Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich signed a bill in late April that will allow hunting on two Sundays during the state’s next deer season. Under the new law, hunting will be allowed on private land in several rural counties on the first Sunday in November for bow hunting and on the first Sunday after the firearms season opens (Nov. 2 and Nov. 30 respectively this year.)
The bill had been passed in March by a vote of 87-41 in Maryland’s House and 33-11 in the state Senate. A similar bill was approved in 2002 but vetoed by then-Maryland Gov. Paris Glendening.
The Baltimore Sun quotes former Maryland delegate Michael Weir, who had tried to gain approval for SUnday hunting during his 28 years in office, as saying that the increasing size of the deer herd and the attendant problems explained the turnaround,
You have more people being hurt in car accidents with deer, and people are tired of deer eating their bushes and causing crop damage. Bambi’s lost a few friends over the years.
Bambi still has friends at the Fund for Animals, however, which was outraged that Ehrlich signed the bill after saying during the election that he opposed Sunday hunting. Fund for Animals president Michael Markarian said in a press release,
Sunday hunting threatens public safety, harms wildlife, and is bad for the economy. Governor Ehrlich stated during his campaign last year that he opposed Sunday hunting. He has flip-flopped on this issue, he has eviscerated a 30–year Maryland tradition, and he has gouged Maryland taxpayers in the process.
The state Department of Natural Resources supported the bill saying that allowing Sunday hunting is an important tool in controlling the size of Maryland’s deer population which is estimated at 250,000.
Sunday deer-hunt bill in Ehrlich’s hands. Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2003.
Sunday deer hunt needs only Ehrlich signature. Associated Press, April 12, 2003.
Ehrlich signs Sunday hunting law. Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun, April 23, 2003.
Sunday hunting easy to defend. Gene Mueller, Washington Times, April 30, 2003.
Fund for Animals Condemns Gov. Ehrlich for Lifting 300-Year Ban on Sunday Hunting, Gouging Taxpayers. Press Release, Fund for Animals, April 22, 2003.
Md. Assembly Passes Bill Allowing Sunday Deer Hunting. Associated Press April 8, 2003.
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