Sunday hunting dies

While the bill that recently passed with a resounding 29 to 11 vote in the Virginia State Senate may technically remain alive, a pack of similar bills failed to get past a key House subcommittee last week, suggesting that the effort to allow Sunday hunting– the hot topic in last week's Hook– has died.

As the Roanoke Times reports, Sunday hunting backers in the House conceded even before their February 1 hearing that they didn't have sufficient support to move past the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources subcommittee. Such backers had been attempting to undo Virginia's long-standing ban on Sunday hunting, something originally designed for religious reasons but which grew to be appreciated by a wider assortment of farmers and recreationalists who yearned for safer Sundays.

note: originally, the online version of this story had its headline include a question mark at the end.


It's not just the fear of getting shot that made allowing Sunday hunting detested by many, although that certainly was a factor, but the piercing sound of gunshots on what many still consider a day of peace, rest, and quiet.

I know many hunters who out of a sense of fairness agreed that giving those armed only with binoculars and hiking sticks one day of quiet in the woods would be to their benefit as well.

As a hunter I am happy this will not pass. That would create too much competition in the woods for me on Sundays. It's nice and quiet on Sundays now.

I'm all in favor of Sunday hunting. I end up working at least half the Saturdays during the season.
If Sunday hunting is allowed, shorten the season by a week. We have so many parks in this area that are not open to hunting, people wanting to get out on the weekends shouldn't have a problem.

excellent! they now need to ban the use of hunting dogs. take a drive through the southern part of albemarle county during hunting season and count the number of lazy, self-titled "hunters" that sit in a truck beside the road chatting with their buddies on a cb while waiting for their dogs (equipped with radio tracking collar) to run a deer (most times from posted property) out into the open in front of them. if these lazy morons would actually get out of their truck and go into the woods, they would still have the chance to kill a deer. tradition my a__. they hunt because they enjoy killing. that's it.

Is this a case where partisan lines were not the deciding factor ?

Once I saw this sail through the Senate I thought it was a done deal, but perhaps we are a God fearing state after all.

from the Roanoke Times linked article above:

"Some hunting organizations have raised concerns that allowing Sunday hunting would turn more people against the sport.

"One of the main reasons hunters don't want it is it's going to hurt hunting in the long run," said Wright, a hunter who opposes Sunday hunting, partly for personal reasons.

"I think it should be a day of rest, a day of worship, a day to spend with the family," Wright said.

@local 42 - go to our ASPCA and see what happens to all those dogs after hunting season because those yahoos don't want to feed them, vet them or house them properly. There are very few hunters out there who hunt as they should. Most of them, hunt for the "racks" not the meat and let the meat rot or become buzzard food.

The reason we have an overpopulation of deer is that they are being hunted too much. But our ignorant law makers and others turn a blind eye to this.

If hunting was done by true hunters and not the yahoos around here, there would be no issues.

Sorry Hunters, you'll have to get your Sunday dinner from Harris Teeter like the rest of us.

Deer hunting season,which seems to be at the center of this debate,is only 10 weeks long at the most and I believe shorter west of the Blue Ridge.The idea of Sunday deer hunting isn't like it's a year round deal,it's for a very short time period.In that time public lands are off limits to hunting(according to the bill).My guess is that those opposed just don't like deer hunting and this is just one more excuse to complain.

Bruce, I don't think this is about liking or not liking deer hunting. It seems to be about preserving the tradition of Sundays as a day of peace and quiet in the woods.

Guess its back to scraping road kill...............that's still legal on Sundays isn't it?

@ Cville Native - I think it might take a blind eye to follow your logic.

"The reason we have an overpopulation of deer is that they are being hunted too much. But our ignorant law makers and others turn a blind eye to this."

Let me get this straight. We have too many deer because too many deer are shot? If that were true, we'd be run over with buffalo, wolves, mountain lions, and elk.

I hunt. When I say "hunt", I don't mean out of a truck bed or with dogs. I mean, I go into the woods, find a quiet spot and sit and wait for a deer. Maybe somepeople won't think I'm a real hunter because I don't use calls or scents or whatever. But I'm not only out there to kill a deer, I also go out there to enjoy nature and it's peaceful to sit in the quiet woods, waiting for a deer to come along. If I don't see one that day, oh well. If I do, great! But if that deer is tiny or if it's a doe with a fawn, then I let it pass by.

I hunt on private, family owned land and I use every single part of the deer I can. I respect our land and the animals on it.

That being said, I'm glad Sunday hunting seems to be dead. Sunday is a day for rest and quiet and it's nice to know that for now, it will stay that way.

It's always hunting season if I see a big buck. I keep heat on hand everywhere I go, and if I see a monster, I pull over, and if its brown its down.

Thank you, Mike. We all feel safer now that you're on the job whenever, wherever, & in despite of any silly laws or rules.

I learned of this law on, a great site. I wrote the sponsor and shared my concerns, he never responded. I wrote Congressman Hurt and shared my concerns, he never responded. I wrote the governor and shared my concerns, he never responded. I was glad to read Hawes story in the Hook and it gave me hope that maybe there were other people who felt like I did. I always notify my elected officials, local, state and national regarding my concerns. Its so rare they respond but I still contact them. Id like to thank everyone who opposed this measure

Little known fact, the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786, makes it illegal in Virginia to curb someone's civil liberties as a result of ANYONE's religious beliefs, ie that Sunday is a day of rest, or is the Sabbath and should be kept holy, etc. And, we don't choose to rest from golfing, horseback riding, professional sports, shopping, camping, etc., nor do we honor other religious worship days such as Fridays for Muslims, or Saturdays for Jews and the Seventh Day Adventists.
On the security and quiet issue, it is legal to shoot recreationally in Virginia on Sundays, a hobby in which hundreds of bullets can/will/are fired during any given afternoon, however, hunters MIGHT fire one or two rounds if they are lucky.
More importantly, this is a constitutional issue, in accordance with the religious freedoms statute, and many others at every level, our founding fathers inteded for the landowners to be the ones determining how they use their property, and, hunters should determine if they desire to hunt Sundays or not, not the government.