February 5, 2023

Sunday Hunting Debate Raises Interesting Questions And Comments

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I have been working on a few stories of late about the highly debated topic of Sunday hunting. At Maine Hunting Today website, I have a story about the economics of Sunday hunting as well as a story about how adding extra days of hunting may affect harvest numbers.

I’m working on another article taking a closer look into why some states that offer Sunday hunting do much better at drawing non-resident hunters than others.

In the meantime, the debate rages on. There are currently three states seriously considering dropping the ban on Sunday hunting – two more so than the third. North Carolina and Virginia are very serious in deciding if this ban should continue and Pennsylvania has been in an ongoing discussion for some time.

There is one thing for sure, the emotions run high, the debates are heated and the questions and comments can leave a man scratching his head, laughing, sitting with mouth agape and getting angry.

I’ve pored over quite a bit of the letters to editors, articles and rebuttals. I’ve selected a few for you to consider and I might even offer an opinion or two of my own.

I’m a fence sitter if you can believe that on this issue of Sunday hunting. I do however have strong feelings about some of the arguments being used for and against it. I am and always have been a promoter of telling truths. If you have an opinion, you should state it as such. If you are claiming facts substantiate them and give sources. If it is your personal conviction also state it in your comments. This would certainly help readers to understand your argument.

This writer left me giggling. Perhaps it will you too. The letter writer is rebutting a previous letter writer who claimed that hunters just want to hunt on Sundays because the state they hunt in raised license fees. The previous letter writer also stated that one clear reason Sunday hunting shouldn’t be allowed is so that the animals could have a rest. Here’s the response.

I have no issue with the fee increases. As a matter of fact, dog walkers, bikers, and others should be required to pay for a “recreation license” and have their activities restricted to short seasons and banned on Sundays, as well.

This will share cost and also ensure the animals can get a rest from having their environment invaded by the recreation seekers.

In a totally seperate newspaper, one writer said this:

Sunday hunting will lead to unethical behavior and that hunters should be ethically responsible for the game we take and the protection of these animals……the health of animals is best managed when there is a day when they are not pursued, a day when they can go about feeding and mating without intense pressure.

Another showed which side of the aisle they align themselves.

“the decision to hunt on Sundays is based upon religious factors? If so, isn’t there an article in the Constitution of the United States separating Church from State?

“I understand that we live in part of the Bible Belt. No problems with that,” the writer continued. “But if the argument against hunting on Sundays is based upon church attendance, I feel violated.” 

Please, could someone tell me how someone can get from this – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof – to Sunday hunting conflicts with the First Amendment. Of course if you are one of those that believe that the amendment stating that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, means government can’t have anything to say or do with Sunday, then in a stretch of imagination one could perhaps make the leap.

This comment might be one of the most honest ones I’ve heard yet.

hunting on Sunday would interfere with his routine Sunday afternoon nap, one that he enjoys “faithfully.”

Take note that the writer put into quotes “faithfully”.

Here’s one that promotes the mathmatical equation that two wrongs must make a right or more mathmatically, two negatives make a positive.

“In my opinion,” she said, “it is more detrimental to drink and gamble on Sunday … than to hunt.” 

Here are a few questions that have been generated over the duration of these discussions.

Are there any studies from Sunday-hunting states that show an increase, decrease or no change at all in faith-based attendance? 

This is a good question based on the fact that many believe that Sunday should be for going to church not hunting.

Do all faith-based groups meet on Sunday?


Does the current law infringe on Church and State debates?

Got any questions or comments of your own about Sunday hunting? I bet you do. Don’t we all?

Tom Remington