Wed 22 Jan 2014
Several bills have been introduced in this year’s General Assembly to allow Sunday hunting in Virginia under certain circumstances.
House Bill 1250 proposes to authorize the Counties of Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William to allow Sunday hunting of wild animals on private lands.
House Bill 1237 and its companion Senate Bill 154 propose to allow a landowner or a person with written permission to hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal if they hunt on the landowner’s property. HB 1237 with more than 20 sponsors could reach the House floor as early as tomorrow, Thursday.
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is opposed to allowing Sunday hunting, and is submitting letters to our representatives asking that they vote against these bills. If you share our concerns, please contact your representatives in the Virginia State Legislature today.
Why do we oppose these bills?
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is a big tent organization, and our membership includes many hunters. We consider the current ban on Sunday hunting to be a fair arrangement for all who enjoy the Virginia outdoors during hunting season, which now stretches over six months.
Lifting the ban on Sunday hunting would directly conflict with our mission. Sundays provide one day per week when outdoor enthusiasts can pursue their activity without concern for hunting hazards, especially if children accompany them.
Sunday hunting would interfere with winter citizen-science-based bird surveys – including the annual Christmas Bird Count, North America’s oldest and most extensive citizen-science project. Many Christmas Bird Count surveys in Virginia currently take place on Sundays, including on and around private properties, specifically because hunting does not take place on that day. This ensures the safety of the participants and allows the most thorough counts possible.
Ask your Senator and Delegate to oppose the Sunday hunting bills HB1250 and SB154/HB1237. If you do not remember who your representative is, go to http://virginiageneralassembly.gov and click on “Who’s my Legislator?”