Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 19, 2013

Sunday hunting push emerges in W.Va.

A lot of people talk about wanting more Sunday hunting in West Virginia, but hardly anybody ever does anything about it.

Until now.

Enter Cory Boothe is a school teacher in Fayette County and an avid hunter.

Boothe is a man on a mission.

“Ten years ago hunters got punched in the nose and landed on their backs and they’ve been there ever since,” Boothe told me Tuesday.

A decade ago or so, legislation dealing with Sunday hunting passed successfully through the Legislature.

For a year, hunting took place on Sundays for any game animal that was in season, with the exception that hunting was not legal on a Sunday that was the day before a big game opener.

Written into the bill was the option to petition the law to referendum on a county-by-county basis.

Forty-one counties did so and voted down Sunday hunting.

It remains legal to hunt on the Sundays mentioned above in 14 counties.

Jefferson is one of those counties.

The others are Brooke, Boone, Clay, Hancock, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Marshall, Mingo, Ohio, Wayne, Wetzel and Wyoming.

Boothe wants Sunday hunting in as many counties as possible. By law, referendum votes must be at least five years apart.

“I already have enough signatures in three counties to bring the issue to a vote in the spring primary election in 2014,” Boothe said. He said he wasn’t ready yet to name the counties.

Boothe said a referendum vote can be initiated by getting signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters in a county.

“That means we would need 865 signatures in Mineral County, 713 in Hampshire, 404 in Grant and 438 in Hardy,” Boothe said. He is looking for assistance throughout the state from like-minded hunters.

Boothe’s email is sundayhuntingnwv@hotmail.com. There is a social networking presence at facebook.com/SundayHuntWV that even contains a petition form that can be downloaded.

In the counties that allow Sunday hunting, it applies only to private land and permission is required.

Boothe seems to recognize that his main opposition will come from the West Virginia Farm Bureau and churches.

“Mississippi is the number one Sunday church attendance state and there are no laws there prohibiting hunting on Sunday,” he said. “I encourage people to attend church, but why can’t you hunt before services or after them?”

Boothe said his research has revealed that forbidding hunting on Sundays does not necessarily boost church attendance. Boothe said Maine and Massachusetts are among the states with the lowest level of church attendance and neither allows hunting on Sundays.

“Prohibiting Sunday hunting punishes hard-working people,” Boothe said. “Our coal miners work six days a week and their God-given right to hunt is taken away from them.”

Boothe points out that all of the United States west of Wood County, W.Va., in other words, every place from Parkersburg to the Pacific Ocean, allows hunting on Sundays.

Boothe said private landowners who don’t want their properties hunted on Sundays have the right to keep that from happening.

A native of Calhoun County, Boothe said he doesn’t understand the Farm Bureau’s opposition.

“They want deer killed and hunting on Sunday would be additional opportunity for that to happen,” he said. “They believe in the rights of private property owners and it should be a right to hunt on your own land on Sunday if you choose.”

In Jefferson County in 2011, there were 39 deer checked in on Sundays by bow hunters as well as 16 bucks and 10 antlerless deer by firearms hunters.

Because hunters have 24 hours to check deer, it is possible that some of these animals were killed the day before, on Saturdays.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • National Day of Prayer events begin April 30

    The Cumberland National Day of Prayer Committee has finalized plans for the 63rd annual observance, with a prayer rally, a breakfast, an outdoor worship ceremony and youth rally planned April 30 through May 2.

    April 9, 2014