ND Voters Reject Hunting Ban, Approve Oil Tax FundNorth Dakota residents said "yes" to property rights and piggy banks in Tuesday's election.
By: Associated Press,
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota residents said "yes" to property rights and piggy banks in Tuesday's election.
Voters rejected a ballot measure to eliminate so-called high-fenced hunting and approved a measure to set aside some of the state's oil money for a reserve fund.
Measure 2 would have abolished fenced hunting preserves where people pay to shoot big game such as deer and elk. The proposal first went in front of the Legislature in 2007 and was defeated in the Senate 44-3.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, 57 percent of voters had rejected the measure.
Spokesmen on both sides said they are tired of the debate.
"I was expecting to win," said Shawn Schafer, a white-tailed deer farmer near Turtle Lake and spokesman for Citizens to Protect North Dakota's Property Rights. "But I have spent a lot of summers in a booth at the State Fair and it has taken a lot away from my family."
Roger Kaseman, who leads a group called North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase, said he's dropping the issue.
"We were outspent. It boils down to that," he said.
Backers of a ban on fenced hunting preserves say the practice is unethical because the animals can't escape. They say it violates the principal of a fair chase and insults the state's hunting heritage.
Opponents of the measure said a ban would violate property rights.
Measure 1 will set aside 30 percent of North Dakota's oil tax collections in a new fund, starting July 1. A similar proposal was shot down by 64 percent of the voters in 2008, but supporters said the current measure is less restrictive.
"I think for starters this was a more balanced approach to saving and spending," said Sandy Clark, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Farm Bureau. "This time it had a percentage and last time it was a specific dollar amount. So that seemed to be more popular with the voters."
With 99 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, 64 percent of voters had favored the measure.
The Legislature will be barred from spending the fund's principal or investment earnings until July 1, 2017. After that date, the fund's subsequent earnings will be moved into the state's general treasury, but its principal will not be spent without a two-thirds vote of lawmakers.