Day of Rest



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A year after this was published, Virginia got its Sunday hunting. As a result of Sunday hunting, zero horses, hikers, or dogs have been shot on Sunday. Seven years later, a small majority of Jim Hackett's 90,000, or 11,000, or 580,000 alleged supporters have joined the ranks of Sunday hunters, because it turns out, they really never opposed it anyway, except that folks like Jim Hackett convinced them it would be "the end of hunting as we know it" and other similar quotes. Seven years later, instead of 41 states approving Sunday hunting, it's 47 states, with Pennsylvania poised to become 48. And since absolutely none of the negative, apocoyptic predictions about Virginia Sunday hunting have turned out to be true in any way whatsoever, it makes one wonder what Jim Hackett was so alarmed about in the first place.

Bobby Magaly more than 4 years ago

facts, not fear

The woods are either safe during hunting season, or they are not. Cars, houses, horses, dogs, and pedestrians are not getting struck six days a week, and data from the 43 states that allow sunday hunting show no statistical difference in hunting accidents, despite the extra day. Facts, not fear.

And it strikes me as hilarious that anyone would want to stop their neighbors from legally hunting on sunday because someone else is illegally hunting the other six days of the week, on your property. Those people are poachers, and I can promise you that they already do not honor the Sunday hunting ban. Murder and drug dealing are illegal on sunday, however, I am quite sure that they still occur on that day. Wanting and needing more law enforcement to stop poaching has nothing to do with your neighbors being able to legally hunt on their own property during hunting season....even on a sunday.

River Mud more than 10 years ago

Sunday Hunting should be allowed

It seems entirely contrary to common sense and wildlife management to prohibit all hunting on Sunday. As a landowner, I believe that it is my right as an American to hunt on my land on Sunday. I also believe that it is my responsibility to hunt during designated seasons, as seasons and bag limits are reviewed and set annually based on population numbers and goals. As a hiker and mountain biker, I understand the desire to have one day set side for those acitivities on public lands. Those lands are owned jointly by all Americans. However, as a landowner and hunter, I should be able to hunt on my land any day during the season. There is no one else on my land except those with permission. If there is, they are criminals and deserve no protection and have no rights.

Lift the ban on Sunday hunting on private lands. Keep the ban on Sunday hunting for public lands. Base the season and bag limits on science, not out-dated moral or religious ideals.

Virginia Landowner more than 10 years ago

Opposed to Sunday Hunting

The woods need to be safe at least one day a week for those that enjoy nature and other outdoor recreational activities! Fall is an incredibly beautiful time of the year for hiking, biking, horseback riding, lake and stream activities etc. Sadly, not everyone is careful with a gun and folks are neither welcomed nor safe in the woods during hunting season. Thank you for supporting the ban!!

Infinity Acres more than 11 years ago

No to Sunday hunting

How much land do you own? We have 3 parcels in three different counties in Virginia. We are like prisoners when other people (Men) are hunting.We can't enjoy any solitude on hunting days. We can't hike on our own land for worry of a stray bullet. We are constantly finding hunters who are trespassing on our land, claiming their deer jumped over the fence after they shot it and they had to retrieve it.HA! We find hunting stands on our property. What about my rights to enjoy my own land without this BS?

Virginia more than 11 years ago

I do not support

Sunday hunting. Where I lived in Ohio before moving to Virginia, the lands were all posted up when Sunday hunting passed. It was not good. Then our family had only the over hunted stateforest nearby to hunt on. I would hate to see the same mistake made here of ignoring landowners who do not want this.

Herbie more than 11 years ago

No for PA


SteveU more than 11 years ago

national forest stamp money.

Few hunters are aware that "National Forest stamp" money goes to the state of Virginia. It is not collected by the national forest. It is used by the state of Virginia for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to improve wildlife habitat and improve hunting opportunities on public land. That public land is sometimes national forest but may also be on wildlife areas that are state owned. It does not go to the forest service to use as an income. It also does not pay for any recreation areas, trails or road facilities on national forest lands. It is habitat improvement money managed by the state. thanks

Stella more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting on Private lands

The argument is about non-infringement of the rights of all Virginia Citizens. The right to hunt in Virginia is a constitutional right (Article XI, Section 4). If a Virginia citizen wishes to hunt on Sunday, they should have that right on lands that are individually owned, they have written permission of the owner, or are rented (hunt club) property. The argument of citizens who don’t wish to be inconvenienced or bothered by hunters on Sundays is a valid one as it pertains to public lands or on their own private property. If a hunter has paid for a license to hunt and owns his/her own property or rents from a hunt club, then not only have they paid for the legal privilege to hunt but they’ve also paid for the land to hunt on as well. The lands that hikers can legally use are either their own property or are public lands paid for and managed with revenue generated from hunting and fishing licenses. Therefore, Hunters pay for the privilege to hunt but are encumbered unnecessarily by those who don’t pay for their activity. If hunters are allowed to hunt their own lands and those they’ve rented or have permission for, then they should not be encumbering the rights of someone who wishes to go for a walk on state land, national forests, other public areas or their own private property. If a hunter chooses not to hunt on his property then he should have that choice. If a hunter chooses to hunt on his property or property he’s paid for or has written permission for he should have that choice. If a non-hunter wants to take a stroll in the woods on public lands or on their own property then they should have that choice. Under this arrangement, unless hunters are trespassing on public lands or hikers are trespassing on private lands, no one would be worried or infringed upon.

Everett Taylor more than 11 years ago

sunday hunting

I see both sides of the battle. I for one are for the ban being lifted. For the main reason, a land owner should have the right to do what he or she wants on their land. If they want to go after that deer or any other animals they just saw, then so be it. Who are we or I to say what one does on their land on a Sunday. For a second reason, there are some of us that has to work six days a week. With one day off. That's right you guessed it...its Sunday. Now as a hunter, I spend an average of $100.00 in license fees, a state forest stamp at 18.00, and not to mention the several hundreds of dollars in fuel, and lets not forget the taxes on the fuel, shoping, and lodging. But to only hunt a few days out of an entire 3 month season is just not worth it anymore. I'm sorry but a day of rest is not a year 2012 reason anymore. I think instead of sub committees voting on this issue. Not the politicians who can be bought. Put it on the election ballot, and let the people decide on this issue. All these polls they say they did, funny how nobody I know or people they know have never seen a poll.

Jonathan Jewett more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting

One last thing Mr. Hackett, please explain how allowing Sunday Hunting on the Military Bases in Virginia would adversely affect Rural Virginians, Dog Hunters, Horseback Riders, Farm Bureau members, bird watchers or any other anti-Sunday Hunting organization in the state?!

Daren Brown more than 11 years ago

Yes to Individual Rights.

Mr. Hackett, this is not about Hound Hunting for deer, or Sunday Hunting for that matter, it is about Landowners and Hunters having the right to make the decision for themselves vice having the government "force it down our throats." VaHDA does not have the "high road" unless of course you are referring to "your highness's" road. We started this courtry so that "the people" would not be forced to do what a few in power think is 'right'. So please expain how it would be bad for hunter's and landowners to make the decision whether or not they hunt or allow others to hunt on Sunday vice the 'Monarchy' that we fled back in the 1700's dictating it to us?! Those against Sunday Hunting would STILL have the leeway to dis-allow Sunday hunting and not to hunt if that is their desire. And as for the numbers you quote, DGIF and a university have done SCIENTIFIC polls that dispute your information. Can you cite the polls or the sources that produced those results you state about 'rural Virginians and landowners', as well as the questions and metrics associated, because that information is available from DGIF and the university polls which for now makes them the most credible source.

Daren Brown more than 11 years ago

Typical Misquotes and Fabricated Facts

Jesse- Jim Hackett had NO input to the clause on the bill that eliminated huntng deer w/ hounds. I was present when the amended bill was presented in the Senate and that clause was already included without any prior knowledge. Stick to truthful facts and don't make false accusations to win your point.
Redd Branson - 220,000 hunting licenses are sold in Va. 190,000 hunt w/ hounds of one discipline or another. 75% of the 190,000 hut deer w/ hounds. That equals approx 140,000 licenses holders hunt deer w/ dogs. What more poll do you need? I would bet that you would support baiting w/ a corn pile more ethcal. (ambush hunting)
The restriction of Sunday hunting is not a left over of Virginias Blue laws. It is one of a few ethical and moral positions that Virginians still hold on to. 75% to 80% of rural Virginians oppose SH. 90% of private land owners oppose SH. How can we justify ramming a law down the throats of a community of people that have made a clear statement that they don't want it? If this is about land owner rights - everyone should know that 95% of land in Virginia is privately owned. Yet, you say this won't infringe on the rights of other outdoor enthusiast? You can still hunt with a firearm 16 weeks a year. You can bow hunt 28 weeks a year. Now you want to hunt all of the Sundays in between. You are being hoggish, unresonable and inconsiderate to other fellow Virginians. Say what you want, it seems obvious that the VaHDA is taking the high road for respect of our neighbors and abiding by what they are asking - NO sunday hunting in their community.

Jim Hackett more than 11 years ago

Jim Hackett's Third Person Rant

I like how Jim Hackett refers to himself in the third person, like he is the Charles Barkley of hunting. First, in one breath VaDHA purports to have 80,000 members, then on Virginiawhitetails, it's 31,000; then suddenly here it's 190,000 hound hunters? Come on now. Second, VaDHA continues to throw around this "90% of landowners oppose sunday hunting" and "rural residents oppose this", and despite numerous requests by legislators, the media, and Virginia hunters to see the polls that created these statistics, those polls have "somehow" never materialized. When the Virginia Farm Bureau was caught using them, they immediately retreated to "We believe that landowners oppose this, through our grassroots policy process." But Hackett knows no retreat from his "90% of landowners oppose" statistic! Second, speaking of truthful facts, how can your lobbyist reasonably lobby against Sunday hunting (for still hunters) and on the same day, lobby FOR sunday hunting for bears? What is it with you guys? You all act as if all hunters can take off weekdays to hunt on a regular basis when you say, "What's wrong, there are plenty of days to hunt!" Meanwhile, Virginia is one of the few states in America that is LOSING hunters. I know you don't see any connection there, and that's a shame. To say our effort to recruit more hunters into Virginia through Sunday hunting is "hoggish and unreasonable" says a lot about you personally and professionally.

Gary Fawkes more than 9 years ago

Danger on Sunday?

The arguments that state "Sunday is the only day I can..." imply that there is an unacceptable danger or incompatibility with that activity and hunting. If that premise were true, the discussion should not be about hunting on Sunday. It should be about the total abolition of the practice. That would play directly into the hands of many of the objectors. "I support hunting but..." is the common phrase just before the objection. The argument is based on a false premise but one which gains large acceptance as truth. Editorials in major newspapers have promoted that idea as truth. It is not.
Hard statistics show that hunting is extremely safe for participants and non-participants alike. So much so that an injury or fatality associated with it is considered newsworthy.
Promoting the idea that hunting is unsafe for the general population plays directly into the hands of the anti-hunting groups who so vehemently oppose the practice in any form. Mr. Hackett's quote: "Giving hunters an extra day afield amounts to taking a day from those who enjoy other recreational pursuits—hiking and horseback riding, for instance." amounts to an agreement that the activities are incompatible.
These activities coexist quite nicely across this nation in most of the other states, seven days a week for several months each year while the hunting seasons are in progress.
Based on the argument that people would be placed in great danger if hunting were permitted on Sunday, why on earth would such danger be acceptable six other days of the week? The simple fact is that hunting is a safe and enjoyable activity and carries far less risk to participants and non-participants than driving or riding in a car does.
The defeated bill limited the practice to private property requiring written landowner permission and, AT MR HACKETT'S OWN REQUEST, excluded the use of dogs for deer hunting. The bill went to great lengths to be fair to those opposing it based on their "feelings". Still, it wasn't enough. Mr. Hackett has climbed into bed with those who seek to eliminate all hunting and it remains to be seen whether or not that effort will ultimately be successful.
Unless the public at large can be educated to the facts and not overwhelmed with the sensational fear mongering that is being promulgated, we can forget about Sunday hunting in Virginia. Hunting is safe. But unless the general public believes that, hunting on any day of the week will not be tolerated.

Jesse Baldwin more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting

Mr. Hackett doesn't mention that VaDGIF asked the 'kill' committee to allow Sunday Hunting on military bases in the state, to which the committee said no. Allowing hunting on the bases would not have impacted dog hunters, horseback riders, campers, birdwatchers, the Farm Bureau or any of the other anti-Sunday Hunting groups. Bottom line, this is about agendas, power and control by narcissistic control monsters that have no biology, conservation or deer management science to back them.

Daren Brown more than 11 years ago

Day of rest

It is odd that God doesn't require us to love, accept or even worship him!! He gives us the choice!! Yet man makes laws to try and legislate morality? GOD leaves it up to the individual, AS SHOULD OUR GOVERNMENT.............

Redd Branson more than 11 years ago

Sunday hunting

I feel that people should be able to hunt on their private lands any day of the week that they want. I don't agree with the day of rest issue at all it just sounds good to some people. I work M-F and can't hunt on my land on Sunday so my deer get 6 days of rest a week if you look at it that way. If someone is riding a horse in the woods on Sunday is the horse getting a day of rest I ask you? I would like a survey done ( Jim Hackett ) and see how many hunters even consider shooting a deer running from a dog hunting!! I don't need dogs to hunt for me I do fine on my own..

Redd Branson more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting

As a child growing up, I used to look forward to my time in the woods with my dad. I wanted to take what he passed on to me, which would allow me to learn from my experiences and pass on to my kids once they reached the right age to get out and explore the woods and be able to hunt. Right now I am an active duty service member and a single parent to 5 kids. I work every day and have to be available to the kids for issues at school and their extracurricular activities so I cannot just take time off from work and the kids to go hunting during the week. The times I am able to hunt I have to make special arrangements with their mother when/ if she comes back to Virginia, get a sitter, or have someone watch them, because I cannot take them all with me when I go hunting. It is during this time that I look toward as my day of rest a day that I can just get away and be one with nature not worry about work or running around with the kids. It is my time for one on ones with the kids and also time to teach and allow them to experience all the wonders of the outdoors. As I mentioned along with the single parent issue, my kids and I also depend on my single income, meaning that I cannot afford to pay membership fees at the hunt clubs, so I have to rely on the WMA’s and the State Parks for hunting spots.
With everything that I have going on during the week, one day to get out during the week or as child care permits maybe twice a month to hunt is very tough to go out and do the things with the kids that I would like to do. I know that my situation may be unique, but there are many others throughout Virginia that work 5-6 days a week and are unable to get out and enjoy the same liberties. This is why I feel that Virginia needs to take a look at the times that her people are in right now. We are all out in the workforce busting our butts trying to make ends meat and provide for our families. With the rising prices on everything (especially things like gas and dairy products) today it is getting really hard to get by. By being able to get out and hunt will allow us to be able to put preservative free and very nutritional food on the table for our kids and allow them to experience the different flavors that nature has provided for us.
I totally understand and respect other people’s rights to worship on Sundays, I also understand the concerns for those that want to go out hiking, horseback riding and doing things with their kids, but if they want that, then why can’t I go out and hunt? As it was stated in earlier comments the number of hunter accidents is relatively low. We (hunters) are not dummies in the woods, we can tell the difference between the animals in which we hunt and other humans and horses etc. I also believe that if a landowner wants to hunt on his own property then he should have that right. After all it is his or her own property and they should know and control who is allowed on their land at all times.

Aaron Roehrs more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday hunting

Mr. Hackett, just because every survey completed on the topic of Sunday hunting shows significant - and growing - results that you disagree with, doesn't mean you can just shoo it away by saying it doesn't reflect "the mood" of some people. What kind of statistical counter-point is that?

In Virginia on Sunday you can legally buy liquor, buy beer, gamble, buy tobacco, and patronize bars, strip clubs, and other "immoral" activities.

But you can't sit out in the middle of a swamp and hunt like you can legally do the other 6 days per week.

Seems pretty odd to me.


Bill Dennis more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting

Very nice, even article. However, I noted early in the article Virginia declares that Sunday is a day of rest for the animals and birds of the commonwealth. Well, not so fast! Dog hunters are allowed to train their bear hounds on Sunday now, thanks to the General Assy. And if you're willing to pay to go to a hunting preserve, Sunday is no problem. Finally, does ANY wild animal have a day of rest in the woods...I think its more eat or be eaten out there.

Wayne Hay more than 11 years ago

No to Sunday hunting

Thank you, Jim Hackett! Nice to know us hikers will have one day a week of peace during hunting season.

Nancy Blodinger more than 11 years ago

Yes to Sunday Hunting!

Few things are as wholesome as hunting! Certainly, its lawful to do just about everything else on a Sunday, why not hunt? It puts wholesome, high quality foods on the table, in a season when other recreational users are rarely in the woods- over winter.

As a good friend of mine often says, "Teach your kids to hunt, and you never have to hunt your kids"

Kathy Davis more than 11 years ago

Facebook site in Support of Sunday Hunting!/groups/vasundayhunting4all/10150591606041573/?notif_t=group_activity

Jerimiah Johnson more than 11 years ago

Sunday Hunting Support in on the Web

Here is a great site in support of Sunday Hunting:!/groups/vasundayhunting4all/10150591606041573/?notif_t=group_activity

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

Sunday Hunting Support on Facebook

I found a great group in support of Sunday Hunting. It really shows that legalizing hunting is the right thing to do. Here is the Facebook link:!/groups/vasundayhunting4all/10150591606041573/?notif_t=group_activity

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

I support Sunday Hunting

This was a fair article, and Mr. O'Brien makes some compelling arguments in support of Sunday Hunting. I believe all Virginian's should have the right to hunt on Sunday, and hope it is made legal so we can start to limit all the economic damage that deer do on our roads and to our agricultural communities.

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

I support Sunday Hunting

This was a fair article, and Mr. O'Brien makes some compelling arguments in support of Sunday Hunting. I believe all Virginian's should have the right to hunt on Sunday, and hope it is made legal so we can start to limit all the economic damage that deer do on our roads and to our agricultural communities.

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

I am in support of Sunday Hunting

This was a fair article, and Mr. O'Brien makes some compelling arguments in support of Sunday Hunting. I believe all Virginian's should have the right to hunt on Sunday, and hope it is made legal so we can start to limit all the economic damage that deer do on our roads and to our agricultural communities.

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

Fair Article and Shows Sunday Hunting Makes Sense

This was a fair article, and Mr. O'Brien makes some compelling arguments in support of Sunday Hunting. I believe all Virginian's should have the right to hunt on Sunday, and hope it is made legal so we can start to limit all the economic damage that deer do on our roads and to our agricultural communities.

Tom Westen more than 11 years ago

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