Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources Adopts Resolution Supporting Sunday Hunting on Public Lands

Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director

Highlights

  • With a few exceptions, Sunday hunting is prohibited on public lands in Virginia while Sunday hunting is legal on private lands across the state.
  • Virginia is one of only 10 states in the country that prohibits Sunday hunting on public lands in some manner.
  • Hunters contribute financially to the purchase and management costs of Wildlife Management Areas through the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding and purchase permits to hunt other public lands in Virginia, yet sportsmen and women are prohibited from hunting these very public lands on Sundays.
  • On October 28, the Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources adopted a resolution supporting changes to state law that would allow public landowners to allow Sunday hunting.

Why It Matters: The Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources' adoption of the resolution expressing support for allowing Sunday hunting on public lands sends a strong message to the Virginia General Assembly as legislation to remove the prohibition on public lands Sunday hunting is considered.

In the last two legislative sessions, Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Delegate James Edmunds patroned legislation to allow Sunday hunting on public lands in the Commonwealth, but both bills died in committee despite strong support for the legislation from the hunting conservation community.

Sunday hunting restrictions have no basis in wildlife management. Except for those pursuing waterfowl, rail, or raccoon, hunters are the only user-group prohibited from accessing public lands on Sundays in the Commonwealth.

Many states have rolled back Sunday hunting prohibitions in recent years, including West Virginia in 2018 and North Carolina in 2021. Removing barriers to participation in hunting and increasing access to the outdoors is essential for supporting hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts. Expanding Sunday hunting opportunities also benefits the economy and supports conservation funding.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation would like to express its sincere gratitude to the Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources for adopting the pro-public lands Sunday hunting resolution.

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