Why It Matters: Removing barriers to hunting participation, like Blue Laws with no basis in wildlife management that prohibit hunting on Sunday, is critical to supporting hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts and putting hunters on an equal access playing field with other public land user-groups that are not prohibited from engaging in their recreational pursuits on Sundays.
- On February 16, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member and South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) Co-Chair Representative Bobby Cox and Representative Travis Moore introduced Joint Resolution H. 3991 to convey support for opening Sunday hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).
- In 2022, Sunday hunting repeal legislation passed the House of Representatives but did not advance in the Senate.
- South Carolina is the only Southern state where Sunday hunting on public lands is completely banned.
In 2021, the South Carolina South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and Clemson University held a series of public meetings across the state and conducted an online survey to gauge public opening about opening Sunday hunting on WMAs. The report stated, “75% of participants were in favor of hunting on Sunday,” and online “responses were approximately 2:1 in favor of Sunday hunting on SCDNR WMAs.”
While Sunday hunting on private lands is legal in South Carolina, Sunday hunting on Wildlife Management Areas is prohibited by SCDNR Regulation 2.5. North Carolina opened public lands Sunday hunting in 2021, and Virginia opened Sunday hunting on public lands in 2022. Maine, Massachusetts, and South Carolina are the only three states in the country that do not allow any Sunday hunting on public lands.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the broader sportsmen’s community strongly supported the 2022 bipartisan legislation. Moving forward, CSF will continue to work with the Caucus and partners to advocate for expanding Sunday hunting opportunities for the sportsmen and women that support the acquisition and management of WMAs through the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding, yet ironically have less access to WMAs than any other user-group.