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Sunday hunting bill pending signature

By 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, passed the General Assembly Friday.

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. He was referring to a bill that allows for amendments, like ornaments, to be added over time.

Wright predicts the General Assembly gradually will chip away at some of the restrictions in the current bill, eventually making 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 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 in February. “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.

Comments

comments

9 Responses to Sunday hunting bill pending signature

  1. Casper

    March 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I would like to see some articles about the state voting on expanding the MEDICAID bill for folks in need and how they justify not taking government funds.

    Especially remarks on our local representatives and their stand on the bill and why?

  2. Lola

    March 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    How they justify not taking government funds? There is no need to justify it. The government does not have funds. The money the government spends comes from the taxpayers. An increase in spending means an decrease to the taxpayers spendable funds. I don’t know about you but my tax burden is heavy enough as it is.

    • Casper

      March 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      I agree. Even if the money dried up it would help people now.

  3. James B

    March 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    The federal money is already earmarked and will be spent regardless of whether Virginia or any other state accept the Medicaid option. Only a group as stupid as the Republican party would stand on their “principles” and not accept money Virginia taxpayers have already paid into the system. I suspect folks like Lola are the type to keep putting these silly Repubs in office.

    • Lola

      March 7, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Wouldn’t it be nice if people were intelligent enough to have a real debate without attacking those whose opinions are different?

    • Casper

      March 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I don’t understand why they disagree with this. It isn’t going to cost the state any money. If the money dries up then it needs to be looked at again.

      I say we vote the Republicans out of there!

      • Lola

        March 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        So you don’t pay federal taxes? Regardless of the level of government the money still comes from the taxpayers.

  4. justsaying

    March 6, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I say 7 days a week kill deer. They are abundant and give them to families that actually eat deer. They cause way too many wrecks as well

    • Va Girl

      March 7, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Hi just. You can donate a tagged deer to Hunters for the Hungry. We’ve done it a number of times in the past. There used to be a meat processing place in Pulaski where you could bring them but it’s no longer in operations. Not sure where you can bring one to drop now. Surely if you check out their site on the web or call them you would find out. But remember it does have to be tagged/shot legally OR if you’re a landowner and don’t require a license it still needs to be called in and then you provide the number when you turn the deer over. Hope that helps.

      BTW, everyone in my family (4) have hit a deer on the roadway.

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