By LARRY CASE
“Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.” Genesis 27:3/King James Bible
I have thought for a long time that Sunday hunting may be like bluegrass music or grits with breakfast, you either love it or you hate it. Personally I like bluegrass and grits, but I’m on the fence about Sunday hunting.
Now before any of you get all whooped up into a frenzy about whether I support hunting or not, just listen a minute. Remember that I most likely won’t see sixty again (don’t know how I made it this far), so I come from a time when we didn’t have Sunday hunting (here in West Virginia). We just didn’t do it; it wasn’t part of our tradition. We now have Sunday hunting in 14 counties in the Mountain State, and to be honest I don’t think it has caused a blimp on the radar.
Virginia opened up Sunday hunting on private land this year and the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries people that I talk to have told me that it is the same there; it really hasn’t caused any problems. Pennsylvania, I understand, just went through a federal court case on this issue and the judge ruled against the group trying to allow Sunday hunting, so now the issue will have be decided by the state legislature.
One thing is for sure, as usual in our great nation, some states handle this differently than others. If my count is right, ten states now restrict Sunday hunting in one form or another. Six states ban Sunday hunting, four more allow some Sunday hunting but with restrictions. Some of these allow hunting on private land, Sunday hunting in certain counties, or for certain species.
Pennsylvania is considered one of the states with a ban on Sunday hunting, but allows the hunting of foxes and crows. Whew! Here is where I give you the usual disclaimer to check your states regulations before hunting anywhere on Sunday.
I am sure you have heard all the arguments for and against Sunday hunting. Proponents for Sunday hunting say the existing laws prohibiting it are left over from the old blue law days and were put into place to encourage church attendance and keep the Sabbath.
Myself, I don’t really have a problem with that, but I have had more than one hunter tell me that they often attend church and then go hunting, or they hunt early that morning (spring gobbler season) and then go to services.
Some folks against Sunday hunting have said that allowing this will cause more accidents and be a detriment to game populations, this however has not shown to be the case.