Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

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
Outdoors
  • Big Fish

    SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has recognized anglers who reside within the circulation area of the Cumberland Times-News for catching trophy rainbow trout.

    April 12, 2014

  • Sharpshooters whack more deer in park

    THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The National Park Service says government  sharpshooters killed 156 white-tailed deer in the fifth year of a herdreduction
    program at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont.

    April 12, 2014

  • Club meeting today at 3 p.m.

    WESTERNPORT — The Upper Potomac Rod and Gun Club will meet Sunday
    at 3 p.m. at the Westernport American Legion, according to Gordon Green, 301-
    359-0143.

    April 12, 2014

  • Political effort fails to stop Nebraska mountain lion hunts

    LINCOLN, Neb. — Recently, the Nebraska Senate failed to override the  governor’s veto of LB 671—the mountain lion hunting ban. Pushed by Senator Ernie Chambers, the motion which needed 30 votes to pass only garnered 24 yes votes.

    April 12, 2014

  • Turkey calling contest scheduled

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Outdoor Club at Potomac State College of West Virginia
    University will sponsor a wild turkey calling contest Tuesday in the Davis Conference Center.

    April 12, 2014

  • Another Pa. deer has CWD

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Jefferson County deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, marking the seventh case in a captive or wild deer since 2012.

    April 12, 2014

  • Bear Watch

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is advising Western Maryland residents to take measures to avoid unwelcome visits from hungry black bears.
    The agency said recently that bears are leaving their winter dens and  searching for food.

    April 12, 2014

  • Deer birth control program falls short in New York town

    HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — Heavy snow and red tape resulted in a disappointingly slow start for a pioneering program in a New York suburb to use birth control as a no-kill way to thin the numbers of deer.

    April 12, 2014

  • Big bucks How many deer on Green Ridge?

    A study completed in 2013 by a master’s degree candidate at the University of Delaware showed that there are 20 to 30 deer per square mile on the Green Ridge State Forest, including some pretty darn nice bucks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black bear biologist explains new hunt

    The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service has abandoned the bear harvest quota system in use for 10 hunting seasons and has set the next two hunts at four days apiece.

    April 5, 2014