Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who doesn't love big racks on Sunday? - Sunday Hunting: Part 2

I went off on a little tirade earlier this week about Sunday hunting. Now that I have talked to some people, saw opinions left on the comments sections of the previous post, and just took a deep breath and realized I get annoyed with this topic more often than I should; I decided to sit down a do a little more research.

After a little research I found a map (shown below) that details the states that permit, prohibit, and limit Sunday hunting. Personally this map looks a little disturbing to me, it looks like the there are only a handful of states that are still holding on to these Blue Laws.

Image Credit:

As you can see above, there are only seven states that don't allow Sunday hunting, then there are also some that either allow it in limited counties or instances, while there is only one state that allows Sunday hunting on private land. States have taken into consideration many different opinions to attempt to please everyone, but it isn't working out as planned.When 78% of the nation is allowed to hunt on a given day, yet that other 22% can't because it is Sunday, because this Sunday isn't the 3rd Sunday of this month, or because you aren't fortunate enough to own or have access to private land; it just doesn't seem to be valid enough reasons to me.

There are a few major points that stick out drastically in this topic. The first one being the government intervention in this topic, yes we are all governed by they same laws, but what happens when you move from New York to North Carolina? This instance actually happened to Lisa, at Hunt Like You're Hungry, stated that "I've been able to Sunday hunt since I started hunting. When I moved to NC, I was shocked that Sunday hunting, except for bow (which I do for the majority anyway), is illegal... The government shouldn't tell me when I can or cannot hunt...  ...hunting on Sundays should be legal- if our forefathers told citizens that they couldn't hunt on Sundays, they would've starved." These are all great points, and the first part of her commentary shows how much one hunter will take up for another.  The fact that an avid bow hunter, still allowed to hunt on Sunday's, doesn't believe that it should be legal to limit anyone's ability to hunt, rifle or otherwise says a lot about the hunting community. Her parting statement about our forefathers, is absolutely right! I understand that we live in a society today where there are government agencies to help people, however, who is the government to tell someone trying to help themselves and their family by providing meal without assistance, they can't because it is Sunday?

While Lisa's comments and opinions are taken from a more personal micro aspect on Sunday hunting, Owl Jones raises a few more great points from a macro view of the government and their regulations on hunting. He stated that "It's hard to say "the government shouldn't tell us when we can or can't hunt." It's actually hard for me to understand the thought process behind that - no offense, but the government already tells you what weapons you can use, when you can hunt what type of game, how you can hunt it, where you can hunt it...etc. That said, I don't think the government has any business telling you that you can't hunt on Sunday or Tuesdays or any specific day." The same general consensus, Sunday hunting should be allowed. Owl brought about some interesting opinions about the restrictions, as hunters, we face on calibers, hunting seasons, and bag limits. In my opinion, these topics are also somewhat of the government infringing on our right, but at least these can be explained and backed up with more scientific reasoning and data. Where as Sunday hunting is a continuation of the Blue Laws that have continued to be repealed for many, many years. Blue Laws have yet to be explained besides the usual responses of that's how it has been for years.

The second major part of this debate is the religious/sabbath aspect of Sunday hunting. This could be a sensitive subject to some, and I am not intending to offend anyone, if I do, I apologize. But with that being said, Jay, from The Naturalist's Angle, and I both share similar opinions on this. Jay stated that "...this is a strange mingling of church and state in my opinion. The laws are clearly a result of Christian observance of the Sabbath. I imagine in WV and VA it's all about making sure that the sounds of gunfire don't disrupt any worship services. It's absolutely ridiculous. I don't think Christians should have any monopoly on peace and quiet for their worship. Other religions (and even certain denominations) observe the Sabbath on Saturday, but they apparently don't get any special treatment." There isn't much more I can add to this. Another fact that I find a bit disturbing, Jay touched on this also, but that anyone (of legal age) can buy buy beer or wine after 1:00 PM on any given Sunday. By law I am not allowed to go sit in my tree stand with a weapon and have the possibility to take any game. Yet, I can go to the local grocery store, which is less than a block from my church, and buy a 30 pack of my favorite beer. I know this is comparing apples and oranges, it is still something that has always taken me back. Swamp Thing brought up the point that some people may believe that it could be the killing that people don't think is proper on Sunday, but then again shouldn't this also prevent people from fishing? I'm not saying in the slightest I think that fishing should be prohibited, just as hunting shouldn't be.

Lastly, the third point that arose from this discussion is how the absence of Sunday hunting affects the next generation of hunters. Swamp Thing also wrote that "If the states want to generate more hunters (which they do - for revenue alone), they will have to adapt to the 21st century reality that dads and moms can't take their kids out hunting on most saturdays. Kids are involved -and WANT to be involved - in activities that are all scheduled for saturdays. Want to grow the next generation of hunters (and voters who won't vote against hunting and gun issues)? Allow sunday hunting. Stop thinking the world is going to rewind to 1955, because it's not." This is more true than I could ever reiterate. Strangely enough though, LB, at Bullets and Biscuits, said that in Delaware, children are excused for two days of school, rather than just allowing them to hunt on Sundays. This just seems a bit ridiculous to me, a day that they already have off, they aren't allowed to hunt, yet they are allowed to disrupt a day of school. Sadly enough, this trend is starting to be true, I'm not saying this due to fact that Sunday hunting is still prohibited in the majority of the counties in my state. There was an article released in the past few days, that talks about the decline in deer harvested could be directly related to the decline in hunters in the state.

The state of West Virgina is trying to move forward in allowing Sunday hunting, in 2001 West Virginia enacted legislation that allows Sunday hunting on private land, but each county can hold a referendum to ban Sunday hunting. There are currently only 14 counties that allow this, but there is still the outside chance that my county may allow Sunday hunting sometime in the near future. As far as Pros and Cons go, there are  many pros as you have read, but as for cons, I haven't found many that can be easily avoided or manipulated a little to please both parties. If you haven't gathered this yet, I do not believe that Sunday hunting should be prohibited. 


  1. I sure wish New England would get it together and let us hunt on Sunday's.

  2. Well thought out post and very valid points indeed.

    I personally think it's one of the silliest laws I've ever heard of!

  3. New jersey passed a limited Sunday hutning bill last year allowing Sunday archery hunting on private land and Wildlife management areas. I'm hoping this helps us in CT but you never know.

    I've been amazed at the responses I've gotten back from those legislators who are not in support of the sportsman. It's amazing how they are filled with anti hunting babel and false information.

    Great post and keep up the fight.

  4. Another hitch - Virginia has a "right to hunt" constitutional amendment in place. Yet, not on sundays, ever.

    The thing you must remember (in VA) is that a VARIETY of forces, from deer-dog hunters to non-hunter equestrians, to the H$U$ all banded together to stop sunday hunting this year. Bad juju for hunters to be lined up with the HSUS.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...