BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Following five years of intense advocacy by Delta Waterfowl and coalition partners, the North Carolina House and Senate on June 29 passed a bill to expand Sunday hunting to include migratory birds and allow hunting on public lands and waters. The bill now heads to Gov. Roy Cooper, who is expected to sign it into law.
“Establishing Sunday hunting in North Carolina has been at the very top of our legislative priorities,” said John Devney, vice president of U.S. policy for Delta Waterfowl. “Our members in the Tar Heel State strongly declared they wanted the prohibition lifted, and The Duck Hunters Organization is thrilled to have delivered for them.”
The bill improves upon a Delta-supported measure passed in 2015 that established Sunday hunting in North Carolina, but only on private lands and at the exclusion of migratory birds. That compromise was an important momentum shift in eliminating a longstanding prohibition on Sunday hunting.
Chris Williams, a North Carolina native and Delta Waterfowl senior regional director, was at the forefront of the effort to broaden its scope.
“Allowing duck hunting on Sundays will double the opportunities for working families, including their children,” Williams said. “North Carolina waterfowlers are especially indebted to Ches McDowell, policy chair of Delta’s state committee.”
McDowell, a Delta Waterfowl volunteer, secured additional votes when it appeared the bill might fail.
“Increasing hunter access is critical to reversing our declining numbers,” McDowell said. “I’m proud to be associated with Delta, because Delta fights for hunters. Who cares if you have ducks if you can’t hunt them?”
Delta Waterfowl is committed to further expanding Sunday hunting in North Carolina and in the 10 remaining states with restrictions. Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania prohibit Sunday hunting entirely, while Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia allow hunting, but with added restrictions.
Delta Waterfowl would like to thank its coalition partners, including the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. In addition, Delta appreciates the following North Carolina state legislators for their critical, bi-partisan support:
Speaker Tim Moore
Majority Leader John Bell
Rep. Chris Millis
Rep. Brian Turner
Rep. Michael Wray
President Pro Tempore Phil Berger
Sen. John Alexander
Sen. Danny Britt
Sen. Tom McInnis
Sen. Bill Rabon
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the future of duck hunting in North America.