By Roger Williams,SWT Outdoors
Should the law be changed? Should hunters be allowed to pursue game on Sundays in Virginia?
I personally think that the time has arrived to allow hunters to decide if they want to seek their prey on the only other week-end day available to working men.
I cannot understand the logic behind a law that prohibits the most efficient predator from performing his duty to the wildlife of this State on one day of the week. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has done a wonderful job in growing the game animals’ populations but are now faced with problems caused by this growth.
Urban Archery seasons adopted by many Towns and Cities in the Commonwealth are an indication of control efforts in neighborhoods and subdivisions troubled by foraging animals.
The deer and bear populations have more than doubled in the last decade. The natural predators of these animals have not kept pace and are therefore unable to keep them under control. Driving along secondary roads late in the evenings is becoming a dangerous activity, particularly during the deer rutting season in the fall. Lots of damage to vehicles is caused by the unwary deer crossing or standing in these roadways.
If hunters were allowed to prey on the deer for one more day of the week, and also with a less restrictive kill limit imposed on them daily, a more significant harvest could be accomplished.
Mother Nature will eventually take care of these overpopulations by causing disease and famine to reduce the herd. There have been some indications of this thinning already. Smaller fawns, CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) infected deer, and the loss of understory by over browsing have destroyed both forage and cover for deer as well as other species of game animals.
It is now time to make positive decisions and I think rescinding the Sunday ban on hunting is a good first step in controlling the growth of the herds. The legislature is again considering this ban and you should make your feelings known to them so that they can determine the proper course of action in their vote as your representative.