Archived Story

Sunday hunting expected to be signed into law

Published 10:50am Saturday, March 1, 2014

LIZ BUTTERFIELD
CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

RICHMOND—Weekend hunters in Virginia may be able to enjoy more hunting opportunities if Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs a law lifting the traditional ban on Sunday hunting within the commonwealth.

House Bill 1237, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, passed the General Assembly and now is in the hands of the governor. A similar bill, Senate Bill 154, is expected to pass the General Assembly later this week.

Both bills would allow for Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals only on private property. Hunting would be prohibited, however, within 200 yards of a house of worship.

Although seen as a bipartisan bill, some lawmakers did not approve of lifting the ban on Sunday hunting.

Delegate Thomas Wright, R-Victoria, said the bill will act like a Christmas tree in the legislature, a bill that allows for amendments, like ornaments, to be added on to over time.

Wright predicts the General Assembly gradually will chip away at some of the restrictions in the current bill to eventually make hunting on Sundays equitable to any other day.

“This time it was just private land and still hunting,” Wright said. “In the future I think there are going to be other bills amending this bill allowing eventually … the same hunting like on any other day of the week.”

Forty other states do not have prohibitions on Sunday hunting, according to the Coalition to Lift State Bans on Sunday Hunting. Only Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have kept these laws intact.

Both Wright and Gilbert are regular hunters in the commonwealth. Gilbert told Capital News Service earlier this month that the legislation is meant to counter a decline in hunting license purchases in Virginia.

“Virginia has such a strong hunting heritage that we thought this would be a great opportunity to attempt to reverse that trend,” Gilbert said. “The high-powered rifle season for deer is only two weeks long. So if you’re a hardworking person, you really only have two Saturday’s in which to engage in that activity all year. This would simply give you a couple extra days to enjoy a sport you love and be able to put food on the table.”

McAuliffe could not be reached for comment.

  • SlimPickens

    Notice how the Commonwealth of Virginia convieniently left out WMA’s from Sunday Hunting? They say it is okay for you to hunt on Sunday, as long as it is not on State Property. A private landowner who wishes to hunt on his land can now legally do so. All of the landowners I’ve spoken with say NO ONE will hunt their land on Sundays. I have no issue with any land owner hunting on his property whatever day they wish, Sunday included. This is nothing more than a prelude to Commercialized Hunting courtesy of Bill Jordan of Realtree outdoors. All the land a farmer determines he wants removed from crop production land can be listed under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the USDA will assist you in doing just that. Thank Va Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Va. State University for all the hard work in running Virginia’s Sportsmen off Virginia’s land as the hunting rights will go to the highest bidder. C’mon Bill Jordan, get some good ‘ol Virginny land where the Big Bucks roam!! Now what you got to cry about??? Think I’m lying??? Read publication # 420-095 from the VEC. Told y’all what was coming……now read it and weep.

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  • Ol Skinny

    Mr. Green… I was enjoying your posts until you posted “buy 100 acres and do what you want”… not so true in Southampton County… I did just that, and I still can’t keep the deer hounds off of my land! I love hunting, shooting, fishing, walking, hiking in my woods… what I don’t like is the group that thinks it’s OK for their dogs to run all over my land… But thats another argument, right?

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    • MyHometown

      Yes that is another issue. Didn’t you know this before you bought your land. Wether you agree with dog hunting or not, there are counties and states where it is not allowed. That is where you should have, bought your land. Its like building a home next to a hog farm and then complaining about the smell.

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    • ROBERT GREEN

      I agree with you about the hunting dogs. I also don’t want them on my land. I don’t hunt with dogs and i have nothing bad to say about those who do but keeping hunting dogs off your land (and mine) seems to be impossible. The dogs just do what they are trained for.

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  • johnhenry

    If I.O.W or South Hampton chooses to try to prevent hunting on private land on Sunday they should waive the taxes on Sunday. I haven’t hunted anytime in the past several years but for anyone to object to me hunting on my land on Sunday should have to pay 1/7 or my taxes. Too much control of individual rights and forced influence on all of us. Enough is Enough.

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    • SandMan

      Where is “South Hampton”? Near Newport News? Or do you mean “Southampton”?
      You’re obviously a product of WHS.

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  • MyHometown

    Liberty,
    “Selfish bullies”? Really. Maybe you should read your own posts. You are forever crying like a little child because you cant have your way. You are not the only stakeholder in this. Bullets know no boundaries. Hunting exists six months out of the year for one thing or another. It is not too much to ask that other members of our community be able to enjoy one day out of seven without worry of disturbing their neighbors while hunting or ducking bullets. Where one neighbor hunts and another doesn’t I see the potential for some clashes. Luckily myself and my neighbors have decided not to allow hunting on our land so I will continue to hunt six days and leave the woods to the nature lovers on Sunday.

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    • gs

      What about target shooting on Sunday? You sound like a low information voter(Obama supporter).

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      • MyHometown

        How wrong you are. As for target shooting, I do have a few neighbors that indulge in that activity. I’m not sure how people can afford to shoot that much. It is easy to know where they are. They make plenty of noise, are not hiding in the woods, and are usually shooting stationary targets with some sort of stop such as a sand or dirt pile.

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  • jeffturner

    It is however extremely unlikely that a person walking on their property would be wounded or killed by a fishing lure from someone located on an adjacent property.

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    • bobs94

      To be fair, it is also extremely unlikely that someone would be wounded or killed by a stray shotgun pellet. Could it happen? Sure.

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  • jeffturner

    When did they start making shotgun loads that recognize boarders and stop at property lines?

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    • ROBERT GREEN

      Well they dont. It as you know it is up to the person hunting to hunt safe and respect others property boarders, most do. Sunday is just like the other 6 days of the week and 1 more day of hunting for about 2 months out of the year will hurt no one. Now Fishing that is another story, i heard a bill was introduced last week to ban fishing on Sundays. After all it is a day of rest.

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  • beachgirl

    So much for going for a nice Sunday stroll through the woods…

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    • ROBERT GREEN

      Hunting would be allowed only on private property. SO stroll through the woods on your own property and you will be good. In other words don’t walk around on other peoples property, witch you should not do anyway.

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  • SandMan

    Rednecks rejoice…now you can slaughter innocent animals 7 days a week!

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    • ROBERT GREEN

      I would have to guess you are a vegetarian? What about all the cows, pigs, chickens led into the salter house are they innocent? They are but we as the dominant species have to eat. At least the deer in the woods have a sporting chance.

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      • SandMan

        I’m not really sure what a “salter” house is. Plus, a “pig” is a hog under 1 year of age. I doubt anyone eats it’s by products. Perhaps when you learn to spell you may be better understood.

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  • vern

    The way the law is written the counties CANNOT over ride with a local ordinance. There s a group on Facebook that drove the Sunday hunting that keeps everything up to date.
    There is also a group that is forming o lift the ban on muzzle loading in Southampton county – join it if you wish to support.

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  • ROBERT GREEN

    I would also like to hunt on my land on Sunday. Now the state will approve it and IOW will F it up. I am tired of IOW telling me what i can and cant do on MY land. They have no problem taking my tax $ for my land. Tell you what, as far as i am concerned hunting season is open on my land on Sunday from now on.

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    • gs

      I agree and it is no different than all the target shooting that occurs on Sunday. Either way there will be gunshots heard on Sunday.

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  • wpbeale

    Cant the deer and everybody that doesn’t hunt get one day a week off with out worrying about idiots with shotguns and 4x4s.

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    • ROBERT GREEN

      Are they Idiots because they have shotguns or 4×4 ? Or because they like to put food on their table ? Or is it because they enjoy spending time in the woods with their friends and family wile taking part in a American tradition ? Or all the above. Go buy a 100 acres and then you can tell people what they can do on Your land and leave everyone else alone.

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      • MyHometown

        My one hundred acres has five adjoining land owners. So you say that my daughter has to stay inside now and not ride her horse, walk the dogs, or ride her bike? From September to February I ask her to stay out of the woods Monday through Friday. Now you are asking me to lock her up all seven days of the week?
        This bill should have been for hunting on public land. Why restrict it to private land?if it is truly about increasing license sales then private land wont help. I don’t need a license to hunt my land. I do need one for state and federal land.
        The arguments for this bill don’t add up. The people approving this bill don’t live in our communities and know how this will negatively impact non-hunters. This is not about equal opportunity or land rights. Its about greed and lack of respect for others.

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      • bobs94

        They tell hunters that they cannot hunt from February until September. What’s the difference? Your daughter should not be “locked up”. As long as she stays on your property she should be fine.

        There should be no activity that is legal Monday through Saturday that is not legal on Sunday. There is a growing realization in this country that Christianity is an oppressive religion. Telling people what they can and cannot do based on religion in a supposedly “free” country has turned many people, my self included, from tolerating religion, to outright attacking it.

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    • Liberty With Responsibility

      You’re not listening, or paying attention, or something! It has already been pointed out, the deer and the tree-huggers ALREADY have their way three-quarters of the year as it is. We refuse to let them hog the whole year. We hunters get a tiny piece of the loaf, and you all want to take the whole thing! Selfish bullies you are!

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    Another local weekly newspaper has reported the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors will now pass a local law that will over-ride the new law, and prevent Sunday hunting on private land in IOW county. They say no one here WANTS the new law. I DO want to hunt my own land on Sunday. Leave the new state law alone!! Call your local supervisor and tell him/her you WANT that new right!

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    • gs

      thankfully local law cannot override state laws, based on the Dillon rule.

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