Maryland governor vetoes Sunday hunting bill

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May 16, 2002

Glendening vetoes Sunday hunts

By Tom Stuckey, ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ANNAPOLIS — Legislation that would have allowed Sunday hunting in Maryland for the first time since Colonial days was vetoed yesterday by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The bill would have expanded the deer-hunting season from 13 days to at least 21 days, including one Sunday each year in parts of the state.

    Even one day was too much for Mr. Glendening, who said he had received numerous letters urging a veto from campers, hikers and horseback riders.

    "Currently, Sunday is the only day of the week during hunting season when outdoor recreation can occur in the state's natural areas without the fear of nearby hunting," Mr. Glendening said in a letter explaining his veto.

    He said people who enjoy the outdoors should have one weekend day during hunting season "when their families and children can safely enjoy the outdoors."

    The hunting bill was one of 30 vetoed by Mr. Glendening yesterday, one day before he holds the final bill-signing ceremony of his last year as governor. He had vetoed five bills earlier.

    Maryland is one of six states that prohibit Sunday hunting for deer on public land.

    The extension of the hunting season was proposed as a way to control the growth of the deer population in Maryland.

    The Department of Natural Resources said that with fewer natural predators, the population has increased steadily over the past 50 years to a level of about 250,000. The population could reach 500,000 within a few years if nothing is done to control the rate of growth.

    The department said one result is a doubling of the number of collisions between deer and motor vehicles over the past eight years, resulting in almost $10 million in property damage annually. A 1996 estimate put the damage to farm crops at almost $38 million.
 


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