A joint legislative committee in Maine has agreed to advance Sunday hunting legislation. Earlier this session, the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife directed the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife conducted a study on public attitudes on Sunday Hunting. The Sportsmen’s Alliance was a financial contributor to this research.
With the research complete, the committee has agreed to move forward with Sunday hunting legislation. While no details have been released on what the bill will include, a hearing is expected to be announced sometime in the next two weeks.
Maine and Massachusetts are the only two states that ban hunting on Sundays. Eight other states have various restrictions on Sunday, but the trend in recent years in those states has been to open more opportunities for sportsmen to hunt an entire weekend. Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas have all opened additional opportunities, and their legislatures consider additional openings every session.
Only Maine and Massachusetts remain closed and ban individual landowners from making this decision for themselves. In addition, public lands, some of which are purchased and maintained with hunting license dollars, remain off limits on Sundays. With hunting numbers declining over the last 40 years, and the average age of a hunter continually increasing, limits on hunting on the weekend are an anchor on the future of hunting, and efforts to reach newcomers. Worse, with most people working five days a week, and some even six, Maine’s ban on Sunday hunting requires many hunters to take off work to participate.
Maine sportsmen interested in seeing hunting on Sundays opened, should contact members of the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Emails should be sent to IFW@legislature.maine.gov, and individual members of the committee:
Senator Jim Dill of Penobscot- Chair
Senator Russell Black of Franklin
Senator Chip Curry of Waldo
Representative Scott Landry of Farmington- Chair
Representative Robert Alley of Beals
Representative Allison Hepler of Woolwich
Representative Peter Lyford of Eddington
Representative Danny Martin of Sinclair
Representative John Martin of Eagle Lake
Representative Rick Mason of Lisbon
Representative Cathy Nadeau of Winslow
Representative Lester Ordway of Standish
Representative Tim Theriault of China
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.