HB 1237, sponsored by Delegate Todd Gilbert and cosponsored by many members of the Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, passed the Senate yesterday (28-11) after clearing the House of Delegates (71-27) on January 28. The pro-sportsmen’s legislation now heads to Governor Terry McAuliffe for his signature.
HB 1237 would open up Sunday hunting on private lands throughout the state, provided the hunter has written permission of the landowner. Additionally, waterfowl hunting on public waters will be allowed, though hunting within 200 yards of a place of worship as well as hunting deer and bear with dogs would be prohibited.
Currently, Virginia is one of 11 states that restricts or outright bans hunting on Sundays. This prohibition harms Virginia’s economy and threatens the very future of our hunting heritage by discouraging hunter recruitment and retention. As a member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation stands firmly in its opposition to such bans.
In Virginia, Sunday hunting has the potential to bring an additional $296 million and approximately 4,000 jobs to the state’s economy. This bill is an important step forward to helping states realize the potential hunter recruitment and retention and the economic force from Sunday hunting.
To read more about Sunday hunting, click here.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?