The eight-month study was conducted by Responsive Management, a Harrisonburg, Va.-based research firm that specializes in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, in conjunction with Virginia Tech. Here’s some of their findings:
• A random telephone survey showed 65 percent of residents support the ban on Sunday hunting.
• The random telephone survey showed 13 percent of residents are opposed to hunting completely.
• Opponents of Sunday hunting most often cited religious reasons. Those who attend church more often were more likely to oppose Sunday hunting.
• Supporters of Sunday hunting said whether to hunt on Sunday should be a personal choice and not a government-forced decision.
• Those who oppose Sunday hunting also believed the ban gives other outdoor recreationists a chance to enjoy the woods without worrying about the presence of hunters.
• Women were more likely to oppose Sunday hunting.
• Older people were more likely to oppose hunting on Sunday than younger people.
• 45 percent of those in the random telephone survey did not know there was a ban on Sunday hunting.
• Mail and telephone surveys of only hunters showed hunters are more evenly split on the issue than those polled in the random telephone survey.
• The Wildlife Commission also accepted public comment through its web site, generating 10,000 responses. Of those, 55 percent supported hunting on Sundays.
The research firm was also asked to analyze the economic impact of Sunday hunting. According to that research:
• Hunters spent an estimated $484 million in North Carolina in 2005, creating a ripple effect that generated $946 million in total economic activity. Hunters said they would hunt 7 days more per year on average if Sunday hunting was legalized, resulting in a 28 percent increase in the economic impact of hunting.