ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia’s ban on Sunday hunting is officially ending this July. Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 8 this week.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen to allow Sunday hunting on public land more than 200 yards from places of worship.
“This legislation encourages Virginians to take full advantage of the many outdoor opportunities our great Commonwealth has to offer,” said Youngkin. “This legislation will open up new opportunities for hunters to enjoy the sport they love.”
Hunting is a billion-dollar industry in the Commonwealth and it generates more than 39,000 jobs.
Blake Houston Earhart, a southwest Virginia hunter, says he’s excited to be able to hunt on Sundays.
“All these blue-collar workers and other people who’s gotta work six, seven days a week, they get that extra day of hunting in. You never know, they may get that big trophy,” said Earhart.
WFXR News’ Outdoors Bound host George Noleff says the additional day of hunting could give a boost to the Commonwealth’s economy.
“It means that there’s gonna be more ammo sold, there are gonna be more hotel rooms rented. A lot more people are gonna be hitting restaurants, they’re gonna be hitting gas stations, convenience stores because it’s an extra day of hunting, it’s an extra day to be out there,” said Noleff.
Noleff says people come to Virginia to hunt deer, turkey, bear, and small game. This attracts people to the area and helps the tourism economy.
Hunter and landowner Dean Abbott says the move could also help keep the deer population under control.
“When you start getting the albino deer and the palpal deer, that’s really just bad genetics. It’s deer overpopulation, so if you get the deer population down, it just makes for a healthier herd,” said Abbott.