There was a time not all that long ago when it was illegal for stores in Connecticut to open on Sunday due to archaic laws in place known as the 'Blue Laws'. I still remember watching a local live news feed on TV one Sunday as the manager of the department store 'Two Guys' in Newington was taken away in handcuffs for opening his store in protest. Since that day the state eliminated mandatory Sunday store closings and alcohol sales.
I rarely hear people address the question, "Why are these Blue Laws still on the books for hunting?". I have a lot of hunting friends across the nation and they all think it's bizarre that I can't hunt both days of the weekend. I've heard the excuse, "The woods need a day of rest". Well I've
taken quite a few days off from work to hunt, and it is rare to find anyone hunting on a weekday. Most hunters are working people, so the woods are basically quiet during the week with the occasional exception of a retired old timer. That leaves most of us only one day a week to hunt, and if it rains or if you need to be somewhere else, you've lost a full week of hunting from seasons that are already too short. It's about time this law was changed. It took a public arrest to allow store owners to open on Sunday. Will it take the same for hunters to challenge this archaic law?
So why haven't we stood up to demand a change? I think it's because most hunters believe that we are walking on thin ice already. Connecticut has become overwhelmingly liberal. Gun ownership is up but the number of hunters is down. Many people in this state are just looking for a reason to shut down local hunting. I was even told this during a hunter's safety course I took ten years ago. So what's the solution? Possibly the dollar? Money talks, and with Cabela's and Bass Pro now in the state, there may be a financial reason to open Sunday to hunting. How about we make our concern known to our conservative state legislators. I think it's worth a shot.
Since I began writing this post, I did a bit of research on CT's Blue Laws and Sunday hunting in general. There is a coalition of companies that claim to be working on this issue, but they obviously have been ineffective. I think this is going to require action by all of us.
On the NRA website
Definition of 'Blue Laws'
The Long, Ambiguous History of Connecticut’s Blue Laws
The Sunday Hunting Coalition
From the 2017 DEEP CT Hunting and Trapping Guide:
Sunday Hunting -
Possession of hunting implements in the open on Sunday is prima facie
evidence of violation (except for archery deer hunters on private land
in designated Deer Management Zones). Sunday hunting is allowed on
licensed private shooting preserves and regulated dog training
areas when the operator has permission from the town. Hunting may also
take place on Sunday at permitted field trial events.
Archery deer hunters can hunt on Sundays on private land only in Deer Management Zones 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 (zone map). Deer Management Zones 2, 3, and 4a are NOT
open to Sunday archery deer hunting. Landowners hunting with a bow
during the "Free Landowner Deer Season" on properties located within
Deer Management Zones 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 may also hunt
on Sundays. All archery deer hunting on Sundays must take place at
least 40 yards away from blazed hiking trails.
Your comments are welcome below.