 include 11 former Game and Fish commissioners and a large number of retired G&F Department employees including Wes Martin, Tim Pender and Art Fuller, who all worked out of the Kingman Region.
The Mohave Sportsman Club, the area's largest outdoor recreational group, has also endorsed Prop. 109, as has the NRA, National Wildlife Federation and the Arizona Wildlife Federation.
Local political leaders including Sen. Ron Gould and representatives Nancy McLain and Doris Goodale have also gone on record as supporting Proposition 109.
Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 2 to vote on this and a number of other propositions.
Even if you are not a hunter or angler, think about what passing this proposition will do. Maybe your children or grandchildren will want to participate in hunting or fishing. Don't you think they should have the right to choose?