April 20, 2020

Delaware: Caucus Co-Chairs Call on Governor to Promote Responsible Outdoor Recreation during COVID-19

Article Contact: Brent Miller,

Contact: Brent Miller, Northeastern States Senior Director, States Program Team Administrator

Monday, April 13, the Co-Chairs of the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus – Senators Bruce Ennis and Brian Pettyjohn, and Representatives William Carson and Jeff Spiegelman – submitted a letter to Governor Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor John Carney urging him to continue to promote responsible outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Citing potential negative health effects of prolonged confinement, such as mental health detriments and physical ailments stemming from sedentary lifestyles, the Co-Chairs of the Caucus encourage responsible outdoor activities such as recreational shooting, fishing and hiking. Specifically, the letter called on the Governor to consider temporarily waiving fishing and crabbing licenses, removing restrictions on shooting ranges, and encouraging the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to develop informational materials to educate the public about fishing in specific waterways. Additionally, the letter encourages a policy of general openness for state parks and wildlife areas and suggests that DNREC educate the public about how to use these areas safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than closing them. 

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation commends the leaders of the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus for continuing to advocate for access and opportunities for the state’s sportsmen and women during these times. 

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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