Advertisement

Sunday hunting in session in Jefferson County, W.Va.

Jefferson County is the only one in the Eastern Panhandle where hunting is allowed on Sunday.

Jefferson County is the only one in the Eastern Panhandle where hunting is allowed on Sunday.

November 14, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County is the only county in the Eastern Panhandle that will allow Sunday hunting this year.

Jefferson County hunters were guaranteed the chance to hunt on Sundays this year after the Jefferson County Commission decided not to put the issue on the ballot. Voters in Berkeley and Morgan counties rejected Sunday hunting in a May referendum.

Hunters can hunt on private property on Sundays, as long as they have permission from the property owner, thanks to state legislation passed early this year. Hunting on public lands remains prohibited on Sundays.

Advertisement

Under the law, Sunday hunting is allowed unless county officials decide to put it on the ballot and it is defeated.

Jefferson County Commissioner James G. Knode said the commissioners decided not to put the issue on the ballot because there did not seem to be a lot of interest in the issue.

"That might change once we go through a season," said Knode, adding that the issue could be placed on the ballot in a coming election.

A state Department of Natural Resources official said a lot of hunters may take advantage of the extra hunting day.

Sunday hunting may be attractive to hunters because it may be one of the few days they can hunt, said Lt. Col. William Daniel of the DNR's Law Enforcement Section.

"We just don't know what will happen with the 14 counties where it remains open," Daniel said.

Although hunting seasons are already open for a number of game such as rabbit, squirrel and turkey, they do not turn out the hunters like gun season for deer, which begins Nov. 25, Daniel said.

Jefferson County Commissioner Jane Tabb said she would rather not have Sunday hunting, but realizes there are many people who support it. A positive benefit of an extra day of hunting is that it may help thin the deer herd, which seems heavy this year, Tabb said.

Tabb said a large number of deer that have already been struck on area highways is indicative of the large deer herd.

Tabb said county residents do not seem to be talking much about the Sunday hunting issue. About the only comments Tabb said she heard about the issue came after the primary election when the issue was on the ballot in Berkeley and Morgan counties.

Some Jefferson County residents questioned why the issue was not on the ballot in Jefferson County, Tabb said.

"Some people may have thought it was an automatic thing," Tabb said.

Officials in Berkeley and Morgan counties put the issue on the ballot in their respective counties during the May 14 primary election and the referendum was soundly defeated.

In Berkeley County, the outcome was 4,989 votes against Sunday hunting and 2,175 votes in favor of it.

In Morgan County, there were 1,987 votes against Sunday hunting and 734 votes in favor of it.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|