SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — It’s been 13 years since the West Virginia Legislature authorized Sunday hunting in West Virginia. The legislation was approved in 2001 with the condition voters in individual counties could put the measure on the election ballot and vote to close Sunday hunting in their county. The next election it happened in all but 14 West Virginia counties.

But attitudes about the idea are changing. Virginia’s General Assembly recently voted to repeal the longtime restriction on Sunday hunting there statewide.  Cory Boothe of Summersville saw the change in West Virginia.

“People are surprised that other states have Sunday hunting. They assume no hunts on Sunday and don’t even realize 14 counties in West Virginia have Sunday hunting,”  he said in an appearance on Ram Trucks West Virginia Outdoors. “It’s definitely an awareness campaign since they don’t realize we had it statewide in 2001 with nobody being shot and really no incidents at all.”

Boothe started his grassroots drive to return the idea to the ballot in West Virginia. He was successful in adding the question to the May primary ballot in Braxton, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis, Nicholas, Webster, and Wirt Counties.

“We had to get five percent of registered voters to sign a petition,” he said. “We got that in seven counties and now the drive is to get the word out.”

The law would allow for hunting on Sunday, but only on private land. Boothe said he thinks the reason the measure was unsuccessful the first time around was a lack of understanding. But he believes much has changed in more than a decade.

“Without a doubt,” he said. “I see a lot of people standing up for it as personal property rights. I think a lot of people are also starting to see that church and Sunday hunting can coexist with each other.”

Time will tell if Boothe’s assessment is correct. He’ll use the time between now and May reaching as many people as possible in the seven county areas.

“One thing we noticed while getting the signatures, a lot of sportsmen aren’t registered to vote,” he said. “We are working to get those people to get registered to vote so they can show up in May.”

He added others have joined him in the effort.

“We have every state that touches us, except Pennsylvania, now have Sunday hunting,” he said.  “States like Ohio allowed it about 15 years ago and found out it adds the economy. It’s safe,  it gets people outdoors, and a lot of these doom and gloom issues people had feared if they got Sunday hunting, just didn’t happen.”

 

bubble graphic

83

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Independent View

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has joined this campaign and is posting highway billboards in support of this referendum.

  • Marion

    I knew a man by the name of Stacy Grosecup. He was a great preacher. A fellow once asked him of his opinion about Sunday hunting. His reply was Sunday is a day of recreation. Do what you love and cherish to do as you wish. WHAT A QUOTE ! I know many of you have met him, witnest his preaching, or have watched him with his exciting bow and arrow exhibitions. What an individual in wich I have been blessed to meet.

    • WhgFeeling

      Stacey was one of my all time favorite people.

  • Griz

    I have led this battle in the past, a front line outdoorsman, speaking in TV and radio in 2001 and 2002. Cory Boothe, I commend your efforts. From my experience our own sportsmen are not smart enough to register themselves and vote for this. The other element I ran into was the idiot redneck poacher, they would say, " I ain't voting to clutter the woods on Sunday I already have that say all to myself to hunt". It was a frustrating battle and a great waste of my personal money for signs and literature.
    I have traveled these United States and have hunted over 30 states and Sunday hunting and it is not a big deal, only here in West Virginia. We have a dying organization ( wvfb) that controls Sunday hunting for some reason, I would venture to say most private landowners own their land for natural resource production and recreation and not farming first yet as sportsman we allow a small vocal group of old farmers and reverends lie to us how people will be gunned down in church parking lots as well as barn lots. Good luck with the votes and I will show up to vote yes. With that said I get so depressed about the amount of stupid in our great state!

    • Cory Boothe

      Griz,

      In what county are you located? I could use the help.

      • Berkeley Counter Hunter

        Cory, we need help to pass this in Berkeley County. Please help!

      • Griz

        Cory I appreciate your work and will vote for Sunday hunting, but I have retired from public speaking and most pro-staffing gigs I have had. I don't mind making common sense observations on here under my nick name but I am just official retired from the spotlight and the work. Thanks! Good luck!

  • C. F. T.

    NRA has made more enemies of this insistence to impose Sunday Hunting than they will make friends.

    • Cory Boothe

      The NRA has nothing to do with this at this time. This is a grass roots effort that is not in partnership with the NRA at this time.

      • C. F. T.

        And Obama is an supporter of 2nd amendment rights. As an life member of the NRA, former elected officeholder who fought hard for NRA issues, I do attend Friends of NRA dinners, I do know well that this "grass roots" effort is very much an NRA orchestrated effort. VOTE NO SUNDAY HUNTING

        • Marion

          Hey CFT, is your god different than mine ?! Sunday is a day of recreation ! Everyone's sole choice. Period ! If you don't like it don't go ! But please, please don't infringe on on my choice !

          • Marion

            CFT you truly are an idiot ! You have no clue. Just take a look at how many posts are in favor of Sunday hunting. As for a thug ? My members make the decisions. My company works well with our members. So don't make statements you know nothing about. See you in the woods this upcoming season. ON SUNDAY'S !

          • C. F. T.

            Marion, you proved that you do not read and/or comprehend prior post, as my credibility was outlined previously within prior post. Union steward is known as the thug who harasses, intimidates and bullies fellow employees to be union members, do as the union says and and vote for Obama, exactly as you have been doing in your various post with me and other persons who do not support Sunday hunting. Question, how are you going to hunt when the Democrats who the unions support take our guns away?

          • Marion

            CFT-1- yes I am very passionate on ALL aspects of hunting ( it has put me down the right path in life in more ways than you can imagine starting from a very young age) 2- I am a very credible person and I do know the facts. ( I stand very firm in my convictions). 3-yes you do have a right to your opinion. (My apology if I hurt your feelings). Voting no would be going against fellow hunters that work their ass off all year long and not have a chance to enjoy time hunting. 4-intolerant bully ?! Not quiet. I just know how to stick up for myself and others.(army war vet, union steward, long time nra member don't bully or get bullied). 5-debate ?! LOL ! Would love to. Sorry you lose! 6-follow me ?! Where is your credibility ?!

          • C. F. T.

            Marion, 1. It is very obvious you are passionate about Sunday hunting, by this and your other post, 2. stick to the facts, deception will lesson your credibility 3. We all have a right to an opinion and I choose NO SUNDAY HUNTING 3. Your post come across as an intollarent bully, 4. If this were an debate, you loose and 5. I think it will be fun to follow your various post and In return reply for no reason other than to get you firedup

          • Marion

            To CFT, so what you are saying is that you don't care about infringing on others ? That's what we need ! More hunters against other hunters! Like I said you don't care about those who have to work 6 days a week. Sounds pretty selfish. OH I get it. The more hunters out of the woods the better for yourself ! Thanks for not supporting others ! I will just keep on working 60-70 hours a week ( to support my family)so YOU can have the woods all to YOURSELF !

          • C. F. T.

            Existing Law is the villion infringing as you claim on your choice. You nor I wrote the Law, but I have a choice to support or not this Law and you to seek a change. I choose to see ithis Law stand. The Bible describes Sunday as an day of rest, not recreation.

        • Cory Boothe

          You are so far off it is not even funny. If you have an inside route to the NRA, please tell me so I can get more help.

          • C. F. T.

            From an young age, my priorities have been spending every moment possible in the outdoors, education, earning a living, wife/family and Church/witness for God. All activities and desires must be balanced and persued by priority.
            God, being a witness and taking a stand, IS my number one priority.

          • Cory Boothe

            Can you giveyour reasons for being against SUnday hunting?

          • C. F. T.

            So are u saying the NRA does not and did not advocate Sunday hunting? Lobby the Legislature?, have a booth near the front door of the 2013 Hunt Show in Charleston?, send postcard mailings in support when the issue is on the ballot of an County?, question and grade Canadates who are running for Office?, etc., etc. I find it very unlikely that the NRA is NOT supporting your efforts.
            Inside route to the NRA, call the NRA Board member who lives in Beckley (I've known him for approximate. 30 years), I do know he knows how badly the NRA position on Sunday hunting is devising it's membership, alienating pollitions and members withdrawing contributions to the NRA.
            All of the above are fact, known by experience and discussing the issue with this and various NRA insiders.
            Just as you are supporting Sunday Hunting, I have a right to work hard to advocate NO SUNDAy HUNTING

  • CaptainQ

    Sunday hunting referendums?

    I wonder if voters will 'shoot them down' in May?

  • Mr Bullsnip

    I know alot of the argument from before was people being afraid of getting shot while walking thru the woods. It was to be on private land with written permission from the land owner.

  • rick

    Other States have had it for a long time without issue. Folk should not be shooting that near to churches or other populated buildings anyway. I am not sure why counties get to vote on it. It should be universal throughout the State. The cowardly legislature do not want to take a stand on it. All blue laws should be revoked.

    • Marion

      I agree totally. When it was first passed years ago that how it was intended but our politicians and the DNR were too afraid to stick up for us hunters. All outdoorsmen need to vote now. If not registered get registered. If you don't vote, sit down and shut up !

  • northforkfisher

    J SMITH I glad to see your devotion to God and understand where you are coming from. The people who will hunt probably would not be going to church anyhow, that is why I think allowing it on public land as well as private would help to keep from interrupting church. Most churches I ever went usually let's out around noon and starts again a 6pm. That gives you a couple of hours to hunt.

  • jcsmith

    I work 6 days a week and I'm a avid hunter. I want to say in public.Thank u GOD for letting me take my 3 girls to church every Sunday. Wow!!! GOD has blessed them. And please don't let me put anything before u GOD. Amen

    • Rational

      The beauty of Sunday hunting is that YOU don't have to put anything before your God. YOU can simply decide not to participate. YOU can still attend church and still see the same familiar faces. YOU can still be safe on Sunday just like the other six days a week. YOU can see that their is no moral decay in West Virginia becuase we adopted something that is legal in the other 44 states without moral decay. Amen.

    • Cory Boothe

      Nine out of the top ten church attendance states have Sunday hunting. 14 of our 55 counties have Sunday hunting. These people are just a religious as us. Hunting on Sunday is not putting anything before God. Sorry, they can coexist.

  • northforkfisher

    I feel we should allow it, because most of the churches who don't want it close church the Sunday before so the members can go to their camps.
    Public land should be allowed especially the national forests of the eastern panhandle. Most of the people who hunt here get off the beaten path taking them far from people and structures. The last thing I would want is a lot noises of large gathering disrupting my hunt.

  • SamWvu304

    Id like to see it on Preston Co. ballots also. I'm thinking it had been allowed once upon a time. Its the fact that most people who hunt only get one or two days off to hunt because of the demand of their employers,and to pay the bills. Sunday is perfect day to sit n relax in a stand n pray for the country we love to make the correct choices come Monday.

  • Mike

    I am a church elder and a hunter. My county (Mineral) voted to discontinue Sunday hunting. I really don't understand how this is not a violation of land owners rights. You have to figure only a small percentage of people in each county own enough land to hunt. The way the law read was that hunting was only allowed on private land. Each land owner had the right to say NO if they didn't want Sunday hunting on their property. Public land did not have Sunday hunting ! So in all truthfulness , people voted to take the rights away from land owners by dictating to them what was previously their personal choice. It isn't right ! The non land owners should not be able to dictate what I do on my own private land. It should be my choice!!!

    • golfnutwv

      In case you haven't noticed, the Feds (EPA) has already taken your land. They now decide what you can and can't do on it. Now is a sad time to be a farmer.

      • Wow

        True

    • SamWvu304

      Exactly!!!!... Landowners pay tax to the state for the nonlandowners to say you can't hunt on your property on Sunday. Because we are going to church. Now how many of those people/voters actually believe in Our Lord God anyway? Or even go to church? The sportsman are likely the ones at church..IMO. why are we allowed to hunt on Wednesday then if religions are the cause of the law? Isn't that the reason for it?People are in churches then too.

      • 1louddog

        I don't know how many people/voters believe in God or go to church, but as a land owner I would like to be able to hunt on Sunday.

  • No

    It won't pass, no need for it! If you can't kill a deer in 6 days, you shouldn't be hunting.

    • No

      To all of you idiots, I work, I detest welfare trash, and I know that it does not take 7 days a week to take a deer. Sunday hunting isn't necessary. And to Samwvu304, if you're not interested in "killing" a deer, you can go out, any time of the day or night 24/7, 365 and "hunt", without a firearm.

      • Cory Boothe

        I can say that I have worked seven days a week and would have given anything to get off work Sunday evening and go hunting for a few hours. Not buy a beer on the way home, not get a lotto ticket or go out to eat, but rather hunt my own land for a brief moment of clarity before I begin my next seven day work week.

        As far as not being necessary, neither are cell phones, athletics, air conditioning, etc. etc. but we are not outlawing any of those. Currently chemotherapy is not necessary for me,but I like that the option is there.

      • Griz

        There is not a need to call people idiots. It amazes me that fellow hunters just can't get along. This blue law is archaic and just needs to go away. It feels as if we have the classic Puritan ways being pushed on those of us who are just mountain men that worship in the outdoors. As Nathaniel says to The British recruiter in Last of the Mohicans, " I am not subject to much", in other words, "Mountaineers are always free!" That is why there should be Sunday hunting! Let the individual choose their moral compass not the state, and please, let us as sportsmen quit callin names

        • Marion

          GRIZ you are correct. My apology.

          • Griz

            Marion, it takes a man to apologize, all of us need to take account in West Virginia that this archaic law needs to disappear, we need not fight each other but vote out all politicians that don't have the kahunas to just pass the law without referendum. After all, we know that a majority approves of this but the far right voting fringe with their farm bureau money fight us in an unfair fight.

    • Marion

      Hey NO ! You are probably a welfare recipient ! Retired ! Non hunter ! Or just down right greedy selfish b#%€rd !

    • coy Boothe

      You are wrong in the assumption that hunters have six days a week to hunt. To be more precise, many hunters have a five or six day a week job that only allows them one day a week in the woods as the current law is written.

      The other assumption is that this only appies to dee hunters. Actually, it only adds one day to deer season with a rife. Fortunately, it adds numerous days to small game season.

      No need for it? Currently, I don't "NEED" chemotherapy, but I am glad that others have it. The need argument is absurd.

    • Fan from the Eastern Panhandle

      We work you idiot to support scum like you!

      • SamWvu304

        I feel way closer to God in the Stand then I ever will around a bunch of people judging me on how I participate in congregations. I thank him for even allowing me to make it in the woods. That in itself is a blessing to some of us. If I get to accomplish my task. I let him know it was because he allowed it. God speaks to me through natures silence. Not another mans. voice.

        • SamWvu304

          Edit--wrong spot. sorry Fan.. agree with you though. Some people just won't take a good look at any situation but their own.Who??cares about (hunting) that says anything like,(you have six days to kill a deer.)That's called KILLING,not hunting. Big difference in my opinion. I'm out to hunt who I am. Not the animal I seek.

    • Cook

      Everyone is not a checker, it takes us six days to earn enough money to pay our way and yours . 1/2 day for church and 1/2 day to hunt.

    • Jak

      Disgusting point of view. If you call yourself a "sportsman", you are no better than a PETA member. If you don't, mind your own business and feel free not to vote because Sunday hunting doesn't affect you.

  • Robin

    I see no reason to limit this to private property. When you purchase your hunting license the money goes to the management of game on private property, but public too.

    • Cory Boothe

      The reason this isl imited to private property only is WV State Code 20-2-5. Also, private property only is seen as a compromise for others that might want to enjoy public lands on Sunday.

      • Marion

        Who do you think paid and still pays for public land ?!

        • Cory Boothe

          Sportsman's dollars are solely responsible for state wildlife management areas as general taxpayers do not contribute to them.

          However, other public lands are paid for by ALL taxpayers, including nonhunters, hikers, horesback riders, etc., so this is seen as a compromise.

          • Cory Boothe

            Marion,

            What I am saying is that this is a compromise.Many times, with an all or nothing attitude, you get nothing. I would rather get Sunday hunting on private land that not have any Sunday hunting at all. Of course, I would rather have it on public land too. However, WV Code 20-2-5 keeps that from happening, not me.

            So instead of being combative towards me, use your effort to get our foot in the door towards eventually having Sunday hunting for everybody.

          • Marion

            So Cory , what you are saying is that horseback riders, hikers, etc., should dictate what us hunters can and cannot do ?!

  • Berkeley Sportsman

    I saw no attempt to get this on the ballot in Berkeley County. Many of us in this county want it on the ballot again. Please make an attempt to get this county added. Thanks.

    • Chappy

      I believe if we should be able to use our own property any way we like and no one else should be able to tell us other wise. People think sunday is a church day and a day of rest, fine then no going out to eat before or after church straight home and rest. No purchase of alcohol, no shopping. Just a day of rest!!!!!!!!

      • Cook

        You have a great idea!!!! Straight to Church and Straight home. Thats the way it should be. What a great idea!!

        • Irrational

          I also believe that emergency rooms and police stations should be closed on Sunday. Those people need to be told to take a mandatory day of rest and respect the sabbath.

          • chappy

            Exactlly, we all know this will not and cannot happen, so why should the people which goes to church on Sunday be able to vote and tell me what I can do and not do on my own property which I paid for. If its a legal time of the year to hunt statewide then I should be able to do so on my own property period!!!

        • Cory Boothe

          Great idea? Especially, if you are Jewish or 7th Day Adventist. Should their be a law requiring them to convert to a Sunday sabbath?

          • Cook

            I was being a little sarcastic. A little common sence would criple our DNR. I have 630 acers and I always obey the seasons and limits when it comes to harvesting game. But with that said I dont and wont ask the DNR what day of the week I can enjoy my god given rights on my own land. If they can get through the gates they are welcome to come join me this turkey season