Monday, February 20, 2012

In Defence of Thy Ye Olde Sunday Hunting (not really)

If there were ever a more outdated, archaic law on those books in Raleigh....well, except for not being able to spit on sidewalks, the inability to hunt on Sundays is downright silly. When church and State mix, church wins when it comes to recreation. Or does the State win? Either way, the hunters are the losers. So are the guides who outfit the hunters who travel to North Carolina. Just imagine the boon that would be a 3 Day weekend hunt for our lovely tourists from the mountains. And what about all of us hard-working North Carolina Duck Hunters? Well, we too could enjoy the spoils of being able to hunt all the days we paid for when we purchased our license! But where did this all start?

Currently, there are 11 states that don't want to see the value of a hunter's license virtually doubled. Since most hunters inl go afield on the weekends, allowing Sunday hunting would truly double the value of a license. Should the price go up? Absolutely not. If it's not illegal to catch a fish on Sunday, then it shouldn't be against the law to catch a few ducks. It's already legal to bow hunt on private land on Sundays in North Carolina. I guess, the church crowd doesn't mind seeing the dead deer on Sundays...they only mind the gunshots during service. Still, can you hunt duck on private land with a bow on Sundays? According to our game laws you can't. And that, too, is unfortunate.

Anyway, there's several different versions of why hunting on Sundays is looked down on. Originally, the Founding Fathers came here to found a country where there religion would be tolerated - and that all religions would be tolerated. However, nobody ever believed that some would want to actually hunt on Sundays. Hunting on Sunday wouldn't keep me from entering the church on Sunday. Phil Robertson, AKA The Duck Commander is devoutly religious...and hunts and PREACHES on Sunday. So it can physically be done. If I had to promise to go to church if I was allowed to hunt on Sunday, I would. I made that same promise to my parents the first 18 years of my life. Nevertheless, the olden times would have never imagined a Monday through Friday workweek, either. Sunday was just the Sabbath and Saturday was just another work day if the weather was good. Others suggest that the law persisted into early modern times - like the early 1900's, because wealthy sportsmen wanted to "rest" the game. In fact, Currituckers came to detest the Northern sportsmen because of their strategies used to "rest" game throughout the season. Alright - it's fixing to get deep here. So here's how it worked. Locals, or "natives" as the Northerners called them, hunted ducks for market and to earn a living. Sure, they took a lot of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds. In fact, it now seems that they have done irreparable damage to the Atlantic Flyway. But blame that on game biologists and such. Wealthy Northerners were late to the game when deciding that saving game was important. And since they've always claimed to be the smart ones in our society, then they should take the blame for this. Either way, Northerners couldn't compete witht eh downright lethal means employed by the natives when it came to harvesting ducks. Either way, Northerners were also totally happy with shooting about 10 ducks and then heading in for the day. The natives would be content with a hundred. Northereners, after establishing their duck clubs and gaining total ownership for several consecutive miles of marsh, began resting duck in the many ponds. To compete with the native baiting practices, these resting ponds were also baited with food. Nevertheless, the Civil War wasn't the end of what many call Northern Aggression. Tensions mounted and Northerners reportedly shot at and shot to kill many natives when they passes through their "territory". All over a duck. Nevertheless, Sunday was set aside as a de-facto means of resting game species. It's interesting how southern states can always and still continue to find ways to blame our northern neighbors.

So after writing all of that, I still can only conclude that there is no relevant reason why Sunday Hunting isn't allowed in North Carolina. After decades of huntless Sundays in Virginia, the Virginia Senate and House had the opportunity to give it's constituents what they wanted...the ability to hunt on Sundays. After what looked like to be a sure-thing, the bill failed due to a lack of Republican support. And conservatives are supposed to be the ones who are ignorant and slow and willing to tote a gun to shoot animals, right? Well, that's how the Dems put it. Still, it's a total failure on all parties to continue to discriminate against hunters. It's worse than discrimination based on race, creed, or ethnicity. Why? Because all races and ethnicities hunt. So keep discriminating State. I'll pray for you in Church.

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