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
  • Please return valuable items taken from woman’s parked van

    On July 8 at 2:33 p.m. my 16-year-old granddaughter Caitlyn Cook and I arrived at Children’s Medical Group for a 3 p.m. appointment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014