Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

February 1, 2014

Meshach Browning would say ‘Just do it’

I wonder if it is possible to attach a

GPS unit to legislation that has been

introduced at the Maryland General

Assembly.

For the destination,

we would keystroke

“governor’s desk.”

The route calculated

by the GPS unit

would begin at committees

within the

Senate and the

House and would

direct the companion

bills through the various

twists and turns

required before

reaching Gov. Martin

O’Malley’s desk, where he keeps pens.

Ladies and gentlemen of the breech,

bolt and bullet, some historic legislation

has been introduced on behalf of

those of us who hunt in the three westernmost

counties of Maryland.

In the House, Delegates Wendell

Beitzel, Kevin Kelly and LeRoy Myers

have introduced HB 406. In the Senate,

George Edwards has introduced a

companion bill, SB 472.

These bills would make it legal to

hunt game mammals in these three

counties on every Sunday during open

seasons for each critter. I’m hoping

that as the legislative process unfolds,

game birds can be added to the wording.

These bills would not only open Sunday

hunting on private land, but on

public land as well.

Maryland has been creeping forward

for a number of years now into

the sunshine of Sunday hunting. That

progress began with deer and in

recent years expanded to include

some spring turkey hunting.

The time has come to move all the

way to the front pew of Sunday hunting,

to send out an altar call to hunters

who would step forward, grasping and

relishing the privilege to hunt seven

days a week.

Granddad wants to take his 12-yearold

grandson squirrel hunting. On

weekdays that just won’t work because

the student has after-school activities.

On Saturday, soccer or football takes

up the day. With Sunday hunting legalized,

the problem would be solved.

Some workers toil Monday through

Saturday to bring home the paycheck

and meet the family’s needs. Sunday

hunting would give them one day

afield.

Need more deer killed because they

are eating agricultural crops and running

into the fronts of pickup trucks

and sedans?

Let people hunt them an additional

day per week.

States as close to us as Ohio and

New York allow the buyers of hunting

licenses to be afield any day of the

week that seasons are open.

More than 40 states do not restrict

Sunday hunting in any way.

These states do not report any problems

associated with hunting on Sundays.

And neither has Maryland since

limited Sunday hunting was made

legal 10 or so years ago.

The House bill is being dealt with by

the Environmental Matters Committee.

The

chairwoman is Delegate Maggie

McIntosh and her email is

maggie.mcintosh@house.state.md.us.

The Senate bill is within the Education,

Health & Environmental Affairs

Committee whose chairwoman is Senator

Joan Carter Conway. Contact her

at joan.carter.conway@senate.state.

md.us.

Correspondence about these bill

would most appropriately be sent to

these chairwomen.

To read the bills, go to mgaleg.maryland.

gov and start clicking.

If you are a person who gets upset

with the cost of your hunting license,

support this bill, get it passed and

signed and you automatically get more

bang for your buck.

Actually, you will get more opportunity

to bang at a buck as well.

Here are the email addresses for our

representatives:

• george.edwards@senate.state.

md.us

• wendell.beitzel@house.state.

md.us

• kevin.kelly@house.state.md.us

• leroy.myers@house.state.md.us

Gov. O’Malley has been very good at

not interfering with hunting matters.

I am cautiously optimistic that he

would ink these bills once they pass.

What better part of the state to begin

full-fledged Sunday hunting than in the

mountains and valleys that Meshach

Browning once called home.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at

msawyers@times-news.com.

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