On July 19, Delaware House Bill 289 (DE HB 289) was signed into law by Governor Jack Markell providing sportsmen and women the opportunity to hunt deer on five specified Sundays on private lands at landowner discretion and on public lands as designated by government agencies. DE HB 289 was championed by the bipartisan, bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. All four of the Caucus Co-Chairs, as well as many other Caucus Members sponsored the bill, and the Caucus hosted several policy meetings on Sunday hunting throughout the 2016 legislative session to educate fellow legislators on the positive benefits of Sunday hunting.
“This effort was a great example of working together to forge a compromise that respects the right of all Delawareans to enjoy our state’s natural resources,” said Representative William J. Carson, Co-Chair of the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and primary sponsor of HB 289. “We’re protecting the sportsmen’s tradition, and opening up more opportunities for new generations of hunters to develop the same appreciation for the outdoors that we learned from our elders.”
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 helping to ensure 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?