Hamilton councillors have turned down gun hunting on Sunday within city limits.
At a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, councillors opted not to join 150 other Ontario municipalities that allow hunting with a gun on Sundays.
Coun. Robert Pasuta of Flamborough said there's no appetite for it. Farmers and other hunters have told him they don't want it, he said.
“I've had phone calls. I've had conversations,” he said. “I've had licensed hunters come up to me and tell me they do not want Sunday gun hunting.”
Coun. Lloyd Ferguson of Ancaster didn't see a need for it either.
“I'm just not on for Sunday gun hunting,” he said. “People want a peaceful day. People want to enjoy their backyards and it's unnerving to hear weapons discharged.”
Bow hunting is already allowed on Sundays. But allowing hunting with a gun would have economic benefits for Hamilton, said Brian McRae, club services liaison with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), in a presentation.
The federation has 800 members in Hamilton, and they leave the city on Sunday to hunt with guns, McRae said. They eat at restaurants and rent hotel rooms.
“You could have an influx of individuals coming into the city to take advantage of those opportunities,” he said.
One of about a half-dozen hunters who attended the meeting, Jerseyville resident Ward Black, was disappointed with the committee’s decision.
“My goal every year is to feed my family by hunting. I like the fact that the game is healthy and take responsibility for,” said Black, who works during the week.
“The real success comes with time. So when I have less time in the bush, the odds that can feed my family this way go down dramatically.”
He said the decision “punishes the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners, who don’t trespass, who don’t poach, and do that sort of thing. Because of the actions of a few that are not going to be even slowed down by any law councillors pass in that chamber.”
The committee received McRae's presentation as information. The OFAH will present to other municipalities in the coming weeks, including Halton and Haldimand, McRae said.
Charlie Bois of Flamborough raised the issue of Sunday gun hunting at city hall recently when he asked the city to consider allowing it. Bois said his job keeps him too busy to hunt on other days of the week.