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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday Hunting Advances to Full Senate

Four Sunday hunting bills were heard in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee this afternoon.  The result was a substitute bill being reported on a vote of 11-4.  Senate Bill 464, sponsored by Ralph Northam (D- Norfolk), was the vehicle for the substitute bill.  The substitute allows hunting on Sunday on private land and public waters (restricted on certain waterways).  The bill also banned hunting deer with dogs on Sunday.
Speaking for the bill were: 

The Sunday Hunting Coalition lobbyist, Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources, former DGIF Board Member Jimmy Hazel, the General Manager of Bass Pro Shops, and a few other citizens.

Speaking in opposition to the bill were:

A representative from the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance, the lobbyist for the Independent Baptists, a Northern Neck Farmer, a number of rural property owners, a fox hunter, the Virginia Horse Council, Virginia Agribusiness and the Virginia Farm Bureau.

This is a small step in the right direction.  While it may not be all that proponents of lifting the ban may have wanted, it strikes a good balance respecting the rights of land owners, while giving Virginian's an opportunity to hunt on Sunday if they wish.  The bill will likely be up for a final vote in the Senate on Monday or Tuesday.

Please take a moment and thank the following members of the Senate Agriculture Committee for voting in favor of reporting the bill to the full Senate:

Watkins, Puckett, Blevins, McEachin, Petersen, Northam, Marsden, Stanley, Black, Miller, J.C., Ebbin

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