November 28, 2023

If You're Opposed To Hunting On Sundays, Be Honest About Your Reasons

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There are few states left that have a total ban on Sunday hunting. Most states allow it completely, some restrict it to small game only and some like North Carolina prohibit the activity in its entirety and have for 137 years.

We all have opinions, hunters and non-hunters, about Sunday hunting. Let’s be honest about the reasons we have our opinions and stop spewing scare tactics and misinformation simply because we don’t agree.

I hunt in Maine. I am opposed to a Sunday hunting season on deer because I don’t believe that it will gain most people any added hunting time. Why? Maine is on of few states that doesn’t have a deer overpopulation problem in the vast majority of its wildlife management districts. Therefore, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife decides how many deer need to be harvested and set season dates accordingly.

It was not that many years ago when Maine was reduced to a deer hunting season that lasted barely two weeks. It has now grown back to about 4 without any Sunday hunts and we’ve been able to lengthen that with a special muzzle loader season. In short, if Maine added Sunday hunting, it could very well produce a shorter hunting season – not necessarily fewer days.

Those who favor a Sunday hunt in Maine say they work all week and hunting Sundays would give them a chance to hunt more. I won’t argue with that reasoning. More hunters in the woods on Sundays would more than likely mean more deer killed. If too many deer are killed this way, officials would have only one recourse – to shorten the season.

In states where it is difficult for game experts to get enough deer harvested to have an effective impact on blossoming deer populations, a Sunday hunt might be an effective tool. In my opinion, a consideration of a Sunday hunt should be one of science and not emotion prompted by misinformation.

Let’s look for a minute at some of the arguments those opposed to a Sunday hunt like to use. The first is one that I frankly am tired of hearing. “Can’t we have one day out of the week where we will be safe being outside”? They then go on about all the accidents that have happened from hunting mishaps. I won’t deny there have been and will continue to be accidents from hunting. We are all human and prone to mistakes but if you compare the safety record of hunting against hundreds of other activities, hunting is safe, very safe.

Another poor excuse is the one where opponents lament about not being able to go outside and take a walk. Blaze orange or hunter orange as it is often called, has been an extremely effective safety device for hunters that has reduced hunting accidents drastically. Combine that with good hunter education and we have produced a sport that is one of the safest in the world, including golf. Blaze orange hats, vests, jackets and more come in sizes that fit everyone, including non-hunters. Hunters put the clothing on and walk for hours in the woods, safely. What makes them any different than someone interested in taking a stroll down a country lane? By the way, they make better fashion items in blaze orange for animals than they do humans, so you can adorn your little guy to go with you.

The last thing I want to point out is the one about economics that seems to be rearing its head in many discussions these days in attempts to thwart hunting by anti-hunting groups. I saw this statement in the News and this morning. It was made by the state representative in North Carolina to the Humane Society of the United States, Bob Reder.

While hunters spend an estimated $438 million annually on their activity in North Carolina, wildlife watchers outspend them by nearly two to one and generate $827 million for the state’s economy. Forcing these people to stay home on Sundays is not only unfair but also fiscally irresponsible.

I don’t want to argue whether or not Mr. Reder facts are true or not. What I do want to point out is that for centuries, hunters, fisherman and trappers have funded state’s fish and wildlife agencies to provide the general public a healthy wildlife population to view. Now they want to lay claim to that achievement by saying they spend more money than hunters do.

Whether there is hunting on Sundays or not will not have a negative effect on any state’s economy. People will adjust and Sunday hunting will go on for the most part unnoticed. Hunting is an extremely safe activity and people need to know that taking a drive in their car to go moose watch or see elk, birds, fish or have a picnic lunch, is more dangerous than going into the woods properly clothed during hunting season.

Be honest and truthful about why you are for or against Sunday hunting. If you are just opposed to hunting, say so. If you don’t want hunters on your property, say so. If you want to hunt Sundays because it’s the only day of the week you have to hunt, say so. If you think Sundays is God’s day and it shouldn’t be spent hunting, say so, but don’t spread misinformation, also known as lies.

Tom Remington