May 28, 2024

Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Holds Final Meeting of the 2024 Legislative Session

Article Contact: Kaleigh Leager,

Why It Matters: On Thursday, May 23, the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) held their final meeting of the 2024 Legislative Session. During this meeting, many topics were discussed, such as a proposed constitutional amendment for the right to hunt, fish, and trap, and the signing of the Sunday gamebird hunting legislation. It is important to note that the Caucus holds monthly caucus meetings during the duration of the Delaware Legislative Session every year, that boasts strong and regular attendance of Caucus members, in state departments and organizations, non-governmental organizations, and members of the public.


  • The Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus was founded in 2015 and will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2025.
  • The Caucus hosts monthly in-person meetings during the state’s legislative sessions.
  • Regular attendees include many in-state partners, non-governmental organizations, such as the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Forest Service, the Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Local Chapters, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), and more.
  • The Caucus also holds “field trips” with the abovementioned partners for members and legislators to see firsthand what conservation work is being done for wildlife, fish, and sportsmen and women across the state.

The Caucus was formed in 2015, becoming the 48th state to join the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). Under the leadership of the Co-Chairs, and with the support of CSF staff, the Caucus hit the ground running, and in short order secured a number of key victories for sportsmen and women in the state, including authorizing the use of straight-walled cartridges for deer hunting and overturning the states previous ban on Sunday deer hunting. Most recently, the Caucus sponsored and co-sponsored HB 271 (Sunday hunting for game birds), which passed unanimously out of both chambers (see below for more information).

During the May 23 meeting, the Caucus discussed several pending pieces of legislation such as –

1: Senate Bill 303 – This Act is the first leg of a constitutional amendment to establish the right to hunt and fish in Delaware. Twenty-three other states have protected the rights of their citizens to hunt, fish, or harvest wildlife in their constitutions. Several others acknowledge those rights in statute. Rhode Island and California also protect the right to fish, but not to hunt or harvest wildlife. This Act is modeled after the constitutional provisions of Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee. This Act specifically acknowledges Delaware’s valued natural heritage of hunting, fishing, and trapping, and declares hunting, fishing, and trapping as the preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife in this State, including the rights of traditional methods of take. CSF Through the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), has been the leader in getting these constitutional amendments in front of the legislatures and voters for well over a decade. While Delaware’s constitutional amendment process does not require such to become a ballot initiative, educating the legislature is key in the adoption of such amendment. With this, CSF is actively engaging the legislature by drafting a letter of support and working with the Caucus Co-Chairs to encourage the adoption the Constitutional Right to Hunt, Fish, and Trap.

2: House Bill 271 – Currently, the hunting of any game birds or game animals (except deer) is prohibited on Sundays in Delaware. This bill eliminates that prohibition while retaining the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s authority to establish and regulate season dates, bag limits and enforcement for the hunting of game birds. HB 271, which passed both chambers unanimously, is now awaiting the Governor’s signature (addressed in a previous TSV Article). During the May meeting, DNREC Secretary Garvin stated that Governor Carney will be signing this legislation by the required deadline; more information to come.

CSF applauds the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus for its continued effectiveness and high level of engagement with the state departments, in-state partners and organizations, and the state legislature. Active caucuses are critical to the sportsmen’s community informing, influencing, and defending policies that protect and promote our outdoor traditions. CSF looks forward to continuing to support and work with the Caucus, including celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2025.

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