January 27, 2020

Delaware: Caucus Convenes for First Meeting of the 2020 Legislative Session

Article Contact: Brent Miller,

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

On January 23, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation attended and participated in the first meeting of the year of the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in Dover.

Attending the meeting alongside CSF and the Caucus Co-Chairs were several other Caucus members, key staff from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, and numerous in-state and national conservation partners.

Director David Saveikis of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife provided an update on several fishing access projects including improvements to several boat ramps. Director Saveikis also discussed a package of hunting regulations that the Division will soon make available for public comment. Additionally, the Director provided an update on deer harvest for the 2019/2020 season. At the time of the Caucus meeting 15,208 deer had been harvested throughout the state which is a 14% increase from last year’s harvest at the same time. The Director further commented that 13% of the deer that were harvested were taken on Sundays (which the Caucus worked to legislatively authorize in previous sessions) and 6% of the deer were harvested with the use of pistol caliber rifles (which the caucus worked to legislatively authorize last year).

Following the Director’s update the discussion turned to several legislative priorities the Caucus hopes to work on in the years ahead, including: updating the existing statutory definition of firearms, authorizing the use of airguns and airbows for hunting deer, and authorize the use of firearm suppressors by recreational shooters and hunters. Other topics of discussion included ongoing efforts to implement a college student hunting and angling license which would help with hunter and angler retention by offering non-resident college students attending universities in Delaware the option to purchase licenses at the resident rate.

For more information on the Caucus meeting please visit the Caucus’ Facebook page, where you can view a video of the proceedings. The next Caucus meeting is scheduled for March 26, and all meetings of the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus are open to the public.

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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