I'm sure many of our readers have been waiting for something like this. I know coming from NY I was use to hunting Coyotes at night but was not allowed to do the same in North Carolina. However, that is about to change this year. North Carolina has decided to allow hunting of Feral Swine and Coyotes at night on private land only. This is a step in the right direction and gives many of us additional opportunities to hunt these animals. The news story can be found here.
Wikipedia defines Blue Laws as “a type of law, typically found in the United States and Canada, designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship.” These laws have roots deep into American History. As we doubtlessly all remember from our history classes, several of the original 13 colonies were founded essentially as theocracies. During the colonial period, laws mandating church attendance, forbidding housework on the Sabbath, and enforcing all other manner of religious doctrine were not at all uncommon.
Fast-forward to 1787 when our founding fathers were drafting the Constitution. They had the wisdom to realize that many Americans had emigrated from Europe in order to escape the tyranny of a government using its power to enforce one particular set of religious views on the entire population. In order to prevent this abuse of power, they wrote the establishment clause into the first amendment: “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
So, any of you just tuning in might think that everyone got the message from the establishment cause. You might think that it's been 200 years since anyone in the US tried to use government power to force their particular set of religious views on the rest of the population...unfortunately you'd be horribly wrong. Those old Colonial laws were never taken off the books; instead, new ones were added and the whole racket went largely unchallenged until the late 20th century.
As I'm sure you already know, many states still have these Blue Laws built into their game regulations. Hardworking hunters get their weekend effectively cut in half. The general apathy of the hunting public has lead to a situation where religious doctrine is being enforced via threat of imprisonment or fine. How can this situation possibly be justified? Let's take a look at some of the most common arguments against lifting the prohibition on Sunday hunting.
Sometimes the great ideas that we have just need something to bring them to the forefront. The Inside Out team will be putting our talents to work and sharing our knowledge and love of the outdoors with anyone who wants to listen.
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