Virginia finally ends Sunday hunting ban

Hunters in the Commonwealth of Virginia are celebrating after an outdated Sunday hunting ban was lifted once and for all.

As Sunday hunting advocates anticipated, Senate Bill 8 was signed into law by Governor Glenn Youngkin on April 5, 2022.

The passage of SB8 will allow hunting every Sunday on public lands in Virginia, removing the last vestiges of a stubborn “blue law” that dates back to colonial times.

“Gov. Youngkin’s signing of SB8 means a strong bipartisan victory for all hunters in Virginia,” Isaac Weintz, board member of the Capital Region Chapter of Hunters and Backcountry Anglers, told MeatEater. “The passage of this bill is the culmination of years of hard work by the BHA and our conservation partners. Our hope is that Virginia can be an example to other states in their efforts to advocate for Sunday hunting on public lands.”

Virginia’s recent success is part of a broader movement to end Sunday hunting bans across the country.

In South Carolina, a similar bill just passed the House of Representatives yesterday, April 6, with a vote of 65 in favor and 38 against.

HB 4614 will now go to the South Carolina Senate. If passed there and eventually signed by Gov. Henry McMaster, that bill would legalize Sunday hunting and direct the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to write regulations that provide full-weekend hunting opportunities in wildlife management areas. wild.

Sunday hunting is currently only allowed on private land in South Carolina. There are more than 260,000 acres of WMA public lands throughout the Palmetto state that could be opened up to hunting all week.

“We were very amused that we were able to have some influence on this as it went through the Farm Committee and eventually passed the House,” South Carolina BHA President Glen Adcock told MeatEater. “BHA National really helped us with some action alerts, so we were able to get a lot of emails in a lot of inboxes, but we understand that we still have work to do within the Senate.”

Adcock went on to say that he believes there is already some support for Sunday hunting in the South Carolina Senate, and that he is “cautiously optimistic” about passage of the bill by that legislative body as well.

Elsewhere, an effort to relax Maine’s Sunday hunting ban stalled in mid-March when the Maine Legislature’s Inland Fish and Wildlife Committee voted against a bill. It would have allowed hunting on Sundays in select parts of the north of the state and within the boundaries of the White Mountain National Forest.

In Pennsylvania, hunting of most species is restricted to just three Sundays a month, but Senate Bill 607 would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to repeal those restrictions entirely if the agency sees fit. . Many Pennsylvania hunters are hopeful to see the bill move forward.

Other states with some kind of Sunday hunting restriction still on the books include Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland. North Carolina just lifted its Sunday hunting ban in August 2021.

You can stay on top of all the efforts to legalize Sunday hunting and lend your support to the cause by monitoring the action tab at