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Sunday Hunting in Virginia

Old 08-15-2006, 03:22 PM
  #1  
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Default Sunday Hunting in Virginia

It looks like this issue may be heating up again. If you're supportive, this would be a good time to contact your representative at the VDGIF and contact the Governor to remind him of his campaign promise.

Sunday hunting on DGIF's radar

Let's say you ran a business that was slowly but steadily losing
customers. Yet by law you are allowed to be open only six days a
week, and the day you are closed could be one of your busiest days
for customer visits.

That's the challenge facing the Virginia Department of Game and
Inland Fisheries because of the ban on Sunday hunting.

When the department recently raised license fees, many of the hunters
who complained about the increase cited the Sunday hunting ban as a
primary reason.

The game department can't change the law, and its leaders have been
skittish about getting anywhere near the controversial topic.

But that may be changing.

The topic of Sunday hunting is listed on the agenda of the board's
Wildlife and Boating Committee for its meeting Monday at 3 p.m. at
the department's office in Richmond.

The agenda for the full board meeting the next day hasn't been
released, but it seems likely that the committee's Sunday hunting
discussion will be addressed.

Even though the department can't change the law, the agency's general
approach to the topic certainly can affect the attitudes of
legislators who do make the laws.

The idea of eliminating the ban already has one important supporter
in Richmond. During his campaign last year Gov. Tim Kaine publicly
said he disagrees with the ban..
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

Here we go again!
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

We're making serious waves in VA over Sunday hunting and a bunch of us are on multiple forums, talking about it.

http://www.vadeer.com (goto top left and choose "Talk Forum")

http://www.refugeforums.com/refuge/forumdisplay.php?f=74

http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=369331

Butch A.

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Old 08-15-2006, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

Not gonna happen in a million years in the Bible belt. I lived there for 12 years and I can tell you without hesitation. Not gonna happen!!!
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:07 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

I hear what you're saying, but based on this map it sure looks like most of the states in the bible belt are hunting on Sunday:

http://www.nraila.org/images/sundayhunting.jpg
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

I'm ready to help out. With the high license prices, we should get that extra couple days. Rifle season is a whole 2 weeks here and it only comes to 12 days! I't just dampers me man, I hate to get into hunting the week and having to stop for a day. Saturday and sunday is the only time alot of people can hunt, due to the wrok week. Thats one day a week, thats hogwash man. It's only fair to everybody to let us hunt on sunday.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

The bible belt runs about 150 miles either side of a curve starting in Dallas, over to Shreveport and Monroe, La to Jackson, Miss over to Birmingham, Al to Atlanta and curving up to Va. I think probablya little north of this.

I can't speak for the "northern" states, but I would love to see someone propose no sunday hunting in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi or Alabama!

This, in my humble opinion has little to do anymore with the bible belt. Blue laws and other sunday restrictions have pretty much evaporated in almost every other way, why would hunting be any different? I serously doubt that there is and political group actually lobbying to keep the law in place.
Virtually every argument I have ever heard against sunday hunting have either been from farmers, anti hunters or some other group and not based on any real religious reason.
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

Whats the reasoning behind this? That's the biggest crock of**** I have ever heard.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:06 AM
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

In the early days of America, so-called blue laws restricted many activities on Sunday. In recent years, however, state governments have recognized that the people’s right to choose for themselves what they do, or don’t do, on Sunday is more consistent with America’s founding principals. Present day bans on Sunday hunting are the last holdouts of these blue laws, and hunters are questioning why they are being treated differently from their fellow citizens.

The majority of hunters will agree that the biggest obstacle to hunting, and the biggest obstacle to recruiting new hunters, is lack of access and opportunity to hunt. By restricting Sunday hunting, states are not only limiting opportunities for today’s hunters but are making it harder to recruit new hunters to carry on our proud heritage. Anti-hunting groups understand this, that’s why they oppose lifting Sunday hunting bans--they don’t want a new generation of hunters to enter the field. This opposition to Sunday hunting is in fact opposition to the future of hunting itself.

Restrictions on Sunday hunting treat hunters as second-class citizens. Other outdoor activities are allowed on Sunday, including fishing, hiking and golf. By restricting hunting and not other activities, state governments are sending a not so subtle message to hunters and non-hunters alike that there is something wrong with hunting, that it isn’t as legitimate an activity. This message ignores the fact that hunters contribute billions of dollars to the benefit of wildlife, both through license fees and excise taxes paid on firearms and ammunition.

There are compelling reasons why Sunday hunting should be allowed:


Sunday hunting has no detrimental effect on wildlife populations. The 43 states that allow some form of Sunday hunting have healthy wildlife populations in those areas that can sustain them. In fact the states with the most abundant game populations allow Sunday hunting. Those states that have recently removed prohibitions on Sunday hunting have not seen a negative impact on game populations. Allowing Sunday hunting will give state wildlife agencies more flexibility in managing populations. The extra day a week for hunting will give the agencies the ability to increase hunting in areas of overpopulation by encouraging hunters to go afield.


The most common reason that hunters stop hunting is lack of hunting opportunity. Hunting opportunities are largely decided by two factors: accessible land and available time. Since most hunters work Monday through Friday, a ban on Sunday hunting cuts their available hunting time in half.


Sunday hunting is an excellent way to recruit new hunters. Many young people have school or athletic obligations on Saturday. Allowing Sunday hunting means that parents can spend time hunting with their son or daughter, passing on a heritage that is so important to America. With the myriad of activities that compete for the attention of young people today, a restriction on Sunday hunting means many of them never take up the sport.


Sunday hunting will bring an economic benefit to many rural areas. Every day that hunters are in the field, they spend money on gas, food, lodging and the dozens of other incidentals that go along with a day’s hunt. The ripple effect of this spending can have a major impact on a rural town or county.


Out-of-state license revenue can grow as a result of Sunday hunting. Few hunters will take extended hunting trips to a state that won’t let them hunt one day of the week. These out-of-state hunters pay higher license fees that benefit the game department and also spend even more money on incidentals than in-state hunters.

Current Sunday hunting bans:

Currently seven states entirely prohibit hunting on Sunday for wild game; they are Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut. All of these states have considered legislation to lift the bans in recent years. Repealing the Sunday hunting bans has been actively supported by the wildlife agencies in Maine and New Jersey.

Four states allow limited Sunday hunting: Maryland allows hunting on two Sundays during deer season; South Carolina allows Sunday hunting on private land only; North Carolina allows Sunday hunting on some federal installations; in 2001 West Virginia enacted legislation that allows Sunday hunting on private land, but each county can hold a referendum to ban Sunday hunting; currently 14 counties allow it.

Recently several states have recognized the folly of Sunday hunting bans:

New York: In 1996 New York opened Sunday hunting on three Sundays during deer season. Within five years the law was changed to allow all Sunday hunting, except on specifically designated lands.

Ohio: In 1998 Ohio passed a bill allowing a test of Sunday hunting on public lands for a period of three years. In 2002 the legislature made Sunday hunting permanent without opposition from groups that had concerns when the test began. The state wildlife agency supported the change.

Michigan: Sunday hunting was banned on private land in certain counties, but in 2003, all Sunday hunting closures were repealed. The bill was supported by the state wildlife agency.

None of these states have experienced the horror stories forecast by opponents of hunting. The states continue to have healthy wildlife populations. Hunters continue to behave in a responsible and safe manner. Church attendance remains unchanged. Landowner-hunter conflicts have not increased. In sum, Sunday hunting has had nothing but a beneficial impact on these states and the future of hunting in them.


There have been various arguments offered in support of maintaining the Ban on No Sunday Hunting in Virginia. I wish to supply counter arguments to repeal the Ban.

Argument: If Sunday hunting were allowed, fathers/mothers would spend less time with their families. I.E. Deer season widows.

1) The state has no place in dictating “family time”. This is a personal issue.
2) This Ban does not forbid: Golf, Fishing, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, or any other “past-time” that could take place on Sunday, thus taking a family member away from “family time”.

Argument: I want to go to church on Sunday. Sunday is a day of rest.

1) Repeal of this Ban would not keep anyone from attending church.
2) The state has no place enforcing/supporting the doctrine of any religion

Argument: Church services would be disturbed or attendance would go down.

1) People attend church on Wednesdays (a legal hunting day) and there has been no conflict.
2) Other states that allow Sunday hunting have not encountered this problem.
3) Religions other than Christianity, which have services on Fridays and Saturdays (legal hunting days), have not encountered this problem.
4) There could be “archery only” zones near places of worship or restricted zones surrounding them.
5) The state has no place ensuring church attendance.

Argument: Farmers and landowners would be forced to allow Sunday hunting on private property.

1) Farmers or landowners can dictate what activities can or cannot be conducted on their property. They simply can write “No Sunday Hunting” into their permission contracts if they so wish. It is law that hunters must carry written permission to hunt private land already.


Argument: It has always been this way.

1) Tradition is not a valid reason for denying a liberty or privilege.
2) It is one, if not the last, of the Blue Laws on the books.

Argument: Deer need a day to rest from the pressure of hunting.

1) There is no valid evidence from other states, that allow Sunday hunting, that the deer are “over-pressured”.
2) Deer are unaware of the days of the week. So they do not ‘know’ that this day is ‘safer’ than any other.
3) Many hunters go out on Sunday to scout, check their stands, cameras and/or feeders. The deer are not aware that the hunters are unarmed.
4) Although there is no study to site for the effects of Sunday hunting in Virginia, conclusions can be drawn from the data in other states.
5) There is light pressure from hunting during the week because many, if not most, hunters work during the week.

Argument: There will be an over-harvest of deer.

1) Although there is no study to site for the effects of Sunday hunting in North Carolina, conclusions can be drawn from the data in other states.
There has not been a negative effect on the deer herd in these states.
2) Few Virginia hunters fill all of their tags. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries set the limit of 6 deer per season. An increase in harvest should not drastically effect the herd population based on the present limit.

Argument: We don’t have the money to pay for extra Wardens.

1) Wardens are working on Sundays already. As a whole, they do not get Sundays off any time of the year.
2) We have, in place now, a phone and Internet check-in service. There would not be an increased workload since Sunday check-in is already available.


Argument: I want to walk in the woods on Sunday.

1) If you own your property, do not allow Sunday hunting.
2) There is no hunting in State Parks.


Argument: What good will it do?

1) Opening Sunday for hunting would allow ‘working’ hunters more opportunities to take game. Especially if Saturday is effected by inclement weather or family obligations take precedent.
2) Allowing Sunday hunting would increase the chances of hunters to supply more meat for their families, thus saving them money by extending their food budgets.
3) There would be more use of expendable goods: gasoline, scents, restaurants, and ammunition.
4) There would be increased income to Hunting Preserves and Guides.
5) There would be an increase in out-of-state hunters. This would provide increased income to local economies (Preserves, guides, hotels, gasoline, and restaurants) as well as to the VDGIF by way of an increased number of out-of-state licenses.
6) Increased income for game processors.
7) Opening Sunday to hunting will allow children who have Saturday school or extracurricular activities (football, soccer, and clubs) to hunt. They would not have to choose between the two.
Opening Sunday to hunting would allow hunters more time to enjoy participating in a way of life that many hold dear.

I would like to point out that this issue is not a “deer hunting” only issue. Although deer hunting is often the example argued, there are other game animals in the state.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:21 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Sunday Hunting in Virginia

I think you said it all right there, great post.
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