Indiana lawmakers fighting to protect the right to “hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” recently failed at passing an amendment to the Indiana Constitution.

However, supporters of the measure say Indiana’s heritage is at stake, as animal rights activists and anti-hunting groups are increasing more determined to outlaw future sportsmen. “There are people that don’t believe you ought to hunt or fish,” said Senator Brent Steele, a leading supporter. “We need protection from them.”

There are currently 17 states with the right to hunt and fish written into their constitution. Indiana has attempted to pass the measure, which now includes engaging “in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products” since 1998, but has not be able to gain the support.

Opponents of the amendment say it is unnecessary legislation because those rights are not being threatened. “We’ve never taken any measures to end traditional hunting,” said Erin Huang with The Humane Society of the United States.

Yet, Senator Steele disagrees, claiming the animal rights group is being very clandestine about their actions. "They’d like you to think this is a manufactured crisis,” he said. “But if I were a virus and I wanted to kill the world, the way I would want you to believe is that I didn’t exist. That way you’d never wash your hands, you’d never do anything to prevent me. I’m just trying to inoculate us.”

Steele intends to reword the amendment and reintroduce it in the near future.