by Guillermo Warley, MFH for New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds and a director of the Maryland Horse Council
It is a sunny, crisp Sunday morning in December, or maybe January, not too far into the future. I call a friend to suggest a ride in the woods…she reminds me that we are in the middle of deer hunting season, and Sunday hunting is now allowed in most counties in Maryland…
If you do not like this scenario, or if you have already experienced it in the county where you live, you need to take action today. Stop the proliferation of bills seeking to allow Sunday hunting in many counties throughout the state, before it is too late.
I respect the right of deer hunters to hunt, and I understand the need to control the deer population. However, I firmly believe it is a reasonable to have one day of the week during deer hunting season when equestrians and many other outdoor-enthusiasts can safely enjoy the outdoors.
The most immediate concern I have is with two Senate bills, (SB0472 and SB0473), for which there is a hearing already scheduled on February 11th at 1 PM, seeking to allow Sunday hunting in Washington County. I ride in Washington County, and while the legislation is aimed at private land, I don’t want to take the risk, and neither would you.
If you share my concern, I urge you to get involved and contact legislators expressing your opposition to these bills. In particular I urge all Equiery Washington County readers to do it, because their voice as residents and voting members will resonate strongly with legislators.
The hearing on Feb 11th will be held by the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. Click here for a listing of all the members in that committee and their contact information. It is very important for all the committee members to know that there is opposition to the bill, and not just contact the sponsors.
Finally, click here for the listing of the representatives by county, where you will see the names of all the legislators for Washington county (3 senators and 5 delegates).
Please do not delay action! Make an effort to contact these delegates and senators right now! They are there to represent you and they need to hear how you feel about these bills. Brief and to-the-point letters or emails, or better yet phone calls, are the most effective means to express your views.
If you are able to attend the hearing in Annapolis, please do so. The time for action is NOW!
(If you would be willing to testify, but are uncertain about the process, please contact the Maryland Horse Council at email@example.com.)