Virginia Will Allow Sunday Hunts on Public Land

by Chase Thomas

Hunting rules in the state of Virginia are going to change. Indeed, Virginia will soon allow Sunday hunts on public land. This change to being able to hunt on public land is due to the successful passage of SB 8. In the bill, it permitted Virginians wishing to hunt on public land on Sundays if they so choose. This was already allowed for private land. In fact, in 2014, the Virginia General Assembly passed the law that allowed for the change for hunting on private land on Sundays. The law was officially passed on March 7.

What To Know:

  • SB 8 moves to Gov. Youngkin for signature
  • Bill will allow hunting on public land on Sundays

Senator Chap Petersen was the congressman who originally introduced the bill to the floor. For SB 8 to become officially the law in the state, it had to first pass the Virginia Senate, which it did by a final tally of 29 votes in favor to 11 against. This resulted in it going to the Virginia House, where the bill was voted in favor of 67-29. The final point for SB 8 before it becomes official in the state of Virginia is for Governor Glenn Youngkin to sign it.

Sen. Petersen Speaks on Virginia Hunt Bill

Petersen was the senator from the state of Virginia who first introduced the bill to the floor. He said of the change to being able to hunt on public land on Sundays in the state, “We’ve had Sunday hunting for the last eight years and I think it’s fair to say that civilization hasn’t come to an end.” Petersen referenced the fact that the law had already changed to include hunting on Sundays on private land.

He continued, “This is just an access issue. I know that some people don’t like Sunday hunting. I understand that. I’m not going to try to change their views but I do believe that for those people who believe in outdoor recreation and you only get two days on a weekend and this is one of them.” His perspective was that it has worked out fine for the last eight years for the practice on Sundays. For those that want to want to hunt, their options are limited with the traditional workweek. There are only two days a week for folks who want to get outdoors and hunt to do so.

If Gov. Youngkin signs the bill into law, it would give outdoorsmen another day to hunt on the weekends, not just on private land, but on public land, too. With it, over 1.6 million acres of public forest land along with 70,000 acres of state forests become open to hunters from Virginia seven days a week.