On April 12, the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, chaired by Senators Bruce Ennis and Brian Pettyjohn, and Representatives Jeff Spiegelman and William Carson, hosted their third meeting of the 2016 legislative session to discuss several issues of concern to sportsmen and women in the First State, including game meat donation liability insurance, Sunday hunting, and firearm suppressors.
John Plowman, Executive Director of Hunters Sharing the Harvest, presented to Caucus members on the importance of limiting processor liability to encourage donations of wild game meat. Plowman championed legislation in 1981 and 1996 in Pennsylvania that provided more opportunity for processors to donate to charitable organizations. He also provided valuable input on his experience working alongside the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and emphasized the important role that the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses has played in protecting and advancing hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping.
Representative Carson and Director Saveikis (Division of Fish and Wildlife) provided a brief update on recently introduced Sunday hunting legislation, HB 289. In its original form, HB 289 provided for private land deer only hunting on Sundays. An amendment to the bill would alter provisions to provide for public and private land deer only hunting on five Sundays throughout firearms seasons.
Also presenting at the meeting was Mr. Michael Williams, General Counsel for the American Suppressor Association, who gave a brief background on firearm suppressor technology and the many benefits suppressors provide to recreational shooters and hunters alike. Delaware is currently one of only eight states that does not allow suppressor ownership.
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?