PKG | Hunter asks Berkeley County Council to revisit Sunday hunting outlaws
(Editor’s Note: According to Berkeley County Council’s legal advisor, Sunday hunting does not apply to specific hunting seasons, but it's either outlawed or approved year-round, county by county.)
BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. – As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, 25-year-old Scott Taylor of Martinsburg would like the county to reconsider their current ban of hunting on Sundays.
"Sundays are usually a day that works out for my friends and I to go outdoors,” Taylor told WHAG Thursday afternoon. “It's been 15 years since the topic was brought up. It's time to revisit it."
The last time Sunday hunting was on the ballot in Berkeley County, was in the 2002 primary elections.
According to the Berkeley County Voters Registration office, 2,215 people voted in favor of Sunday hunting, but 5,075 people voted in opposition.
In a presentation to Berkeley County Council Thursday morning, Taylor came forward with numerous facts supporting Sunday hunting.
Taylor cited information from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources that states Sunday hunting doesn't appear to have any negative effects on wildlife.
"Some days I am working seven days a week,” said Tom Millay, President of Valley Guns II in Inwood. “Having Sundays available, even if it was after church, would open up a window where I could enjoy my pastime a little bit more."
Taylor argued Sunday hunting would further contribute to the $233 million a year hunting activities generate in West Virginia.
In his interview with WHAG, Millay agreed, stating his family-owned gun shop would definitely see an economic benefit to Sunday hunting.
“Hunters would spend more at restaurants, on lodging - they would buy more equipment like ammunition and guns. We’d even get more traffic from nearby states like Maryland and Virginia.” Millay said.
Council does have the authority to add the proposal to any upcoming ballot, without needing to hold a public hearing on the issue.
However, council tabled the discussion for Thursday during this week’s council meeting and deferred to their legal advisor, Norwood Bentley first.
"The question is very simple,” said Bentley. “[If they add this to the ballot], it [would] be, ‘Are you in favor of Sunday hunting in Berkeley County, yes or no?’"
According to the National Sunday Hunting Coalition, 43 states allow Sunday hunting, and of West Virginia’s 55 counties, 21 of them allow Sunday hunting.
"I [personally] don't have any problem with hunting on Sunday,” Bentley said. “We shop on Sundays. We do almost anything now on Sunday...it doesn't bother me any, and I’ll still go to church Sunday morning.”
"I’m not telling people not to go to church, as far as religious objections go,” said Taylor. “It's the same thing with buying alcohol. You can do it on a Sunday, [but] you don't have to. No one makes you. It's a personal choice."