National Deer Alliance Supports North Carolina Sunday Hunting Bill
Currently, just 10 states have restrictions or bans on Sunday hunting, according to the Sunday Hunting Coalition. North Carolina is one of those states. North Carolina currently permits Sunday hunting on private lands, but it is prohibited between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on all lands and within 500 yards of places of worship for the entirety of the day. Additionally, hunting migratory birds is currently prohibited on Sundays.
North Carolina House Bill 559, which was introduced at the beginning of April, aims to expand Sunday hunting opportunities throughout the state. Unfortunately, the bill has undergone significant amendments since its introduction, but it does retain some important items that would advance Sunday hunting in the state. Namely, H.B. 559 would expand Sunday hunting opportunities to include Sunday firearms hunting on public lands and waters, and would allow the Wildlife Resources Commission to authorize some Sunday hunting opportunities for migratory birds starting next spring. Additionally, H.B. 559 would allow migratory bird hunting on private lands on Sundays and do-away with restrictions on proximity to residences on private lands. Further, H.B. 559 would remove a restriction on Sunday hunting with a firearm in counties with populations larger than 700,000.
While restrictions on when and where Sunday hunting would be permitted would remain in place, H.B. 559 is a step in the right direction. The National Deer Alliance (NDA) outlines hunter access as one of its key focus areas. Certainly, the increased opportunities to hunt on Sundays greatly expands hunting access to a vast majority of hunters. But, less-strict Sunday hunting regulations would also increase hunter recruitment by creating more opportunities for those with limited time to hit the woods. As a result, wildlife agencies would see a boost in conservation dollars from increased license sales. Along with an increase in access and recruitment, the expansion of Sunday hunting will also boost local economies. According to the Sunday Hunting Coalition, "If all 10 states with limits or outright bans on Sunday hunting were to eliminate these outdated restrictions, and simply allow hunting on all Sundays within the dates of the current hunting season, it is estimated that over 27,000 new jobs would be created."
The National Deer Alliance supports Sunday hunting that's regulated the same as other days of the week. Although H.B. 559 leaves some Sunday hunting restrictions in place, NDA recognizes that H.B. 559 is a step in the right direction. Visit the NDA Grassroots Advocacy Center, where you can place your vote of support on the bill and directly email your state lawmakers. With just a few clicks of your mouse, your voice will be heard.