Letter to the Editor – Never on Sunday (Except Blood Sports)

The 2012 legislative session is getting off to a bang – no pun intended.

There are ten (10!) bills introduced, each intent on being first to disturb the peace and tranquility of Sunday by allowing that vanishing species, the hunter, to go out and kill things: birds, animals, other hunters, people who thought the woods were to walk in on Sunday without becoming a target.

There is fundamental compromise involved with living in a society and culture that nominally respects the wishes of a diverse body of citizens. We have noise ordinances so people have quiet enjoyment of their property, we don’t force people to practice a particular religion, or force people to take part in certain activities, except driving on the right side of the road and hunting.

Where would we be without the NRA, hunters and a constitutional amendment allowing hunting. But the argument for hunting fails in our egalitarian, free-market blah-blah-blah society the moment Sunday Hunting imposes a nuisance on others. One day a week of not being able to cap a critter won’t lead to being overrun, and it doesn’t strike me as deprivation, particularly since girls and boys aren’t falling over themselves to learn to be blood thirsty, or in any case.

So what’s wrong with a day of rest for everyone, a day for tolerance and contemplation?

If you must kill to eat, that’s one thing. But if you kill to thrill, that’s another. If you must do that, don’t do it on Sunday.

Defeat these bills: HB 172 (Loupassi), HB 369 (Webert), HB 921 (Lingamfelter), HB 989 (Morefield), HB 1002 (Ramadan), SB 151 (Puckett), SB 173 (Petersen), SB 464, SB 464 (Substitute) (Northam), SB 512 (Wagner).

I know that this is distinct from companion animals but these are much the same mores here that make animal welfare problematic, although the Farm Bureau for once got it right and opposes Sunday hunting,. Peace and tranquility appeals to people as Sunday activitives, and that extends to the animals. Some culture should promote the merit in moderation, and be a model for others.

It would be nice if this culture were ours.

Donald C. Marro


  1. Well, you could take the route you and others on that side of the mountain used on RT 17 and in Upperville. Make a campaign contribution to your local, state and Federal officials and you too can get the speed reduced on a national highway, restrict who can use the highway, get the government to spend gobs of money on solar powered signposts that flash “SLOW DOWN” when you do 1 mph over the speed limit and in the case of Upperville build raised brick speed bumps in the middle of a major highway.

  2. “blood thirsty” sport… written like an animal rights advocate. Wait a minute, Mr Marro is an animal rights advocate writing against this law for tranquility reasons.

  3. let em hunt says:

    I say let em hunt…u wanna go for a walk then you can go for a walk in a nice peaceful park. I’d rather see a hunter shoot the animal and give the meat to people that otherwise cannot afford it then for someone to hit it with a car and cause an accident.

  4. I’m sure that hunting in general does not allow the hunter to “kill other hunters or people who thought the woods were to walk in” at any time, let alone on Sundays.
    Also to my knowledge, nobody is forced to take part in hunting. If Marro is implying that because he may hear a “bang” for one second a few times a day that he is somehow “participating”, then how would bowhunters effect “his” day of rest, tolerance, and contemplation? They wouldn’t.
    Marrow is also claims a “Constitutional amendment” to allow hunting. Please, anyone, care to cite which one because I can’t seem to find it in the Constitution.
    Hunters are hardly a “vanishing species” and I know plenty of new boys and girls that are joining the millions of hunters every year. Not to learn to be “blood thirsty” but to learn a skill of self-reliance should they ever find themselves in a position where they “must kill to eat”.
    Hunting culture has been part of human existance since man first learned to defend himself against other animals and we since have asended to the top of the food chain. Unless Marrow has some miracle food source for humans in which no living animal, or plant for that matter, has to die in the process, his opinions should be ignore as the ramblings of a utopiated animal rights extremist.
    I support lifting the ban on Sunday hunting.

  5. Tammy Lanham says:

    With the best interest of wildlife preservation in mind, our family supports safe Sunday hunting in Virginia. Hunters believe in experiencing the tranquility of nature, preserving sustainable habitats for healthy game, keeping our property safe for both humans and animals, and yes, actually saving money by filling the freezer several times a year.

    As stated below, forty-seven states currently allow Sunday hunting in some form.
    (See Virginia.gov for related articles)

    Sunday Hunting
    Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries Endorses Sunday Hunting
    Posted Friday, June 10, 2011

    At their June 7, 2011 meeting, the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries passed a resolution supporting Sunday hunting in Virginia. For years the Board has maintained a neutral stance on this issue. The right of Virginian’s to hunt and harvest game is protected by Article XI, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia subject only to authority and restrictions prescribed by the General Assembly. The ban on Sunday hunting is set in the Code of Virginia by the Virginia General Assembly and repealing it would take legislative action. If the ban on Sunday hunting is repealed, the responsibility for determining hunting dates and times will rest entirely with the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries. “We welcome this opportunity to work directly with the stakeholders on setting hunting dates and times to include Sundays,” said James Hazel, Chairman of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.

    During the public comment period on the proposed hunting and fishing license increase that ran from December 16, 2010 through April 14, 2011, a significant number of the 1,200 comments received expressed support for Sunday hunting. Surveys of hunters over the years have yielded a similar theme. Additionally, suburban landowners and rural farmers agree that greater opportunity to harvest nuisance wildlife is desirable. With such strong support, the Board felt compelled to take action and developed a formal resolution.

    The resolution outlined more than a dozen positive outcomes should Sunday hunting be allowed in Virginia. The Board recognizes that many hunters who work Monday through Friday feel that having only one day a week to hunt is restrictive and limits hunting participation. Furthermore, with the additional weekend day more youth could participate in deer and spring gobbler hunting, two of Virginia’s most popular hunting seasons.

    Virginia would become more attractive to hunters from out-of-state and for resident hunters who choose to travel several hours to their favorite hunting destinations. Having a full weekend to hunt would encourage greater participation and generate additional revenue for more rural communities in the form of lodging, food, gasoline, equipment.

    Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries state that there is no biological reason to continue a ban on Sunday hunting. States that have lifted the ban on Sunday hunting have seen no impact on wildlife populations. Forty-seven states have some form of Sunday hunting. Some limit hours, locations, or species. Of the remaining hold-out states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – all were part of the original 13 colonies which shows how far back these “blue laws” go. For many hunters, allowing them to pursue their passion on Sunday is no different from allowing people to fish.

    It remains to be seen what the Virginia General Assembly will do if Sunday hunting is raised during the 2012 session.

  6. Well said Tammy.

    I for one rely on deer meat I harvest in the fall to carry me through the year. For me times are tough and the meat I harvest not only supplies all of my red meat for the year but it also cuts down on the deer population. Without the meat I harvest my household would go without. Without hunters many dear would starve and many more would be involved in traffic accidents. In my nearly 30 years of driving I never even had a close call with a deer until I moved to Clarke county. In the 10 years I have lived in Clarke county I have hit a dozen deer which averages more than one deer collision a year. The over population of deer is causing many more issues than tranquility on Sunday. This editorial is an huge over exudation, he wright as if hunting season is a yearlong activity when in actuality its only a few months long. Adding Sundays is in fact only adding a hand full of day to the hunting season. The localities that allow hunting on Sundays have seen a decrease in over population and deer / car accidents. The author of this editorial obviously doesn’t listen to the news and is totally unaware of the large number of car / deer accidents that occur each year. Many of the locations that allow hunting on Sundays only allow it in private land. Allowing it only on private land will allow him to enjoy the national forests and parks on Sunday and allow hunters to extend their time in the woods hunting. I highly doubt the individual that wrote this editorial regularly visits any park or natural areas where hunting is allowed anyway. He sounds like an animal rights vegetarian or vegan (redacted) who is ignorant or at least very misinformed. Using the term “Blood Sport” and referring to hunters killing each other and other people is an outrageous accusation. He is obviously anti gun and against the 2nd amendment as well. I am FOR hunting on Sunday even if it’s only on private property which will allow this guy to take his nature walks on national forest land to hug as many trees as he likes and it will allow me to supply my household with enough meat for the year. If he is worried about getting shot during Sunday hunting them perhaps he should not be trespassing on someone’s property.

  7. Bville-Bud says:

    Mr. Marro, I read that the law allowed for Sunday hunting on PRIVATE land.  You feel “the woods were to walk in on Sunday” but if you find yourself in someone else’s woods without respecting people’s personal property rights, you have bigger issues.  I agree with Sarge, stay in Loudoun County, and frequent those websites.  I have heard your native New York has laws that are much more conducive for your Sunday strolls and blood free lifestyle.

  8. Roscoe Evans says:

    I hope you were able to wrestle those 12 carcasses into the freezer, CCR; but I don’t believe for an instant that you had 12 totally unavoidable run-ins with our woodland friends in a 10 year period. As Dr. Lee said, “Something wrong here.” My guess is that you have laser sights on your vehicle, and that an analysis of the “accident” scenes would have shown you were accelerating, rather than decelerating, on impact. Too many coincidents to be coincidental, is my guess.

    I’ve heard every argument on both sides about Sunday hunting, and I can care less about what other folks do on their Sabbath. . I just see this, as someone suggested above, as a leftover from the days of the “Blue Laws,” all of which belong in the dustbin of history.

    On the other hand, the “filling the freezer” argument sickens me. Sorry, but it just does.

    I’m a gun toter myself, and I ‘m all for eating what you shoot. But we live in a modern, market economy and none of us has the right to “harvest” the wildlife around us for our own selfish purposes. It’s been put on this earth as much for Mr. Marro’s admiration and enjoyment as ours or anybody else’s and the idea that it’s just food for the taking is repugnant.

    Can’t afford red meat? Don’t eat it.

  9. It is gratifying that so many people take the time to speak out on issues, even if most sentiments expressed are most charitably described as talking past the issue.

    Let’s take them serially, and one at a time.

    First, is Sarge, one of those Clarke County denizens who prefer the glare of anonymity. Sarge writes bitterly about Rt 17 and Upperville. Too bad, Sarge, you don’t have the same influence as we did on these issues, or was it logic that drove a village to have a 25 mile speed limit and traffic calming, and a two lane road with 47 driveways to get a speed limit that allowed safe turns and discouraged shortcuts or overweight evasions.

    Next, is Hmmm. Did I misspell that? I’m not very good at onomatoepeia (ὀνοματοποιία). But then Monsieur Hmmm isn’t very good at aspersion. Mr. Marro isn’t an animal rights advocate but an animal welfare advocate. You know, Monsieur, I don’t want animals to vote (though probably we’d be no worse off) but just to be treated with compassion and humanity so that animals aren’t outlets for frustrations, deviations and oppression. The rest of your point is correct. Let those who must get off on capping critters be limited to 6 days a week.

    Next, is “let ’em hunt”, another colorful, unpublushed (weak pun intended) philosopher. You want a seventh day for food donations, “leh”? How about making food donations mandatory the other 6? How about making bow hunting without enhancements the only form of hunting? How about characterizing a high velocity bullet coming onto another person’s property prima facie criminal trespass? Or how about taking 6 and giving 1?

    Next, is JRB64, a pseudonym whose imaginative content matches the infirmity of the comments it transmits. I see you are unfamiliar with the Virginia Constitution, sir. No problem. Just obey the speed limit on Rt 17 and you should be OK. I can’t oblige you to acknowledge the fact that hunting is atavistic and declining but if you do better with denial, dig right in. Learning a skill to eat sounds noble, almost aborigine in fact, but frankly is laughable. If you are so inept that you can’t make enough money to buy food, your weapons and ammo choices might be somnewhat constrained, and so, too, your beer budget. Trapping might be better for you. And here’s my miracle food source for you. Wegman’s. Martin’s. Safeway. Dean and DeLuca. 7-11.

    And now, Ms. Lanham. As one who particpated in the DGIF “survey”, I will say it wasn’t as lopsided as it was represented to be (FOIA the results if you doubt my characterization), nor do the 1,200 “comments” constitute a scientifically selected, projectable random sample. I have an advanced degree in quantitative analysis but do check with any one else you’d care to have make such confirmation. But not ad hoc. The DGIF position is not supported by the farm bureau or most landowners. As to out-of-state hunters and added revenues for hunting lodges, please. Why out-of-state hunters should drive Virginia legislation is an odd leg to rest on, and hunting lodges are rather more Romneyesque than the citizen hunters roadside popping and swilling that is hunting for most. I don’t disparage those who walk the woods to admire nature, but take a Kodachrome not a carcass when you leave these woods. Other days, go ahead and blast away. Carefully. And sober.

    Now, to CCR. Many thanks for your erudite and well-reasoned piece. Too bad I won’t have the opportunity to see what was redacted but I’m sure it was as pregnant with intellectual merit as all the other flailing you did. I see nothing in your piece (weak pun intended) to which anything but the foregoing is required as response, but did you know there was nothing but half-assed aspersions to support your foaming at the mouth? I get that there is only a handful of days, but doesn’t that cut two ways. Why should I and like-minded people have to give up the 1 day of 7 that is prohibited to bloodsport? OK, you claim you would starve without the 7th day, but you are nothing if not illogical. You stock your freezer, yes. Do you restock it every day. No, of course not. Don’t overthink this, but tame your nerve endings some.

    Now to b’ville bud. Mille grazie for spelling my name correctly. The Ellis Island people tried to overcome my history but grandpa Tony was nothing if not alert. BB, I walk in my woods (here in Fauquier, a beautiful land, where the women are strong, the men good-looking and the speed limit sensible) and don’t wish a projectile some moron loosed without regard to muzzle velocities and effective range to come sting me, it would hurt. See, it’s adjoining landowners who don’t want Sundays to be bloodsport days. Capsice? My native New York is NYC, where the women are strong, the men good looking and the only hunting is for calzone, pizzai gain and maybe when you feel especially sophisticated, a bagel. E verro. Try it some time. You don’t need a gun.

    Roscoe Evans, good day. Thank you for writing. An interesting comparison to blue laws and one you might wish to offer Wikipedia, but your penance is the -3 your fellow citizens (some with the strange-sounding names, no doubt) awarded you. Stay on the island anyway, sir.

  10. Shaun Broy says:

    Mr. Marro makes a reasonable point and often finds himself on the unpopular sides of various topics. I can honestly speak to the fact that Mr. Marro was by far the smartest and most knowledgeable candidate on the ballot for Virginia State Senate this past fall. His remarks and/or statements are supported by a significant amount of information reviewed regarding all aspects of the issue at hand, solid facts and extensive legislative research.

    When he comes to the table with an issue, at least pause and reflect upon what he has presented before reacting quickly merely to just go into attack mode. I can promise you… nothing this man does is in any way self-serving or meant for his personal benefit.

    The knowledge of myself, Jill Holtzman Vogel and Karen Schultz combined wouldn’t come close to being in the same league as Mr. Marro. He is one very impressive, articulate and honorable gentleman that I have learned is a step ahead of us all….

  11. No Sundays says:

    What I can count on if they allow Sunday hunting is more deer carcasses thrown all over my neighborhood.

    Sunday is the only day during hunting season when gunfire doesn’t start at 6 am. This isn’t a shot or two, its 15-25 blasts just in the early AM on Saturdays. There will be no more walking on Sundays on the ROAD a dirt one but its a road. Guess it all depends where you live.

    As for the dumping of deer in black trash bags or just thrown on the road, authorities are now aware.