Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Sunday Hunting Update

Those of us who support Sunday hunting here in the Commonwealth got some bad news this week when the patrons of Sunday hunting legislation folded there cards acknowledged they did not have the votes. Since legislation supporting Sunday hunting was approved in the Va. Senate there is some small hope, but given the opposition I am not optimistic.

This morning I read this editorial, Point/Counterpoint: There is no legal justification for hunting ban, in the Roanoke Times. It was written by Donald Caldwell, the commonwealth’s attorney for Roanoke. (A tip of the Stormy Kromer to Matt O’Brien at the Legalize Virginia Sunday Hunting For All for pointing it out.)

“Objectively, there is no legal basis to continue a total prohibition. My experience with Sunday hunting in other states shows me that all outdoor recreational activities can be (and are elsewhere) accommodated with common sense regulations. Hikers will still hike, bikers will still bike, bird watchers will still watch, four wheelers will still four wheel, fishermen will still fish, etc. In sum, all citizens who do not hunt will continue to have the opportunity to pursue their chosen outdoor recreational activity seven days a week. Allowing a Sunday hunting opportunity would simply mean that the citizen hunter would be treated as fairly as other citizens currently are.”

Attorney Caldwell, is a hunter, but it is his legal standing that gives weight to his editorial.

There is plenty of information floating around out there but some of the best can be found on the River Mud blog.

I commend the following posts to your attention.

River Mud: Is Sunday Hunting Really Illegal in Virginia?.

An excerpt:

“As I’ve written about several times, there is a peculiar alliance (using the term “alliance” loosely) between a few powerful parties that want to continue the ban on Expanded Sunday hunting. Why do I keep saying “expanded” Sunday hunting? Because a few of those parties for the Sunday ban (hound hunters, Virginia Farm Bureau) don’t want the other parties (animal rights groups, some Christians) to know that Sunday hunting is already quite legal across the state. You may not have ever heard of this, because in many cases, it’s not called “hunting,” even though it involves dogs, guns, traps, and wildlife being injured, harassed, or killed intentionally. Gosh, it already sounds more brutal than hunting!”

River Mud: The Virginia Farm Bureau and Sunday Hunting – What they Say, What it Means.

An excerpt:

“The most organized and influential group seeking to keep the ban in place, and place constitutional landowner rights (hunting is an expressed constitutional right in Virginia) in the hands of state government, is the Virginia Farm Bureau, who recently put out a new press release on the topic.  Feel free to read.  That the press release was light on factual information does not surprise most hunters, wildlife biologists, or even a certain number of Farm Bureau members.  What has surprised us is that three (at last count) small town newspapers have crafted their own editorials, strongly opposing sunday hunting, based almost wholly on statements derived from VFB’s press release.  So what’s in this press release, and what does it mean? “

At this point it may be too little to late but sending a note with links to you elected officials couldn’t hurt. Go to Virginia Sunday Hunting Coalition  and have at it.

If you want real time updates the Legalize Virginia Sunday Hunting For All Facebook page is great resource.

I continue to be amazed by the disinformation, histrionics and hypocrisy of the anti-hunting groups (and yes, Va. Farm Bureau is one). The elected officials who parrot or hide behind the bs these folks put out deserve a reminder in November.

At least I can fish on Sunday.


  1. Kirk Mantay says:

    Thanks for the props again.   To put my own cards on the table, yes, I would hunt more in Virginia (I have a lifetime license) if sunday hunting were legal for “the rest of us.”  But the hypocrisy and idiocy of the actual BAN and its supporters are what have motivated me to look deeper into this issue.   
    With the VA Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, several Commonwealth attorneys now, the VDGIF leadership & staff, the VDGIF Board of Directors, prominent biologists/ecologists (not speaking of myself, ha ha), and a solid majority of hunters (2:1) supporting expanded Sunday hunting, I don’t know how the opponents of Sunday hunting in the VA house think they can hold onto this ridiculous law.

    If they are really concerned about peace and safety on Sunday, they’ll ban all the hunting that ALREADY goes on during Sundays, and they’ll ban recreational shooting. To continue the Sunday Hunting Ban and NOT do those things is totally hypocritical – and Virginians are starting to figure that out. 

    Thanks again, 

    Kirk @ River Mud

  2. Kirk, Thanks for your very insightful posts. They are both well reasoned and very informative. They are a great contribution to the discussion and a stark contrast to the bs the opposition spews around.

  3. Kirk Mantay says:

    Honestly I would love to write a post in “their” vein, that basically goes, “FEAR FEAR PANIC BLOODY MURDER FEAR PANIC!” but I’d be afraid of being sued for slander or libel.  As you mentioned, the unholy alliance of Hound hunter leadership (not all hound hunters), VA Farm Bureau, and (least surprisingly) HSUS/PETA have no problem using that tactic and I’m just sick of hearing it. 

  4. Mark Taylor wrote a great piece on the “cons”. 


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