Delaware House Bill 271 (HB 271) removes the prohibition of the hunting of game birds on Sunday in The First State. While deer hunting on Sundays is currently allowed in Delaware, hunting of waterfowl, other migratory gamebirds, and other game animals is not. HB 271 removes some of these prohibitions and gives full regulatory authority for Sunday hunting of gamebirds to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The National Deer Association (NDA) supports repeal of Sunday hunting prohibitions nationwide. There are no adverse biological effects of hunting on Sunday, and studies indicate that hunters will take advantage of Sunday hunting opportunities if available. HB 271 takes a necessary step in expanding Sunday hunting opportunities in Delaware. CLICK HERE to ask your lawmakers to support this important legislation.
In 2016, the Delaware legislature eliminated the prohibition for hunting deer (only) on Sundays, but Colonial-era Sunday hunting prohibitions persist for waterfowl, other migratory gamebirds, and other game animals. As many Delaware hunters work nontraditional schedules, participate in youth sports and other scholastic activities, or are otherwise engaged Monday through Saturday, removing the prohibitions on Sunday hunting represents an excellent opportunity to equitably accommodate all hunters who wish to partake in Delaware hunting—especially in an era when hunting populations have been declining. HB 271 removes these prohibitions and gives full regulatory authority for Sunday hunting of gamebirds to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The NDA sides with the clear data that shows Sunday hunting will help provide economic benefit to rural communities, help with hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3), and provide hunters more opportunity to help state agencies reach their harvest objectives. Additionally, a recent National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) study found that Sunday hunting could create over 225 new jobs and pump $5.4 million into Delaware’s economy. This includes impacts to traditional outdoor industries and other businesses, such as restaurants, gas stations and hotels.
The NDA supports the passage of HB 271 and expansion of Sunday hunting in Delaware. In doing so, Delaware will join 42 other states that allow bird hunting on Sundays, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife will have the authority to regulate Sunday gamebird hunting. Removal of some remaining Sunday hunting restrictions will boost hunter engagement, agency budgets and local economies.