A billboard in central WV promotes Tuesday’s vote

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — Voters in seven counties of West Virginia will be asked whether Sunday hunting should be authorized again in their county in Tuesday’s primary election. It’s the first time the question has been put before voters since the West Virginia Legislature authorized Sunday hunting on private land statewide in a 2002 bill and also authorized a county by county election on whether it should be allowed.

“The ballot will read, ‘Shall Sunday hunting be authorized in _____ County?'” said Cory Boothe who instigated the grass roots effort to bring the subject back to the voters. “The law states it’s private land only. Voters need to be aware even though the ballot doesn’t state it’s private land only, that’s what the law allows.”

The initial legislation limited Sunday hunting to private property. Soon after Governor Bob Wise signed the bill in 2002 opponents were quickly busy gathering signature to have the measure placed on the ballot. In 41 counties Sunday hunting was closed the next election.

Booth decided last year enough time had passed to reconsider, at least in some places.

“It took five percent of voters to sign a petition to get it on the ballot, that was a fairly easy process,” he said. “We’ll see where we go from there.”

He was able to get petitions to put the question on the ballot in Braxton, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis, Nicholas, Webster, and Wirt Counties.

Booth said the support for the campaign has been tremendous and he’s encountered no organized opposition. He believes it’s because sportsmen are more informed and a lot of attitudes have changed in 12 years.

“I see more people working a six day work week rather than a five day work week,” said Booth. “It’s always a lot easier for me to get the word out with social media, whereas in 2002 that wasn’t the case.”

Booth said it’s as much about private property rights as it is about hunting freedom.

“It’s private land only, hunt clubs, and private land where you have permission to hunt,” explained Booth. “But if somebody is not in favor of it, they can still say, ‘No not on my land.'”

The Virginia General Assembly recently lifted the longtime ban on Sunday hunting in the neighboring Old Dominion. Booth said with that restriction gone, West Virginia is the last holdout without Sunday hunting in the region. He believed the action by Virginia lawmakers opened some eyes and boosted the cause in West Virginia.

Booth is unsure if other counties will want to make a change in future elections. He indicated it would have been easy to get more counties with the ballot question this time, but wanted to stick with the initial seven and see what happens.

“It all depends on what the people of those counties feel,” said Booth. “If they don’t want it in their county I obviously don’t want to force it, but if they do want it I want to be able to help them in whatever way possible.”

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  • bud lovett

    i think landowners should have the option to hunt own land we have to pay taxes on the land and somebody can tell us what and we can do on it. seems pretty political to me thank you

  • caevns

    I see all these people complaining about shooting animals and letting them have rest! Now a days some people have to go out and shoot an animal so they can have food to provide their families. If God didn't want these animals to be shot and killed then he wouldn't put them here! And as far as people go with complaining about Sunday hunting, I totally am for it! That is the problem with Christians now a days...they expect everyone to live by their beliefs. I am a Christian, well was at one point but only because I had no choice. But the way I see it Sunday Hunting is a good idea.


    our land-our choice & we voted no

    • Hollow hunter

      Hey Griff ! I hope it rains on you everyday !

  • Marion

    Webster county passed but Gimer lost by 30 damned votes !

  • Marion

    Anyone know about the other counties?

  • Marion

    Webster county passed ! Don't know about others but its a start!

  • jcsmith

    RDC evolution is a fairy tale. Hey we should know the results soon. To all my fellow hunters thanks for a good debate and wish u guys the best.

  • The Hunter

    Hey Chris Lawrence, you must not get out of your chair much and do real reporting. It would be nice every year if you would let us know how the hunting and fishing related bills did in the past legislation sessions. How about it?

  • RDC

    Personally I think the archaic "sport" of hunting should be outlawed completely, but to not allow it on Sundays because people chose to believe in fairy tales is ridiculous.

    • wow

      RDC, if you don't even like hunting or church, then why don't you just shut up and go cause trouble somewhere else. These people have the same right to believe in ( "fairy tales" ) just as you have the right to believe that hunting is archaic. If it is voted in it won't change anything, people will still believe what they believe, even if stupid people like you make fun of them.

    • thornton

      Well, if one does not care about either healthy habitats or the dritters within then I reckon those comments will always be heard.... as ignorance is in that simplicity of thought.

      Moreso, if issues such as this one are merely carriers for the tooting and furthering of a greater agenda.

      RDC and Susie are a bit humorous in their selfish ignorance of all that comprises "hunting" any critter....and I must admit, even hunting those silly deer.

  • 2XLPatriot

    My land, my sweat, my labor, my money earned to have that land and my right to harvest the food that I tend to on my property. Deer, squirrel, rabbits and turkey's harvested from a hunt are more healthy than store bought crap. Saying I can't hunt on Sunday is like telling everyone else they can't garden or grocery shop on Sunday.

  • Zach

    A big thank you to Cory for taking this on. I'm sure it is a huge amount of work, I can't imagine.

    The fact that Sunday Hunting is even an issue blows my mind. Name any other activity that a person can do 6 days a week on their own land but not the 7th. As a landowner, it infuriates me that folks can mow grass, run heavy equipment, scream/yell, blast a radio as loud as it will go, have a dog that barks uncontrollably, all of which are much noiser than a lone gunshot or two, but mention Sunday Hunting and they say it "disturbs the animals". Makes perfect sense. I guess all these people against it are also ok with me going to the nude bar and getting 4 faced drunk this Sunday then coming home and setting off fireworks all evening, since it's legal. Vote yes folks!

    • The Hunter

      As a landowner, I find it ridiculous that you don't need a license to hunt like the rest of us citizens. Simply because you and others can hunt or discharge a firearm at least 500 feet from your home (that is the definition of landowner according to the DNR office in Romney) for free is unbelievable. It's time for landowners to pay just like the rest of us. Imagine how much money would be collected that could be put back into the fund. Nobody should be hunting for free in this state. Either every body pays or nobody pays.

      • Shadow

        Logic tells me that if the State owns the animals and charges folks to pay for their capture, then, they, the State, should pay the folks that provide feed and cover for these animals. Maybe, that is why landowners don't need licenses.

      • Zach

        The Hunter,

        Learn the facts. I have never killed any animal for free, even on my own land. I buy my yearly WV sportsmans package plus trout and extra bow stamps, always have and always will. The monies from our license is the DNR's lifeblood so I will always support that no matter how much land I end up owning. Also, to reiterate what 2XL said, if killing a couple of animals at no cost is that appealing to you, I suggest you work hard like I have done while saving enough money to be able to buy a home and a couple of acres like I did.

      • 2XLPatriot

        Work hard, sacrifice and buy your own land. We as land owners pay more property taxes which in turn, covers the cost of a yearly hunting license and stays in our county.

  • walker

    Whgfeeling do your church a favor and step down from your position.


    Yep you are right. It is our land, we paid for it.
    we pay the taxes. We will be voting NO to Sunday hunting. 6 days a week is enough to hear guns blasting. I don't want to hear it on Sunday.

    • The Hunter

      Then lawnmowers, saw mills, weed whackers, chain saws and everything else that makes noise should be stopped as well. Separation of church and state. Attending church or observing the "day of rest" is a choice, not a law.

  • C. F. T.

    1. No Sunday hunting
    2. Marion where are you?

    • Marion

      C.F.T. Hey I'm here now! Wow I thought u forgot about me ! Just love chatting with you. I've been busy working six days a week and on my house. No time to hunt or fish. But all the welfare recipients are ! I have read most of the comments and I have to admit its a little mind boggling. I support the right to hunt on Sunday private and public land. That's my opinion. Cory Boothe thanks for all your efforts. I wish our elected officials in our state could do the same. Oh my what I say ?! Too Taboo for them !

      • C. F. T.

        The people are casting their ballots and in a few hours the issue will be up or down based upon the majority. Perhaps next time around we will be on the same side, I. E. No more liberal politicos.

  • susanf1218

    Terrible idea! I hope it is soundly defeated in ALL 7 counties!! Yet another example of the "it's all about me and I should be able to do anything I want whenever I want to do it" mentality that is so pervasive in our society today. You want to hunt but have to work? Take a vacation day. Or a sick day. But stay out of the woods on Sunday!

    • Shadow

      Your logic about "its all about me" is 100% correct. The one problem is the you are the one that is applying it.. Get out of your control mode. Sunday Hunting is not about you!

    • Independent View

      And you make your statement about those that advocate Sunday hunting:
      "it's all about me and I should be able to do anything I want whenever I want to do it" mentality that is so pervasive in our society today. it's laughable! You are the poster woman for "it's all about me."
      I'll bet you do not spend all day Sunday in worship services at a local church or remain in an attitude of prayer all day? I'll bet you go to the mall, a state or county park, picnic, go boating, golfing and horseback riding, etc., yet, while you are doing any or all of these activities you are condeming those that want Sunday hunting? Very, very, hipocitical susanf1218!

      • susanf1218

        No it is not hypocritical b/c any activities that I indulge in on Sunday AFTER attending church do not involve KILLING!! Blood sport for relaxation?? Are you kidding me?? And I reiterate that the theme among the proponents of Sunday hunting is that "I should be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want" - completely self-centered attitude.

        • Marion

          Hey susanf1218 ! I have been pretty quiet observing all these posts. But reading your reminds me of Hillary Clinton ! Like the rest of us hear are thinking just SHUT UP ! That's about as plain as I can say it so everyone will understand . I'm being kind with my words but would love to meet you in person so I can ridicule you the way most would want to ! Leave us alone ! Do you understand that ?! It's our way of life. If you don't like it then dont participate in it. I don't like titty bars so I don't go. But I don't ridicule those that do! It's there choice !