Sunday hunting bans may be rooted in tradition, but hope for full weekend hunts may be approaching.
Many of us wake up every Sunday morning, grab our gear and a cup of coffee, and head out in the woods. We sit amongst nature waiting to harvest our game. While we wait, we are among some of Earth’s most beautiful creatures. As I hunt, watching nature, trying to outsmart millenniums of evolving survival instinct, I always find myself asking questions about faith and spirituality.
I feel that those of many faiths (and those without faith) who hunt, feel some sort of connectedness to spirituality when they are in nature’s beauty.
Yet, for Virginians hunting on Sunday is not an option. Virginia has a state ban on Sunday hunting. I presume so as not to let hunting interfere with worship.
However, there is hope on the horizon.
The Richmond Times Dispatch recently reported that the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources voted 12 to 10 to push the legislation through to a full house vote. Finally, there’s hope for those hoping to repeal the law to enjoy time in the great outdoors pursuing wild game.
Besides ending the law’s apparent absurdness, a repealing would allow Virginia to “more effectively recruit youth hunters, to arrest the decline in hunting license sales, to respect private property rights and to continue our hunting heritage,” according to Scott Reed, a member of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries board of directors. Reasonably, the law would still ban running dogs to hunt bear and deer while also making it unlawful to hunt within 200 yards of a place of worship.
Finally, common sense may soon prevail.
I find it interesting that we are still discussing Sunday hunting bans in the year 2014. While we are all called to be respectful of religion, we should also be tolerable of those who choose to hunt on their weekends off, rather than attend worship. In a country created on the premise of free religion, it is archaic to have to fight to enjoy aspects of our free time because of religious ideals.
There are currently 11 states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia) with such restrictions or prohibitions that date back to ‘blue laws’ enacted in the 1700s, according to SundayHunting.org. It is time we all rectify this gross iniquity. Hopefully, soon we “ultra-progressive hunters” will rise up and drag the rest of these states from the depths of misinformation and all be able to hunt on Sunday.