POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — On a night where Republicans had big celebrations across the country and across West Virginia, sportsmen in two West Virginia counties were celebrating as well.
Referendums were held in Mason and Roane Counties Tuesday on whether to allow Sunday hunting. The measure passed handily in both counties. Mason County voters approved the Sunday hunting allowance on a vote of 3961 yes 2919 no votes. The measure passed in Roane County with 2299 yes votes to1652 no votes.
Those two counties now make seven which have flipped this year and voted to allow Sunday hunting. During the May Primary voters in Braxton, Calhoun, Wirt, Nicholas, and Webster Counties approved the measure. Primary voters in Gilmer County defeated the measure by 19 votes and the idea was overwhelmingly rejected in May by voters in Lewis County.
With Tuesday’s vote there are now 21 counties in West Virginia where are allowed to hunt on Sunday. Those are: Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Calhoun, Clay, Hancock, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Marshall, Mingo, Nicholas, Ohio, Wayne, Webster, Wirt, Wetzel, Wyoming. Now Mason and Roane Counties are added to the list.
The legislature repealed the longtime ban on Sunday hunting back in 2001. The measure was one of the old blue laws which remained in effect in West Virginia years after most other Sunday prohibitions had long since been lifted. However, lawmakers feeling pressure from opponents, agreed to allow the measure to be put to a vote in each individual county. The very next election 41 counties defeated the idea. It hadn’t been brought up again until this year.