On May 19, the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, co-chaired by Senators Bruce Ennis and Brian Pettyjohn, and Representatives Jeff Spiegelman and William Carson, hosted their fourth meeting of the 2016 legislative session to discuss several issues of concern to sportsmen and women in the First State, including Sunday hunting.
The Caucus’ primary focus has been on the progress of House Bill 289, legislation to expand Sunday hunting, which passed out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Control that same afternoon. If passed into law, HB 289 will allow deer hunting on five specified Sundays on private and public lands, with approval of the landowner or responsible government agency. Deer hunting would be allowed on one Sunday in October, December and January and on two Sundays in the month of November.
“With this legislation, we’re respecting the rights of sportsmen and private landowners to participate in one of our state’s most loved traditions while sharing our natural landscapes with all who seek to enjoy outdoor activities in the First State,” said Delaware state Rep. William J. Carson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and primary sponsor of HB 289. “I think we’ve come up with a fair and favorable resolution to the Sunday hunting issue in Delaware.”
As a member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has supported the repeal of unnecessary and antiquated Sunday hunting restrictions where they currently exist. Allowing Sunday deer hunting in Delaware will increase economic activity spurred by hunting in rural economies; increase landowner liberties; and improve efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters thereby ensuring that the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife is adequately funded to manage the state’s wildlife resources and their habitat for the benefit of all citizens – hunters and non-hunters alike.
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?