Endorsements, Opinion

Endorsement: Sunday hunting makes sense in NCWV counties

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An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — As area residents look at the myriad of choices this election season, voters in five North Central West Virginia counties — Harrison, Barbour, Marion, Monongalia and Preston — have the opportunity to decide whether they want to allow hunting on Sundays.

Under state law, residents in each of the state’s 55 counties can determine whether to allow Sunday hunting. So far, 22 counties have voted in favor, with 10 more deciding this year.

The effort calls for hunting to be legal on private property and only with the permission of the landowner.

As proponents have noted, currently 44 states allow Sunday hunting. For years, it’s been kept out of the Mountain State by the old philosophy of Blue Laws, which originally kept commerce from occurring on what many believe to be the Lord’s day, a day set aside for worship and family.

Obviously, most Blue Laws are long since gone, as the retail industry thrives on Sundays. And in today’s society, where fewer and fewer people hold what used to be the normal Monday through Friday, 9-5 jobs, having Sunday available to hunt or shop makes sense.

For those who wonder about its impact on worship, churches have been adapting to societal changes themselves, with more and more denominations offering Saturday evening services, as well as midweek services, small-group gatherings and the like to attract those with busy schedules.

As we see it, Sunday hunting, when limited to private property and with the explicit permission of the landowner, makes sense.

It will give more residents the opportunity to go afield to enjoy wild, wonderful West Virginia. And hunting is a great family pastime for many, so we see it as additional time that can be spent among family members.

Of course, we understand those with concerns. And property owners near churches in rural areas would be wise to work with any congregations that might be affected.

But overall, Sunday hunting opens more recreational opportunities, will generate additional commerce and provide those with non-traditional schedules the chance to enjoy a great West Virginia pastime.

We encourage voters to support the Sunday hunting initiative.

See more from The Exponent Telegram. 

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