In 19th Century America, "blue laws" restricted many activities on Sunday, including Hunting.
Other outdoor activities are allowed on Sunday, including those that take place on public and private property, such as fishing, hiking and golf. Restrictions on Sunday hunting effectively treat hunters as second-class citizens and tacitly endorse the view of animal extremists that there is something wrong with hunting. Such a view ignores the fact that hunting is part of America’s heritage and hunters contribute billions of dollars to wildlife and conservation programs, through license fees and revenues generated through purchases of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.
Restrictions on Sunday hunting effectively treat hunters as second-class citizens and tacitly endorse the view of animal extremists that there is something wrong with hunting.
Laws prohibiting hunting on Sundays are among the last of America's "blue laws," and for many reasons should be repealed.
Reasons to Lift the Bans on Sunday Hunting
States that have recently repealed Sunday hunting prohibitions have had no adverse impact on game populations.
In fact, states that allow hunting on Sunday have the most abundant game populations. Allowing hunting on Sunday gives state wildlife agencies more flexibility in managing populations, including the ability to increase hunting in areas that have unsustainably high game populations.
The most common reason that hunters stop hunting is lack of hunting opportunity.
Since most hunters work Monday through Friday, a ban on Sunday hunting essentially cuts their available hunting time in half.
Sunday hunting helps recruit new hunters.
Many young people have school or athletic obligations on Saturday. Allowing Sunday hunting means that parents have more opportunities to hunt with their sons and daughters, sharing an important part of America’s heritage. Maintaining America’s large number of hunters is crucial to maintaining the revenues necessary to sustain crucial wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation programs. Anti-hunting groups support Sunday hunting bans as part of their general opposition to hunting.
Sunday hunting provides an economic benefit to many rural areas.
Every day that hunters are in the field, they spend money on fuel, food, lodging and dozens of incidentals that go along with a day’s hunt. You can see the positive economic impact Sunday hunting would have on the restrictive states here.
Out-of-state license revenues grow as a result of Sunday hunting.
Hunters are more likely to go on out-of-state hunting trips when they can hunt a full weekend, and out-of-state hunters pay higher license fees and spend more money on incidentals than in-state hunters.
Current Sunday Hunting Bans
The latest states to expand Sunday hunting opportunities are Connecticut, North Carolina and Virginia. In 2015, North Carolina added firearms to the legal methods of take while hunting on private land on Sundays, and Connecticut partially rescinded its ban to allow bow hunters to hunt deer on private property in overpopulated deer management zones on Sundays. In 2014, Virginia hunters experienced a successful, first season of Sunday hunting on private land and public waterways.
Two states prohibit hunting on Sunday for any wild game.
Those states—Maine and Massachusetts—each considered legislation to lift the bans in recent years.
Nine states allow limited Sunday hunting.
Maryland and West Virginia allow hunting on Sundays in some counties on private land. South Carolina and Virginia allow Sunday hunting on private land and some public waterways for waterfowl. North Carolina allows Sunday hunting with archery equipment and firearms (with restrictions) on private lands and only by falconry on public lands—meaning migratory game birds may not be taken on Sundays. New Jersey allows bow hunting on Sundays for deer on state wildlife management areas and private property. Pennsylvania allows hunting on Sundays for foxes, crows and coyotes. Connecticut allows deer hunting on Sunday with a bow and arrow on private property provided such property is in a deer management zone identified by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to be overpopulated with deer. Delaware allows Sunday deer hunting on specified days on private lands with landowner permission and on certain public lands designated by government agencies.
Recently, the nine aforementioned states have taken some steps to allow hunting on Sunday.
None of these states has experienced the horror stories predicted by anti-hunting activists. Each continues to have healthy wildlife populations. Hunters continue to be safe and responsible. Church attendance remains unchanged. Landowner-hunter conflicts have not increased. In sum, Sunday hunting has had only a beneficial impact on these states and the future of hunting in them.