Most states do allow hunting on Sundays. I happen to live in Maryland-one of those few states (11? states) that did not allow Sunday hunting until recently. And even now, MD only grants permission to Sunday hunt on a limited number of days. So what’s my take? Well, most people are going to say my opinion would be obvious-I hunt therefore I would support Sunday hunting. And you would not be wrong in stating that. However I am certainly not adverse to being reasonable and looking at the reasons why Sunday hunting would not be allowed.
Faith based concerns: Think blue-laws: For alot of people, Sunday is a day of reflection, a day of rest, fellowship, worship, etc. I get it-I respect that. But why should that influence state law? If I decide to head to the woods and not to my church, shouldn’t that be a decision between me and my maker? Why is this decided by the stuffed shirts in Annapolis-the capitol of the state I live in? And why can’t I hunt after worship? Or why can’t I at least hunt on my own land? And why are hunting activities addressed and not sporting activities-like the NFL? It’s okay to tailgate, drink and watch a football game on a Sunday but I can’t go into the woods and hunt? Some hunters would agree that nothing makes you feel closer to God than a quiet day in the woods.
Non-hunter concerns: Okay we could spend ALOT of time on this one but I am going to keep it simple. In my research I have read that people are concerned about bullets whizzing past their heads or sighting deer carcasses as they go out to enjoy a bike or horse ride through their park on a Sunday afternoon. And I have read about people who do not feel comfortable walking on a trail through a park only to hear a gun shot. Hey-I don’t think I would feel comfortable about that either and I hunt! That being said, I have been in the woods quite a bit and have yet to see deer carcasses strewn about. And I have enjoyed our state parks for kayaking/hiking and haven’t seen deer carcasses. I have also walked through these parks and have yet to hear guns going off around me. Maybe in my back field over here on the shore of MD, yeah. But let’s take a minute to address the bullets and noise issue. My take-if this is a state park or publicly owned land all people should be able to enjoy the area, for hunting and non-hunting activity in relative peace and quiet. So I have no problem stating that hunting is restricted to a certain number of days and/or a certain animal during the week. But again-this type of restriction should only be limited to public areas for all to enjoy. Not for privately owned land. If someone decides to take a stroll on a day that hunters are allowed to be on public land and they hear a gun shot, that’s their problem. Come back on a day designated for non-hunting activities.
Farmer’s Concerns: This was a shocker to me. I really thought farmers would support hunting 7 days a week and maybe most do. Apparently, again from what I have read, a majority of farmers do not want hunters on their land on Sundays and would prefer that to be a day of peace and quiet. Well-okay. I can see that. But here is what puzzles me. Everywhere my husband and I hunt we have to get written permission. Wouldn’t the farmer know who has permission to be on their land? If someone is on their land hunting and does not have permission that’s poaching-no matter what day it is. So how is restricting, by law,days on which hunting is allowed going to address a poaching issue? When granting written permission to the hunter, couldn’t the farmer just make it known that hunting would only be allowed on certain days? After all-it’s the farmers land. He doesn’t have to give permission. Why do we need the state of MD to get involved.
Monetary issues: Much to the chagrin of non-hunters, alot of money is generated by the hunting community. I am sure there are a ton of outfitters in the state of MD that would love to get their customers in the woods for the whole weekend. And ask hunters coming into MD from surrounding states about a whole weekend of sika hunting. Someone who is coming from VA or DE and want to drive a couple of hours to do some sika hunting would jump at the opportunity to hunt the whole weekend and then drive back home.
So please – if you should live in one of the states that ban or restrict Sunday hunting – make sure your representatives know where you stand on the issue. You can be sure that those who wish to limit hunting activities will be doing their best to curtail any expansion of our hunting rights. That’s my take.
Wishing everyone a great season! Jo Ann
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