By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
On August 12, Delaware Governor John Carney, a member of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, hosted the 5th Annual Governor’s Cup Sporting Clays Classic. The Classic took place at Owens Station Sporting Clays, a facility managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Mid-Atlantic State Coordinator Brett Stayton joined Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jeff Spiegelman and President of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association Jeff Hague among others for a round of sporting clays prior to a bill signing ceremony. The bills that were signed were HB 156 and SB 198.
HB 156, introduced by Rep. Spiegelman, will expand the range of handgun calibers and authorize the use of pistol-caliber rifles for use during the state’s shotgun season. The Governor also signed a ceremonial copy of SB 198, introduced by Delaware Caucus Co-Chair Senator Bruce Ennis, which expands Sunday hunting opportunities on both private and public lands throughout the state.
SB 198 was officially signed on July 11 in order to allow DNREC ample time to update their regulations and to collect comments regarding the legislation’s implications for public land use before the state’s archery season opens on September 1.
“These pieces of legislation will help protect one of state’s most valuable assets – our family farms,” said Gov. Carney. “Delaware thrives on our agriculture industry. That’s why we worked hard with members of the General Assembly to make deer management a priority this legislative session.”
Delaware’s Secretary of Agriculture Mike Scuse also discussed the positive impacts of these two bills for mitigating crop damage while simultaneously providing more opportunities for the state’s hunters.
“Delaware’s hunting heritage has a bright future,” said Rep. Spiegelman. “For the second year in a row, the Governor used the Governor’s Cup Sporting Clays event to sign multiple pieces of pro-sportsmen legislation into law. It is my hope that this becomes a yearly tradition. Break clays, eat lunch, and sign sportsmen’s bills into law.”
CSF supported this event as a sponsor, and event proceeds benefited the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware.
Left to right: CSF’s Brett Stayton, Rep. Bobby Outten (DE), Delaware Agriculture Secretary Mike Scuse, Gov. John Carney (sitting), and Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (DE) at the signing ceremony.
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?