Sunday hunting has been outlawed by state law since 1868. The Outdoor Heritage Act of 2015, however, was approved in 2015, lifting the outright restriction on hunting with weapons on Sunday in North Carolina. It allows hunters to use bows and arrows, firearms, and other tools as long as they are not used as a means of self-defense.
The law is expected to improve access to wildlife for active shooters and archery enthusiasts. It also provides legal protection for those who choose to exercise their right to free exercise of religion by hunting on Sunday.
Those who wish to continue hunting on Sunday should do so in compliance with all local laws.
Hunting on Sunday is legal in some states including South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Other states allow Sunday hunting during specific times of the year or for certain species. Check with your local game agency about current regulations before you go hunting.
Sunday bow hunting on private property has been authorized since 2010. Sunday firearms hunting has been prohibited since the late 1800s, as part of a series of "Blue Laws" enacted to uphold religious norms. North Carolina is one of 11 states that still prohibits Sabbath hunting on public lands.
However, it is legal to fish in North Carolina on Sunday if you have a license and are not within a city limit. Anglers should use common sense when planning their week around fishing, and not go out when there is no light available during the night. It is also important to keep in mind that fishing remains a popular activity among hunters, so be careful not to situate yourself in a place where you will be seen by other people while trying to catch something.
In addition, it is illegal to hunt with dogs in North Carolina. If you are caught with a dog in pursuit of game you may be subject to heavy fines and/or up to six months in jail.
Finally, bear canisters are required when hiking in bear country. These self-contained airtight containers are used to prevent bears from becoming habituated to human food sources. The canister must be worn securely around the neck, and opened only at home or work (where allowed). A guide will help ensure that you do not exceed the number of permitted trips per month, but they cannot be given away or sold.
After a lengthy wait, North Carolina rifle hunters can officially hunt on Sundays on the bulk of the state's public game areas. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's rule-making body agreed to allow Sunday hunting on 51 public game areas around the state during open hunting seasons beginning in August. The change goes into effect this year for fall turkey and deer hunts. Sea Island National Park will still be closed to hunting.
The decision follows a long effort by the National Rifle Association. The group had sued the commission over its refusal to allow Sunday hunting on all public land areas.
The NRA argued that allowing only some lands to be hunted on Sunday violates constitutional rights to religious freedom and expression. The commission said it wanted more research on whether extending hunting hours would have negative effects on wildlife populations.
This is at least the second time the commission has changed rules about hunting on Sundays. Previously, they allowed Sunday hunting on bulk of the state's public lands and waters during open seasons only from 1950-1988.
Saltwater fishing remains closed on Sunday under federal law. However, this ban does not apply to freshwater fishing on non-Indian reservations or in state parks.
Conservation groups say they're concerned that extending hunting hours will lead to more accidents and illegal activity. They also argue that longer days affect animal behavior and population dynamics.
Maryland permits hunting on private property on two Sundays during deer season; South Carolina allows Sunday hunting on private land alone; and West Virginia allows Sunday hunting on private land, although each county can organize a vote to outlaw Sunday hunting.
No state allows commercial fishing on Sunday. However, some fisheries are open on Sunday because they are not considered "commerce" under federal law. These include recreational fishing by individuals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
Commercial fishing is defined as the practice of fishing for a business or profit. This includes fishing done by commercial fishing companies or corporations, fishing vessels operated by businesses, and fishermen working for wages. Selling the fish that you catch is not considered commercial fishing because it is done after the fact.
Sunday hunting is allowed in all 50 states, but several states have restrictions on when you can go hunting. For example, in Maryland you cannot hunt on Sunday unless permission has been granted by the owner of the land where you are hunting. In South Carolina you cannot hunt on Sunday except in the mountains where firearms are prohibited on Saturdays. Western states such as Wyoming and Montana do not allow any type of hunting on Sunday.
The new rule enables hunting on three Sundays: one during rifle deer season, one during archery deer season, and one that the game commission will choose. The choice of when to open hunting is expected to be based on population trends and other factors.
Rifle deer season starts on November 20 this year and ends on January 10, 2018. Archery deer season starts on January 11 and runs until February 9. The general public can apply for a special-use permit online or by mail. Applicants must provide contact information and identify the specific land they wish to hunt. They will also be asked to describe their proposed management plan for the area.
Landowners can decide what role they want hunters to play on their property. If they prefer no hunting, they can refuse permission. Otherwise, they can allow hunting with a guide or even directly observe someone else's license. The only requirement is that they give advanced notice so that they have time to find someone willing to take their place.
Hunters can use the special-use permits to access private lands where there is no public access. These permits are not required for lands owned by conservation groups or protected areas such as forests or parks.
Sunday hunting is permitted. However, since most big game animals are nocturnal, the best chance of success is during the week when hunters can follow their prey as it searches for food.
There are several wildlife management areas in Vermont where hunting is allowed on Sunday. These include Auke Lake WMA, Bennington County; Canaan Mountain WMA, Caledonia County; Colchester Bay WMA, Cumberland County; East Montpelier WMA, Franklin County; Granite Park WMA, Orange County; and Quechee Lakes WMA, Addison County.
Other states may have different laws regarding Sunday hunting, so before you go out, make sure you know the rules in your state.
"The present limits on Sunday hunting guarantee safety and security to farm families and friends who are travelling about the farm to appreciate the woods and landscape on that day," according to the organization's website.
Sunday hunting was a popular activity in Pennsylvania before these laws were established. Pre-1923 laws banned hunting on Sundays. The prohibition was removed in an effort to increase tourism and support rural communities, but it still is not legal today.
There are two main reasons why there is no Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania: first, because most farmers are Christians who believe that God created Sunday as a holy day of rest; and second, because many towns in Pennsylvania do not allow hunting on their grounds even if it is permitted elsewhere.
In fact, several cities have passed resolutions banning all hunting on city streets or public property. These cities include Allentown, Bethlehem, East Liverpool, Emmaus, Hazleton, Johnstown, Lancaster, Leesport, Millersburg, New Castle, Norristown, State College, Wilkes-Barre, and York.
Pennsylvania has some of the most stringent animal protection laws in the country. They include a law that bans the confinement of farm animals in small spaces without food or water for more than three hours.