Sunday Hunting Gunned Down Again

Efforts to remove the prohibitions on Sunday hunting failed in Virginia, again

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

Virginia hunters mounted a serious but unsuccessful charge this year in the Commonwealth’s legislative session to get Sunday hunting “blue laws” repealed or modified.

So, until changes are made, hunting on Sunday in Virginia still will be prohibited. The excuses of those who want to keep the prohibition in place are flimsy, at best, including:

Sunday deer hunting still is prohibited in Virginia.

Deer need a day of rest – Really? What about the rest of the year when the season’s not open? Those deer must be partying their hairy butts off then. Seriously, though, there’s nothing biologically that supports this idiotic argument. And isn’t wildlife management or conservation supposed to be based on biology and science? Yes.

Sunday is a religious day – Hmmm, how about Jews, Muslims, Catholics and other faiths? What if they said “Hey, Saturday is our day. No hunting!” Any state agency using a religious tenor for setting a law might find themselves in a legal wrangle. It just doesn’t cut the mustard.

People need a break from hunting – Pshaw. Again, there are plenty of months the rest of the year to hike, get out and about or just do whatever. Hunters only have a few weeks and knocking out, basically, one or almost two of those with antiquated blue laws prohibiting Sunday hunting is simply idiotic.

Sporting events are permitted on Sunday, from NASCAR to youth sports. Professional bass fishing tournaments are held on Sunday. Retail stores are open. But hunting? Why heavens! No one should be allowed to do that on Sunday!

It’s time these laws were removed from the books in the states that still have them. Virginia isn’t the only one.

Veteran outdoors writer Bill Cochran had some reaction in his Roanoke Times column a few weeks ago, which we belatedly stumbled across. One proponent of Sunday hunting, Butch Ammon, is fed up.

“I am shaking my head in bewilderment at the General Assembly still wanting to keep Virginia stuck in the 1890s,” Ammon said. “I am formally announcing that I am done hunting in Virginia. That’s right, General Assembly. That’s right, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. That’s right, everyone. I’m done. Virginia has just lost a license-buying hunter. I will now go hunting on my sister’s and brother-in-law’s farm (in another state.)”

I personally hope Mr. Ammon doesn’t give up the fight, but I do understand what it’s like to  keep butting your head against bricks for something you believe in but can’t get accomplished. It’s not fun. Problem with giving up in this instance, though, is the anti-hunters and hardline legislators win a battle they shouldn’t be winning.

Hunting is hunting, whether it’s done on Tuesday or Friday or Sunday. Period. Taking away a few days based on emotional, antiquated laws that don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny is simply wrong.

To read the full Roanoke Times column go here: Click this link

What do you think about Sunday hunting or prohibitions against Sunday hunting? Sound off with your comments.