It was February 28, 1883 when the lawmakers in Maine made the decision to disallow hunting privileges on Sunday. Knowing the year, and knowing the area, the odds are it was heavily influenced by the lack of hunters attending Sunday services.

And while Maine’s lawmakers, 128 years ago, believed they were doing the right thing by creating this hunting prohibition, today’s legislature should know better than to keep the law intact.

That’s why Rep. Stacy Fitts, a Republican out of Pittsfield, has been submitting Sunday hunting bills at a feverish pace since he took office and has continued to do so over his four legislative terms. His latest attempt is to allow Sunday hunting as long as it is on your own land.

That, we at Northeast Hunting must say, just makes sense. There are plenty of people who have purchased land and have chose to keep it forested and undeveloped for the specific reason of hunting on it. Alas, they can only do so six days a week. That hurts hunters and, to be honest, business and the economy in the state.

You see, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York all allow hunting on Sunday. Since it’s not much in the way of a hassle to get to any of these states from Maine, hunters have been flocking there for generations to enjoy time in the outdoors, especially since many of them likely get Saturday and Sunday away from work.

This isn’t a new problem for Maine, either. Just six years ago, there was a serious push to make Sunday hunting legal. Newspapers across the state agreed, noting in editorials that the ban on Sunday hunting was antiquated and needed to go away.

George Smith, a writer based in Maine, pointed out in a recent column that Maine has a bit of a problem when it comes to Sunday bans. Not only is hunting not allowed (something Smith wants repealed), but neither is the ability to purchase a car.

What’s more interesting is that Smith points out that into the 1980s, shopping was prohibited in all but the smallest stores on Sunday. After years of fighting, it went to a vote and Mainers allowed Sunday shopping in all stores—by a margin of just 52 percent to 48 percent. Thankfully a few more had a bit of sense in their heads, or today’s working families wouldn’t be able to do their grocery shopping or clothes shopping on Sunday, having to work their schedule around a single weekend day to make it all happen.

And while Smith admits he’s given up on the idea of Sunday hunting, we are hoping to see that law rewritten in the very near future. Why not allow a hunter to simply stalk game on their own property? What, possibly, could the harm be?

Let’s hope that the legislature sees the error of Maine’s ways sooner rather than later. The country should be attempting to be more progressive and Maine, being one of just seven states that don’t allow Sunday hunting, is beginning to look more old fashioned than it should.

In a day and age where states should be looking inward at how to make their residents happy and how to keep economy local, a simple step would be to open hunting on this precious weekend day.

3 Responses to “Maine’s Sunday Hunting Prohibition a 128-Year Struggle”

  1. livetohunt says:

    I hope they come to their senses, need to get Uncle Ted involved!

  2. Mainehunter says:

    It’s very unfortunete that a state with such great hunting inparticular deer hunting does not allow sunday hunting. I spend at least one week a year in the Moosehead region deer hunting. Sometimes the group I hunt with is very succesfull and other times not so much. It would be beneficial and for Maine to allow hunting on Sunday so that the working man who does not have the luxury to havea weeks vaction time to still have 2 days of hunting. It is very discouraging to not harvest a deer in Maine while on vacation and even more discouraging knowing that it’s not worth driving all the way up to the camp on a weekend only to be able to hunt 1 day. it would be a major boost to the economy and give the the every day working man a better chance at harvesting a deer. Keep pushing Maine lets make this happen!

  3. crazyovadeer says:

    Let us hunt sunday! Who is it or what is it going to hurt. Maine is loosing a lot of money to New Hampshire who does allow sunday hunting. New Hampshire also has a lot different and better laws regarding antlerless permits, Maine Gov. got there way no more doe permits, Yet spend a week in the woods thats all you see!