The issue couldn't be more politically polarized, as not a single Democrat in the state Senate has endorsed a bill to add 'trapping' to hunting and fishing to Montana's Constitution. 

Republican District 7 State Senator Jennifer Fielder said the move is just another step in the effort to end trapping in Montana.

"We've seen four different attacks on trapping in the last five or six years, and we've also seen nationwide bans on lion and bear hunting and trapping and more restrictions on what Americans can hunt, fish and trap," Fielder said. "This bill (SB 236) is to propose to the citizens of Montana that we put a strong safeguard in our state constitution that guarantees the people of Montana the right to hunt, fish and trap without continuing to fight the animal rights attacks that keep costing sportsmen and anglers an awful lot of money to fight."

Fielder marveled at the way Democrats in the State Senate gathered together to oppose the bill.

"It's unbelievable that the entire Democratic party in the State Senate voted against the bill, even those who wanted to vote for it," she said. "I think they were under orders not to vote for it. Orders probably coming out of the governor's office because his office and Montana Fish Wildlife and parks are lobbying hard against it to keep the issue from coming before the voters."

The bill passed in the second and third reading by identical votes of 30 to 20.

Senate Bill 236 has earned the support of a growing list of state and national organizations including:

  • National Rifle Association
  • U.S. Shooting Sports Association
  • Montana Shooting Sports Association
  • Montana Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation