May 19, 2016

Delaware: Sunday Deer Hunting Bill Passes House, Senate Committee

On May 11, HB 289, a bill to expand Sunday hunting, championed by the Co-Chairs of the bipartisan and bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, passed the House overwhelmingly with a vote of 36-3. On May 19, the bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

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 each of the months of October, December and January and on two Sundays in the month of November.

Representative Bill Carson, Co-Chair of the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and primary sponsor of HB 289, commented on the need for Sunday hunting in Delaware. “Hunting is a lot more than a recreational activity for sportsmen. It is also a family activity where parents and children go hunting together and kids learn how to hunt and about the etiquette of hunting. However, many families and sportsmen have events going on during Saturdays, and weekdays are out due to work and school,” said Rep. Carson. “Opening up another weekend day for them to hunt will give them more of an opportunity to take part in these activities.”

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?

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