Expansion of Sunday Hunting in North Carolina Signed Into Law

Delta Waterfowl praises North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper for signing House Bill 559 into law, which greatly expands Sunday hunting opportunities in the state.

The law grants authority to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to permit Sunday hunting of migratory birds and allow Sunday hunting on public lands and waters. Additionally, the law removes the exemption of counties with a population over 700,000 from hunting on Sundays, and eliminates a prohibition on hunting within 500 yards of a residence on Sundays.

The move follows five years of intense advocacy by Delta Waterfowl and coalition partners.

“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 law 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.

“Allowing duck hunting on Sundays will double the opportunities for working families, including their children,” said Chris Williams, senior regional director for Delta Waterfowl. “North Carolina waterfowlers are especially indebted to Ches McDowell, policy chair of Delta’s state committee.”

McDowell, a Delta Waterfowl volunteer in North Carolina, 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 would like to thank its coalition partners, including the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

Delta Waterfowl is committed to expanding Sunday hunting in the 10 remaining states with bans and 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.