April 22, 2019

Delaware: Sportsmen’s Caucus Hosts Policy Meeting

Article Contact: Brent Miller,

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States

On April 18, the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus met in Dover to discuss several items currently being considered by the legislature.

Joining the Caucus leaders and members in attendance was Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Senior Director of Northeastern States Brent Miller as well as in-state and national partners representing the sportsmen’s community.

Director David Saveikis of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife provided an update on several fishing access projects including several new boat ramps and a fishing pier. Following the Director’s update, the Caucus heard from members of the Delaware Farm Bureau over deer damage concerns. A conversation then ensued about what resources are available to farmers to help address the issue and how the hunting community can better assist in the efforts.

The group also discussed legislation presently being considered including an update on both firearm suppressors and a bill to provide fulltime non-resident college students an opportunity to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate. Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association, provided a background on suppressor technology and discussed efforts to authorize their possession and use afield in Delaware. HB 116, introduced on April 11 with broad bipartisan and bicameral support from the Caucus, including all four Co-Chairs, would allow dealers and manufacturers to possess suppressors which would pave the way for additional educational opportunities surrounding their use in the future. On the college student licensing issue, HB 97, with broad bipartisan and bicameral support of the Caucus, was reported out of the Committee on April 10.

Ducks Unlimited provided support for this event. The Caucus plans to convene for their next policy meeting on May 16.

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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