Hunting; allows person to hunt wild bird or wild animal on Sundays, exceptions. (SB464)

Introduced By

Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) with support from co-patrons Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), Sen. Phil Puckett (D-Tazewell), and Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Hunting on Sundays.  Allows a person to hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal on Sundays. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12
01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102911D
01/11/2012Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/16/2012Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (11-Y 4-N)
01/19/2012Impact statement from DPB (SB464)
01/19/2012Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (11-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/19/2012Committee substitute printed 12104364D-S1
01/23/2012Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2012Incorporates SB512
01/24/2012Passed by for the day
01/25/2012Printed as engrossed 12104364D-E
01/25/2012Floor substitute printed 12104626D-S2 (Stuart)
01/25/2012Read second time
01/25/2012Reading of substitute waived
01/25/2012Committee substitute 12104364D-S1
01/25/2012Committee substitute agreed to (25-Y 14-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2012Reading of amendment waived
01/25/2012Amendment by Senator Carrico agreed to
01/25/2012Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SB464ES1
01/25/2012Printed as engrossed 12104364D-ES1
01/26/2012Read third time and passed Senate (29-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2012Placed on Calendar
02/13/2012Read first time
02/13/2012Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/13/2012Assigned ACNRsub: Natural Resources
02/14/2012Impact statement from DPB (SB464ES1)
02/15/2012Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
03/10/2012Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB151.


Jerry Frawley writes:

If hunting and fishing is a constitutionla right, as per state statue then How can this right be restricted? How can a right orf the citizens of the state be restricted by a law based mostly on religious reasons? How can a persons property rights to full use of his property be restricted by this law? how can the right to retrieve be excercized on Sunday but not the right to hunt? . Why can I eat venison on sunday and shot a gun on sunday but I can not obtain the venison by shooting a deer on Sunday?

Too many reasons to remove the ban and too few to not remove it.

Hank writes:

The time has come to end the only existing ban on an otherwise legal activity in the Commonwealth. The forty three other states who permit Sunday Hunting are not wrong!

Matthew O'Brien writes:

It is time for Virginians to be given the freedom liberty to choose what we do with our Sundays. The law change that we seek wouldn't say you MUST hunt on Sunday.

Sandra writes:

Please do not pass any law that will permit hunting on any properties in Virginia on Sunday. As the owner of hunting property with a hunt club, let me explain how property rights will be greatly restricted by such a law. Currently Sunday is the only day during the week during hunting season that gives property owners the freedom to inspect their property. I personally do not want to wait until after hunting season to discover what, if any, damage has been done to my land or what trash may have been thrown about by hunters throughout the hunting season. No hunting on Sundays permits that type of inspection, and I do not want this important aspect of taking care of my property taken away from me. Additionally, just as important, hunting free Sundays give me, my family, pets and friends the chance to enjoy the property with walks, biking, etc, during a season free of ticks, chiggers, snakes, etc. We enjoy those perfect pest-free conditions in the woods just as much as the hunters albeit for a different reason. Hunters, wildlife, and non-hunters all need a day of rest from guns and killing. Please do not pass any law that will permit hunting on any properties in Virginia on Sundays.

William Burnette writes:

I maintain a virginia hunting license. I also work mon-fri just like the majority of Virginians but I do not support Sunday hunting for safety and fairness. Others enjoy access to the outdoors just as I do, they face the same obstacles I do, and they should be able to have Sunday. VDGIF can extend the season, allow baiting, increase the take to management the population. All they have to do is do it. Allow ALL Virginians to increase their access to our natural resources and have a sense of ownership and we ALL reap the benefits preserving open spaces and public lands. Be INCLUSIVE and we all win!

Cheryl Waltz writes:

I strongly oppose hunting on Sundays, allowing dogs to be used during the entire bear season and extending hound training season all night. These proposed laws coupled with the right to retrieve dogs law (sanctioned trespass on private posted lands) will make the hunting season horrendous. Most people don't hunt. We resent the hunting industry ramming its agenda into every facet of our lives. Every year the hunting seasons get longer and crazier. It's time to stop the greed of the corporate hunting machine and the erosion of private property rights. If the problems are not corrected by rational, sensible people, mother nature will fix the problems. There won't be anything left to hunt.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

the right to retrieve dogs law (sanctioned trespass on private posted lands)

Do you think that somebody should be forced to abandon their beloved dog if he strays onto private property? The land behind me is owned by some people in Washington state, according to property records, though I've never had any luck tracking them down. If my elderly beagle chases a raccoon onto their land, I should...what? Abandon her, and hope she survives the night?

It's time to stop the greed of the corporate hunting machine

The what now? Would you please tell us a bit about this "corporate hunting machine"? Is it funded by the $250 I spent on a rifle fifteen years ago? Or by the $30 I spend on a box of bullets every year or so? Which companies, specifically, are funding this? Among Sen. Phil Puckett's donors, which are a part of the "corporate hunting machine"?

Bill writes:

> Currently Sunday is the only day during the week during hunting season that gives property owners the freedom to inspect their property.

If it is posted, then these people are trespassing and should be reported to the game warden.

> Additionally, just as important, hunting free Sundays give me, my family, pets and friends the chance to enjoy the property with walks, biking, etc, during a season free of ticks, chiggers, snakes, etc.

If it is private posted property, then you can still do this by not allowing people to hunt your land.

> Hunters, wildlife, and non-hunters all need a day of rest from guns and killing.

Hunters rest just like everyone else, Wildlife never have a day of rest as they are hunted by other animals also, and it is always been legal to shoot guns on Sunday, so those are all three non factors.

Ed Dunn writes:

Not allowing hunting deer with dogs on Sunday makes Sunday Hunting palatable to me. It's not the folks in the woods but the ones tearing up and down the roads in their vehicles that irritate me.

Cheryl Waltz writes:

To Waldo Jaquith,
Please research bear hunting with dogs and/or watch bearhunting videos. Packs of dogs are put out to run down bears. Bears hunters trespass on my farm to retrieve dogs. The RTR law gives them permission to trespass. The RTR law is unconstitutional and Virginia is the only state that has it. It isn't just an occasional hunting dog or the neighbors beagle. Hound training season starts in August. Bear hunting ends in January. When not bear hunting they are coon hunting. Now they want to train the hounds all night.

Matthew O'Brien writes:

The grassroots effort for Sunday hunting is gathering here on facebook. 3,000 members strong and growing

Rob Wilkinson writes:

It's about time that Virginia finally rids itself of the antiquated blue laws. Hunting and fishing are constitutional rights in Virginia which should translate to every day of the year, not just Monday through Saturday.

For those of you that don't want hunters on your property on Sunday, don't let them. The underlining truth in this bill is that the landowner should have the right to do what they want to do on their own land.

Legalize Sunday Hunting Virginia!!!

Jesse Baldwin writes:

Under current law, to hunt on anyone else's property you must first have permission of the landowner. If the property is posted, you MUST have written permission. If you as a landowner wish to continue to ban Sunday hunting on your own property, simply withhold permission. Make sure any hunting leases that you issue clearly state NO HUNTING ON SUNDAY. If you observe someone trespassing (on any day of the week) you should call the police and have that person arrested. There are limitations on the RTR exemption and anyone who threatens or intimidates a landowner in the course of such actions is committing a crime. RTR does not convey permission to hunt on your property. As for getting shot at, anyone who handles a firearm in a reckless manner is committing a crime. There are already laws on the books to address those problems and they are not limited to one day a week.

Redd Branson writes:

Yes we need Sunday hunting in Virginia like the other 44 States have with no problems!! I work 5 days a week and pay big taxes on my property and the State tells me that I can't hunt on Sunday?? Really?? This is 2012 right?? I'm a retired paratrooper with 20 years of service. I think I have earned the right to hunt on Sundays on my property.. Wake up Virginia and quit listening to the anti-hunters BS!!!!!

Bill writes:

This law is basically about landowner rights. People want the government to protect hunters from their land should also be prepared for the government to tell them what they can and cannot do on their land. Remember, you say who hunts or not on your land. Give that respect to other landowners!

Jim Richardson writes:

What you do on your land on Sundays is your business. What's done on mine, is mine. Don't infringe upon my rights to hunt and I won't infringe upon yours not to. The ban on Sunday hunting is hypocritical, unconstitutional, and un-American. It's time to lift this ban once and for all.

Wayne Rodabaugh writes:

I feel the chances are good to get this through this year. I am so tired of hearing how every other group that wants to use the woods on Sunday during Oct, Nov and Dec thinks that their lives are in jeopardy because hunters are there. HUNTERS pay to use the woods during these months other groups do not. Hunters have been financing the outdoors for decades. You have a better chance of getting shot walking the streets of any major U.S. city than you do in the woods on a Sunday. The arguments against Sunday hunting are ridiculous. It's beyond time to lift this discriminatory ban.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Please research bear hunting with dogs and/or watch bearhunting videos. Packs of dogs are put out to run down bears. Bears hunters trespass on my farm to retrieve dogs. The RTR law gives them permission to trespass.

I am familiar with bear hunting with dogs. That was not what you were lamenting. Your complaint was, broadly, that people should not have a right to retrieve their dogs from private property. I think that position is unreasonable.

Troy writes:

To Sandra, if you desire someone not to hunt on your property then specify that in the lease with the hunt club. You should probably discount their rate for short changing them. However it is your responsibility to manage your land, not the governments. Yours is the attitude that is stripping others of constitutional rights while allowing politicians to exceed their constitutional authority. Why would you want to strip other land owners to do on their property what they desire. You're selfish and think only of yourself. Shame on you!

Mick writes:

Arguments in opposition to Sunday Hunting are hogwash.

Either you are a land owner or you are not. If you are a land owner and you oppose Sunday hunting then don't allow Sunday hunting on your land. This is your right.

If you are a land owner and you want "safe" accesss to your land on Sundays then write that into the Hunt Club Lease or don't lease it at all. This is your right.

If you aren't a land owner and you oppose the rights of others to hunt their land on Sundays then you are, by definition, espousing communism. Look it up.

One cannot simultaneously believe in individual rights and freedom and then oppose the rights of others to engage in legal activities on thier own property.

Thomas Westen writes:

In these harsh economic times, Sunday hunting holds the promise of generating 3900 jobs. It will also bring in at least $100 million for our state.

We also need to do it to limit crop damage, and mitigate the collisions with deer on our roads.


Tom Westen

Alton Foley writes:

OK, let's continue the Sunday ban. But it will require several other bills to ban Sunday golf. Sunday ATV riding. Sunday Football. Close Martinsville Speedway, VIR, and Richmond International Raceway on Sundays. In short, if one outdoor activity can be banned on Sunday, they all must be.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

In these harsh economic times, Sunday hunting holds the promise of generating 3900 jobs. It will also bring in at least $100 million for our state.

Wait, what? That needs a citation, because that is an enormous number of jobs and revenue, and I can't see how it's possible.

Matthew O'Brien writes:


Here is a study performed by the Congressional Sportmen's Foundation:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Thanks for the citation, Matthew.

Although I support this bill, I have a hard time believing these numbers. (I'm not blaming you here, Matthew—it's perfectly reasonable for one to cite those numbers.) One of the problems with that study is that it contains no supporting facts at all—just a bunch of numbers, without explanation or citations. (For instance, 3,900 jobs over what time period? Jobs doing what? $100M...per year? Per decade? Per century? They're not saying, or at least not that I can find in that report. These are not minor details.) I thought I'd look into John Dunham & Associates, who conducted the study, and it turns out they're in the business of making outlandish economic clams that support the positions of the people who hire them to make those claims. So at least I'm not alone in doubting their math and methodology.

It seems self-evident that overturning the Sunday hunting ban will result in more people hunting more often, and that will result in more people spending more money. While I'm certainly no economist, I suspect the annual statewide economic impact is somewhere between 1–10% of the claimed figure of $100M.

Jim Richardson writes:

The math, the surveys, the personal feelings of anyone in this arguement, are totally irrelevant. Laws are meant to protect and defend the common good, minority or majority. This is about the rights of property owners to say what can and cannot be done on land that they pay for. Don't want to hunt on Sunday? DON'T! Don't want to ride horses on Tuesday? DON'T! This is not complicated except for people who want to make it complicated for their own selfishness and ignorance to the issue at hand.

Ken Mason writes:

It's time for Virginia to get on board with Sunday hunting, as a land owner, a Farm Bureau member and a member of a dog running hunt club I support Sunday hunting.

C.Welch writes:

Amazing that the people arguing against Sunday hunting want to control what others can do on their own land. If you own land and open it to hunting (first off we want to thank you) you can also set the restriction of no Sunday hunting. I suspect those complaining the loudest don't actually open up their land to hunting.

As to people saying they ONLY get Sunday to birdwatch, hike, etc you also need to remember that we only get about 2-3 months of the year to hunt and you then take away 1/7th of that! So please don't tell me or my neighbors what we cannot do on my own land simply because of the day of the week!

River Mud writes:

I guess I'm a little confused by landowners who take money from hunters for leases and hunt clubs, and are afraid that sunday hunting will impact their own activities.

If you don't want someone on your property on a certain day of the week, simply make it so. If they violate that, you can cancel their lease and have them arrested for trespassing. Doesn't matter if you don't want hunters on your land on mondays or saturdays or sundays. YOU are the landowner. YOU set the rules. If a hunt club has told you differently, they are lying.

The issue has absolutely nothing to do with sunday hunting. Landowners can, and should, be permitted to ban sunday hunting on their own private property. It is your right to do so, and even as a proponent of Sunday hunting, I fully endorse your right to say "no" on your own personal property.

Jack writes:

I am a private property owner. All my property is posted. That does not prevent dozens of deer dogs running through my property running out deer to hunters hunting from the road (which I thought was illegal, but apparently it is not!). These hunters never go into the woods! I have to keep my two dogs confined all of deer season.Sunday is the only day of peace I get during deer season; I do not want to give that up!

River Mud writes:

Jack, if those dogs were released to chase deer off of your property, which is posted, that is indeed trespassing + hunting without permission (equals poaching), both of which are illegal, and neither of which has nothing to do with sunday hunting.

The only condition under which deer dogs can legally enter your property is in pursuit of a deer which has already been shot. Deer hunters cannot "drive" your property for uninjured deer if it is posted, and you have not granted written (WRITTEN) permission.

Any other scenario, like the one you describe, constitutes "trespass by animal," which is prosecutable.

Sandra writes:

The passing of SB 464 will put many Virginians in mortal danger.

This fact alone should be the major concern of the Virginia Senate. And the argument that state government has no right telling Virginians what they can do on their own private land is a false one. There are many state laws which tell private property owners all the time what they can or cannot do on their property, and these laws are for the protection of others as well as the property owner. Passing SB 464 will not be protecting anyone.

If SB 464 is passed, it will mean for two months during a beautiful season no one but hunters can go out into the country for some fresh air or to stretch their legs without being in danger of being shot. If they feel their day might end with a shooting tragedy over which they have no control, they probably will stay quietly at home with a book or before a computer , TV or movie and that is not where children need to be today.

"Get children outdoors" is what every expert is saying. Yet approval of SB 464 will force parents to keep children indoors seven days a week for almost two straight months and will take away the opportunity for all Virginians to safely enjoy, as they have for generations, the woods and fields at least one day a week during the hunting, Thanksgiving and Christmas seaons which also are the seasons without ticks, chiggers, snakes, etc.

SB 464 will permit hunting on private lands (with written permission). Yet the boundaries between private hunting and farm properties are seldom distinguishable. They usually are unmarked as they cross through woods, streams, swamps. fields, etc.

Individuals and families walking, playing, horseback riding or taking pictures on private property closed to hunting on Sundays stand an excellent chance of being accidentally shot by a hunter sitting on adjacent private property.

On top of that, the "hunters" who are screaming to be allowed to hunt Sundays because they cannot get out for the other six days of hunting certainly are not going to be the experienced hunters. Thus approval of SB 464 will be authorizing accidents waiting to happen as these inexperienced hunters will shoot at anything that moves in the woods, no matter on whose property.

By passing SB 464 to allow the decision whether to hunt or not on Sundays in the hands of individual property owners, the Virginia Senate will be creating a situation that will put all Virginia citizens in mortal danger. You also will be putting them "in cages" for two months.

What parent or what sensible person is going to take a walk on Sunday, particularly with children and pets, on a farm, in the woods or in a field, when people are shooting only a few dozen feet or less from a property's boundary.....that is if anyone, to include children, pets and hunters, even knows where that boundary is located??

Voting against SB 464 is a much safer, more fair, alternative for ALL Virginians and their families rather than for just a handful of others in comparison.
Individual property owners should not be allowed to permit hunting on Sundays for the above reasons and many more.

Sincerely, a Virginia resident and owner of a working farm in Virginia.

Oh,and PS: The hunters on my farm DO NOT want SB 464 or any laws passed that permit hunting on Sundays. Sundays are the days they bring family and friends over for cook-outs and for walks in the woods to point out stand placements and/or where they got this or that big kill. Bullets flying across boundary lines, even by mistake, are not what any private property owner wants if they are honest with themselves....and this will happen if SB 464 is passed.

River Mud writes:

"Mortal danger?" "Danger of being shot?" There is not one shred of evidence, from any of the 44 states with sunday hunting, that sunday hunting has, or can, in any way impact the safety of the non-hunting public. There is no data. There are no factual stories. These are total untruths. In addition, "shooting" is already legal seven days per week, 365 days per year. And yet, despite a hundred target rounds being shot per every hunting round, we rarely (if ever) hear of injuries resulting from stray bullets or shot from 7-day-per-week target shooting. Shooting is already legal on sundays! I don't know how else to say it!

Also, your failure to mark your property boundaries, combined with the fact that all shooting (except game animals) is legal on sunday, is a much greater threat to your family's safety than any sunday hunting bill could ever pose. Please, please, please mark your property boundary. PLEASE.

None of the problems you discuss have an origin in sunday hunting. It sounds like you and your hunters would agree that sunday hunting should not occur on your property. I support your decision 100%, and merely ask that you give other property owners the constitutional right to make that decision for themselves and their own property.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The passing of SB 464 will put many Virginians in mortal danger.

Oh, good Lord. I'm sympathetic to opposition to this bill—I do think there are some reasonable arguments against it, although on balance I'm firmly a supporter—but this sort of hand-flapping and screeching has the opposite of the effect that you want it to.

Sandra writes:

To the contrary, River Mud, there are plenty of websites available re hunting accidents on Sundays. Research any of these to find the "data and the true stories" which you say do not exist.

I stand by my statement that thousands of Virginians will be put in mortal danger if hunting on Sundays anywhere is permitted. According to the International Hunter Education Association, hunting is one of the few activities that endangers the entire community, and not just the willing participants.

For generations Virginia families and individuals have had Sundays where they could safely get out and enjoy the peace and quiet of woods and fields during hunting season and over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and school holidays.

To take away this "safe day", whether it be on public or private property, is extremely unfair, selfish, cruel and dangerous to many more non-hunters in Virginia than hunters.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I stand by my statement that thousands of Virginians will be put in mortal danger if hunting on Sundays anywhere is permitted.

Thousands of people? In mortal danger? By "mortal danger," I must assume you mean that they will come very close to dying. At its most conservative definition, you'd mean that passing this law will result in thousands of Virginians being shot, but surviving. At its most liberal, you'd mean that passing this law will result in thousands of Virginians nearly being shot, the bullet perhaps piercing their hat and knocking it to the ground. (For this to be true, it's implicit that six times these "thousands" are already in "mortal danger," what with Monday–Saturday hunting.)

Given your very specific assertion, I can only assume that you have some figures to back up your claim. You'll provide us with those numbers, I hope?

River Mud writes:

Sandra, I can name a "few" activities that endanger more than willing participants.

Driving anywhere near other human beings.

Buying food or clothing produced by child labor.

Buying food, clothing, or other material goods produced by slave labor.

Owning a septic system that is "legal" but that leaches E. coli into the stream onto your neighbor's property.

Teaching a teenager to drive.

Buying an airline ticket (the plane could crash).

Buying electricity powered by coal (endangers families who live near the coal mines)

You envision a world that is safe from any danger. This is admirable but totally ridiculous. Danger is all around us. We cause other people to be in danger. It is part of life. There are NO sunday hunting websites (I spent two months scouring the web for them) who provide DATA or FACTS about the TRUE RISK of sunday hunting.

Luckily for you, I, with 2 full years of college calculus and a year of statistics (including graduate level) under my belt, I calculated out the change of risk to non-hunters as a result of sunday hunting. Since I can't include a web address here, simply search "River Mud will sunday hunting make it unsafe to go outside."

Within that article, you'll read that (using Pennsylvania as an example), your risk of dying of ANYTHING, not adjusted for age, gender, or health, is roughly 1% in a given year. Your risk of dying as a result of being mortally wounded by a hunter? 0.0004% in your ENTIRE LIEFTIME, assuming a nearly annual "exposure" to hunters. If sunday hunting is passed in PA, that risk of death (for your entire LIFETIME) would raise to somewhere between 0.0005% and 0.0008%). Whereas, your risk of dying of heart disease is 25%. Your risk of dying of cancer is 22%. Your risk of dying of a non-hunting related "accident" is about 20%. Another 5% each die of things like kidney failure and septicemia. Your risk of dying from sunday hunting alone? Again....0.0001% to 0.0004%

Those are facts. Not fear. There's room here for disagreement and truth to face each other. Why you stay on this road of "FEAR FEAR PANIC FEAR" is a little confusing.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Since I can't include a web address here, simply search "River Mud will sunday hunting make it unsafe to go outside."

You can include a web address here. You can either paste it in, like such (, or you can make it a link, although that requires some working knowledge of HTML.

River Mud writes:

Sandra, I also noticed that you used the word "selfish,"

Selfish (noun).

Definition: wholly or primarily concerned with costs or benefits to one's own self or their beneficiaries.

Example (Selfish (n)): "I, Sandra, insist that the Commonwealth must curtail other Virginian's property rights by prohibiting them from pursuing an otherwise legal activity on their own property, which may be hundreds of miles from my own property, in counties I couldn't even name or place on a map, all because I choose not to pursue that activity on my single personal property, along one road, in one county."


River Mud writes:

Please (all readers) compare the above definition and description of "selfish" to the goals of Sunday hunting proponents:

1. To end the prohibition of sunday hunting for any and all landowners (and guests) who choose to hunt on sundays, even though MOST sunday hunting advocates will never, ever get to see more than a few of these properties, let alone be allowed to hunt them.

2. To preserve the right of any landowner to say NO to hunters on sunday, or hunters on ANY DAY FOR ANY REASON. Which is, to prevent the Commonwealth from dictating the legality of private land hunting in otherwise safe, legal areas to hunt.

3. To provide hunting opportunities on a day in which target shooting is already legally allowed (and discharges at least 10x as many rounds of ammunition). Sunday target shooting is even allowed on public property.

4. To provide hunting opportunities to young people on the only day of the week not totally consumed with school and team sports, in order to help instill a hands-on conservation ethic within our youth (that ethic is dying a long death).

5. To provide additional income (lease values) to landowners, gas station owners, and restaurant owners, all at the expense of hunters who can now hunt on sundays.

6. To provide additional revenue (license and stamp sales) to DGIF to help better manage game AND NON-GAME wildlife habitat throughout the Commonwealth.

Raymond L. Edwards writes:

Without going into all the reason to or not to allow hunting on Sunday, please allow families that live in rural, residential areas one day of peace during the hunting season not to have to contend with the noise, traffic, etc. that accompanies hunting. Just because you own land you are not allowed to circumvent all other laws concerning its use. Same should apply here. And what becomes of those people who want to attend worship services that are held in Churches surrrounded by woods? Don't we have a Godgiven right to worship without this interuption? The argument can go on and on but you get my point.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Just because you own land you are not allowed to circumvent all other laws concerning its use.

Who is circumventing laws? Citizens have come to the legislature petitioning for the right to hunt on their land on Sunday. That's the opposite of circumventing laws.

And what becomes of those people who want to attend worship services that are held in Churches surrrounded by woods? Don't we have a Godgiven right to worship without this interuption?

Absolutely not! What about churches in cities—shall we ban driving on Sunday for their convenience? Construction, too? Train service? What of churches near airports? Do we legally prohibit airplane flight on Sundays? Jews' sabbath day is Saturday—we we include Saturday in this ban? For Muslims, it's Friday, so must we make this a half-week ban on doing anything that anybody might notice within a house of worship?

This line of thinking is pure foolishness, Raymond.

Alice writes:

Just LOVE all these folks who say, "if you don't want people hunting on your property on Sunday, then don't let them." HA HA HA HA HA hmmm when was the last time you tried to reach your 1 game warden to tell them to keep the irresponsible and unlawful hunters off of your property!? You were lucky if you could reach the game warden at all. And just how is this game warden going to keep the illegal hunters off your property. Oh yeah - posted signs. Yeah - that works well. Hey - some seem to think those signs even stop the bullets from traveling across the boundary line. When this bill passes, I will be surrounded by hunters, many of them hunters on Sunday who don't respect the law and laugh at signs and will being shooting rifles yards away from my property so that I cannot take a walk in comfort and must fear for the life of my dogs. Yeah - a hunter's version of property rights - gotta love it!

River Mud writes:

Alice, you claim that you'll be "surrounded by hunters" on Sundays. This means, obviously, that you are surrounded by hunters already, the other six days per week, and probably surrounded by recreational and target shooters on sundays.

So, how many of your dogs have been mistakenly killed by sunday target shooters or hunters between monday and saturday?

How many times between MOnday and Saturday do you have trespassers on an average week?

If the answer to both questions is "zero," then clearly, your fear is not based in reason.

If the answer to both questions is a number "more than zero," it means that you have a problem that has nothing to do with Sunday hunting at all. You have law enforcement problems.

River Mud writes:

Raymond, all kinds of other activities much louder than bow hunting are already allowed on sundays, all through the countryside. Construction, mining, target shooting, motocross riding, ATV riding, demolition.

Do you think the residents of Martinsville and Bristol would like peace on sundays? They certainly don't get it.

The only activities NOT allowed are deer hunting, duck hunting and a few others.

Alice writes:

Yes River Mud - we have law enforcement problems. And so does a wide majority of the region that will be impacted by more opportunity to violate the law on Sunday. Just because I suffer on 6 days out of the week, doesn't mean that it's then okay for me to suffer on the 7th as well. Sorry, argument just doesn't make sense.

Alice writes:

And also River Mud - how many killings are acceptable to you and please tell me at what number deaths and tragic injuries caused by irresponsible hunters exceeds your personal limit (if there is any limit). The old Bob Dylan song - "How many deaths does it take..."

River Mud writes:

And....the anti-hunter emerges. "What is your limit of death, IF THERE IS ANY!" Oh, groan. To seriously answer your question,

ZERO are acceptable. Keeping the Sunday hunting ban won't let us hit ZERO. Banning hunting won't let us hit ZERO. Making guns illegal won't let us hit ZERO.

When a dog or a person are shot by a hunter or shooter of any kind, they should be prosecuted.

And again, to my point (which you intentionally ignored) - people already shoot (excessively) on sunday, in an amount (no matter how measured) far exceeding what Sunday hunting would generate, and far exceeding the amount of hunting-related firearm discharges on ANY DAY of the week in ANY hunting season, and yet, everyone says that they are safe in the woods, and on farms, on Sundays.

Want to be safe from guns on sunday? Take care of your property boundaries and ban shooting on sunday.

River Mud writes:

If you truly have trespassers and poachers "six days a week," week in and week out, as you claim, I could place a safe bet that you have trespassers and poachers on sundays. Sure, they may not use dogs. But I'd almost promise they are on your property.

Just because you never see them does not mean that they are not there. There are lots of things banned on sundays, like selling drugs, and murder. They "surprisingly" still seem to happen. The law does not matter to outlaws.

What doesn't make sense is the assertion that "The Sunday Hunting Ban is respected by poachers, trespassers, and other criminals."

Alice writes:

"And....the anti-hunter emerges." - Actually, I'm NOT anti-hunting. I'd far rather eat meat obtained from a responsible hunter than from a factory farm. However, I am passionately opposed to IRRESPONSIBLE HUNTING. There are not enough game wardens around to prevent irresponsible, unlawful hunting and the more opportunity there is the more a problem this will be. Make no mistake - I oppose irresponsible hunting. And yes, we are ALL limited in our freedoms by those in our midst who choose to behave irresponsibly. If you can get the hunting community to put a lid on irresponsible hunting then you'll have no objections from me. Let me know when you accomplish that.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

There are not enough game wardens around to prevent irresponsible, unlawful hunting and the more opportunity there is the more a problem this will be.

You don't need to call a game warden. If somebody is trespassing on your land—while carrying a gun, at that—you should call 911. The police will be there promptly.

I'm inclined to agree with the notion that poachers are unlikely to be concerned with the days (and seasons) in which hunting is legal.

Alice writes:

"I'm inclined to agree with the notion that poachers are unlikely to be concerned with the days (and seasons) in which hunting is legal."
Regardless of poacher's inclinations, math will tell you that the more hunting there is on Sunday, the more unlawful hunting and violation there will be. Yes - I'm angry that my hunting neighbors want to remove the one day that I can enjoy my property in peace. Property rights are great when they don't impact another negatively. In this case, Sunday hunting removes my right to enjoy my property without bullets on Sunday.

Russell Bailey writes:

As President of our local hunt club, and being a local county Supervisor, i am not really in favor of this bill or any that allows hunting on sunday. i love to hunt and a responsible adult. so does this make me a bad person. no and the people who want sunday hunting are not bad people either. also most vdgif officers cover multiple countys usually 3 or 4....this is spread too thin of these bills does not allow dog hunting on sunday... some would believe this is just the precursor to outlawing dog hunting all together......

River Mud writes:


Dog hunting was specifically excluded from the bill AT THE REQUEST of VADHA. You can talk to your VADHA leadership about that.

Getting more hunters into hunting in Virginia is certainly not going to cause the end of dog hunting in Virginia. Hound hunters need more allies. Letting the next generation of potential hunters never learn to hunt is not the way to get more allies.

River Mud writes:

Alice, it's been well documented that in fact, your neighbors can shoot anything and everything EXCEPT a few game species and human beings, totally legally, on Sunday.

There's already shooting on sunday. Adding sunday hunting for deer, turkeys, and waterfowl sure won't add much to it.

John M writes:

We need a solution in northern Virginia...we are being overrun by deer. Delegate this to the vdgifboard so they can implement county by county sunday hunting based on public hearing input and harvest/complaint/accident/crop damage data. Just because some dog hunters practice bad ethics in other parts of the state (I think that dog hunting should be banned for deer personally), is no reason why we have to be limited in our crop damage controls (yes kill permits exist, but are marginally effective) in the north.

Nate M writes:

While these bills do not allow for hunting with hounds/dogs, I think many Virginians oppose this bill because of their feelings on some hunter's and their use of dogs, "road hunting", and trespass. It is unfortunate that the pass time/tradition of hunting is dwindling, but as one representative pointed out the number of hunters has steadily decreased while VA's population has risen 65%. This inevitably puts more landowners right next to hunt clubs which tends to build friction/conflict. I agree with many proponents of these bills, this is a property rights issue, however until the property rights of non-hunting/still hunting landowner's is treated with the same sanctity which hound hunter's view their own rights, they will most often find many residents opposed to any policy increasing the likelihood of friction within one's own community or neighborhood.

Cheryl Waltz writes:

The biggest problem with hunting laws in Virginia is the right to retrieve hounds on private, posted property. Virginia is the only state that has this unconstitutional law. It permits hound hunters to trepass on your land and look around your home and buildings for the dogs they turned loose. Bearhunters in this area ride the roads day and night. They start their season in August with dog training season and continue it into January. I don't want bearhunters on my land.

John M writes:

Yes the permitting of so-called hunters to look for their dogs on private property is the largest part of why this bill gets stuck. Repeal that law and make them pick up their hounds at the pound.