By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
On June 19, Delaware HB 156 passed out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support from Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus members, including all four Co-Chairs.
If enacted, this legislation would greatly expand the range of pistol calibers authorized for hunting deer during the state’s shotgun season with the intention of improving the efficacy with which the states deer herds can be managed to reduce crop damage while maintaining public safety. The bill would also authorize the use of pistol caliber rifles, which would further extend the options Delaware hunters have for harvesting deer.
Additionally, the bill would also establish a new seven-day deer season beginning on the first Saturday in January under the condition that hunters use only handguns or pistol caliber rifles.
Should this bill be enacted into law, all prospective hunters in the state should check the state to verify that their handgun or pistol caliber rifle is in compliance with state law prior to going afield.
"I am pleased that HB 156 passed overwhelmingly in the House. I hope the bill receives the same treatment in the Senate as soon as possible and is sent to the Governor for his signature,” said bill sponsor and Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jeff Spiegleman. “It's time Delawareans have access to more hunting opportunities and hunting experiences.”
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.84%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (11.84%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (64.08%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (12.24%)