Expansion Compromise For Sunday Hunting

Legislation to expand Sunday hunting with firearms was approved in the waning hours of General Assembly in June with a compromise that builds on 2015 Outdoor Heritage Act.

Hunting will be permitted on public lands and private property with permission statewide Sundays after 12:30 p.m. But morning hunting between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sun­days, traditional church hours, is prohibited and no hunting can take place within 500 yards of a place of worship. Hunting deer with dogs Sunday also is prohibited.

Initially HB 559, AKA Outdoor Heritage Enhanced, introduced in April, would have allowed hunting with firearms all day Sun­day, but five editions of the bill later a compromise with religious conservatives, who op­posed the changes, was reached. Supporters said the change will encourage family hunting excursions on the weekends.

The 2015 law excluded Wake and Meck­lenburg, the state’s two largest counties, and allowed hunting with firearms only on private lands.

Hunting migratory birds could happen after March 1, 2018, following a study by NCWRC.

Counties could opt out of Sunday hunting in a county-wide referendum.

J.B.