This week in the West Virginia Legislature, two bills were introduced, Senate Bill 331, sponsored by state Senator Greg Boso (R-11), and House Bill 4170, sponsored by Delegate George Ambler (R-42), both of which seek to repeal the outdated ban on Sunday hunting on private lands statewide.
Currently, it is up to individual counties to allow Sunday hunting on private lands via ballot measure, creating a patchwork of different hunting laws throughout the state. This important pro-hunting legislation will encourage hunter retention and recruitment by allowing busy families the ability to teach hunting to the next generation, since school and sport activities often dominate Saturdays for children, and will double the amount of time sportsmen who work Monday through Friday can hunt over the weekend.
West Virginia is one of only 11 states in the nation where there is some kind of ban on Sunday hunting. This is a direct result of the antiquated “blue laws” that have been on the books since the 19th century. While hunting is restricted in some counties, other activities such as fishing, hiking and target shooting remain perfectly legal on the seventh day of the week. Furthermore, the states allowing hunting on Sundays have healthy game populations and do not have higher rates of hunter accidents or landowner-hunter conflicts.
SB 331 has been assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and HB 4170 has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Both bills are currently awaiting a hearing date. Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on these bills as they progress through the West Virginia Legislature.