GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Restrictions aimed to stop people from hunting on Sundays on public land in South Carolina could change soon.

In total, there’s about 20 million acres of land in South Carolina and 1.2 million acres are deemed Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) — meaning they are regulated by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and subject to state laws that restrict hunting practices.

As of now, hunters across the state with WMA permits cannot hunt on WMA land on Sundays.

For the past 50 years, wildlife officials at the SCDNR have called the shots when it comes to Sunday hunting on WMA land but now department leaders are aiming for a change — with the public’s opinions, comments and concerns at the forefront of their possible decision to lift the restriction.

SCDNR researchers partnered with Clemson University professors, Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin and Dr. Ryan Gagnon, to lead the research efforts that survey the public’s general sentiment about lifting Sunday hunting restrictions.

After the data is collected and local ‘listening’ meetings have adjourned, researchers plan to present their findings in front of the S.C. General Assembly.

According to Greg Lucas, spokesperson for the SCDNR, hunters with WMA hunting permits and state lawmakers have pushed for these changes for a long time.

“We hear hunters talk about it all the time and SCDNR staff certainly sympathizes with them. We talk to working people who say Saturday and Sunday are their days off. They feel that 50 percent of their hunting time is being denied to them,” Lucas said.

All throughout the month of July hunting officials at the SCDNR will host a series of meetings in several regions in the state — including here in the Upstate— to gauge the public’s opinion on easing the restrictions. If you’d want to voice your opinion in their public survey, click here.

To attend a meeting to voice your opinion, click here for the schedule.