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.