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Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance Betrays Hunters

Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance Betrays Hunters

Itappeared as of last week that thismight bethe yearVirginia finally did away with its draconian ban on Sunday hunting: A bipartisan Sunday huntingbillwas introduced to the senate by a northern Virginia Democrat; a pro-hunting governor was in office; and anew study found that allowing hunting on Sundays would bring $296 million and 3,927 jobs to the state.

Unfortunately the bill died in committee and Virginia willremain one of only six statesthat banSunday hunting. I can swallow that (though I don't have to like it), but here's the part of the story that's infuriating: The Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance (VHDA)turned out for the senate committee hearing and testified against Sunday hunting!

In doing so the VHDA made hunters appear divided on the issue (which the media quickly jumped on) and their argument--namely that Sunday hunting would raise anti-hunting sentiment--is practically an apology for hunting, a suggestionour sportis inherently offensive and therefore we should limit the public's exposure to it.Not only is that highlyinsulting, but states that have recently overturned Sunday-hunting bans such as New York, Michigan and Ohio prove it simply isn't true.

It's important to note that the VHDA consists mainly of hunters who pursue deer and bears with dogs.Of all sportsmen, theyought tounderstand the danger of divisiveness. Anti-hunting groups have made banning the use of dogs for hunting big game a top priority, attacking itin Maine, Vermont and elsewhere.Those who hunt big game with dogs need thesupport of fellow sportsmen if their sport is to survive, but throwing us under the bus in regards to Sunday hunting is no way to earn it.

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