Public Lands Sunday Hunting Legislation Introduced in South Carolina

Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director

Highlights

  • While Sunday hunting on private lands is legal statewide in South Carolina, Sunday hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) is prohibited.
  • WMAs are purchased and/or managed with dollars that sportsmen and women generate through the “user pay – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding.
  • Hunters are the only user group prohibited from accessing WMAs on Sunday.
  • South Carolina is the only southern state with a complete ban on public lands Sunday hunting.

Why It Matters: Repealing the ban against Sunday hunting on WMAs would ensure hunters have the same access to WMAs as other user groups, and increasing access and opportunity for hunters is critical to hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts.

On November 17, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Bobby Cox pre-filed legislation that would allow hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) on Sundays. The introduction of this legislation, which has nine co-sponsors, comes on the heels of an online survey and public meetings held across the state this year by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to gauge public opinion about the prospect of permitting Sunday hunting on WMAs.

Sunday hunting prohibitions have no basis in wildlife management. Removing Sunday hunting restrictions would benefit South Carolina’s economy and support conservation funding. North Carolina opened Sunday hunting on roughly 1.6 million acres public lands this year, and the Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources adopted a resolution last month supporting changes to state law that would allow public landowners to allow Sunday hunting.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation supports repealing the prohibition against Sunday hunting on WMAs and appreciates the leadership of Representative Bobby Cox.

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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?

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