The ban on Sunday hunting, an issue that puts hunters, outdoors, farm and family-values groups at odds, will get the scrutiny of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Gov. Mike Easley requested a study of the controversial issue so as to come up with a report on whether to relax, abolish or keep the 136-year-old ban. The report would go to the legislature before its 2007-08 session.
North Carolina is one of 10 states that forbids hunting on Sunday under a law passed by the 1868-69 legislature. Even hunters are split on the issue; some want the ban lifted, others want it kept in place.
"Previously, no definitive study has been done in North Carolina that addresses this topic by looking at the desires of potential stakeholders, fiscal costs/benefits, hunter recruitment and retention and impacts on the wildlife resource," according to a briefing paper presented to the 19 commissioners last month.
The commission will seek input from hunters, landowners, churches, the N.C. Farm Bureau, conservation organizations and the public.