Sunday hunting on Virginia waters and private land is close to becoming a reality.
And it’s a reality unwanted by several locals throughout Northumberland County and the region.
Last Tuesday, the Virginia House of Delegates, by a 71-27 vote, passed House Bill (HB) 1237, which allows hunting on Sundays under certain circumstances with permission from property owners.
Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale), who represents the Northern Neck in the House, opposed the bill.
“We had folks come up and we’ve got groups…their homes have been shot through because [hunters’] blinds can get so close to the shoreline,” said Ransone, adding that people were worried about hunters trespassing onto property where hunting would still not be permitted on Sunday.
“Let’s say…I don’t want you to hunt on my land but [a neighboring property owner] says it’s okay for you to hunt on his land on Sunday,” said Ransone.
“Well, when you’re back in the woods on 45 acres of [his] land, how do you know when you get on [my] land?
Ransone said supporters of the ban consider Sunday a day of rest where they go to church and spend time with their families, and that they have expressed concerns over walking through the woods with their children while someone is hunting in the area.
“Buckshot doesn’t know where a property line is,” said Ransone, who added she really worries about hunters on the water on Sunday.
“If folks are kayaking or whatever it is they may be doing, there’s going to be come cross-interference now with the confusion of duck hunting and goose hunting,” said Ransone.
On Thursday, the Senate’s Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee recommended Senate Bill 154, which is identical to HB 1237, by a 9-4 vote with Senators Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland) and Ryan McDougle (R-Mechanicsville) opposing.
As of press time on Tuesday, the Sunday Hunting bill is on the Senate floor for consideration.
McDougle said his office received more contacts about the pending legislation than they had for any other matter, and that people were extremely passionate on both sides of the Sunday Hunting ban.
Arguments that McDougle had heard from people in favor of reversing the ban included…
Pick up the February 5 issue of the Northumberland Echo to read the full story!