Sunday hunting desired

On the heels of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's proposal to allow Sunday bow hunting, we have another proposal -- a bill -- to allow Sunday hunting.

State Sen. Julia Boseman, a Democrat from Wilmington, has introduced Senate Bill 7 -- An Act to Repeal the Law Prohibiting Hunting on Sunday. And that's essentially all the bill states right now.

There are only seven states that entirely prohibit Sunday hunting (Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut). Hunting on Sundays is allowed on some federal installations in North Carolina and is the only form of recreation outlawed on Sundays.

Boseman, an attorney from Wilmington, says it's time for a change.

"You can fish on Sunday. I think you should be able to hunt," Boseman said during a recent phone interview. "I think it's an archaic law. I just don't think it's reasonable. A lot of my people work on Saturdays."

Boseman, who grew up hunting with her father, said she is getting some "e-mail opposition" from conservative groups.

"That doesn't deter me," she said.

Boseman said the next step is for the bill to go committee. It would be nice for hunters to join the ranks of golfers, anglers and everybody else in enjoying their sport on Sundays. Contact Boseman by phone at 919-715-2525 or by e-mail at Juliab@ncleg.net to voice your opinion.

Times are tough, there's no doubt, but if you love wildlife there's a way you can help.

One way is to look at line No. 27 on your state income tax form and donate to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund.

"It is more important now than ever for people to consider this," Chris McGrath, wildlife diversity program coordinator, said from his home in Leicester, near Asheville. "We really don't get money from the state, but we have to abide by state cutbacks, so we lost several people. We don't buy a lot of stuff, the cost of our agency is mostly people."

When asked about studies and programs his division funds, McGrath took a breath and started firing off examples: sea turtles, box turtles, red-cockaded woodpeckers, Bachman's sparrow, Swainson's warbler, painted bunting and peregrine falcons. Other funding includes work done through projects at N.C. State University and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. The sea turtle expenditures include monitoring nests, strandings and training volunteers.

McGrath said that matching federal funds means that every dollar raised is now matched one to one. (Until last year, it was three to one. Still, not a bad deal.)

Jodie Owen, a public information officer with the commission, said that last year the tax program generated $384,227 and has garnered $8,157,108 since its inception in 1985.

It's a painless way to support conservation. Check it out.