A new bill allowing for limited Sunday hunting in Delaware passed in the state’s House Committee on Agriculture earlier this month.
On May 10, 2016, Delaware’s House of Representatives voted to allow deer hunting on five Sundays during hunting season spanning from October to January. This includes deer hunting on private land and several designated public areas.
The Delaware House Committee on Agriculture approved the House Substitute 1 for House Bill 289. Here’s more about the status of Sunday hunting in Delaware:
Currently, Delaware prohibits any form of hunting on Sunday except for trapping, and hunting red foxes with dogs. Saturday is the only day that many are able to hunt due to being busy with work or school between Monday and Friday. This unnecessary time restriction forces countless hunters to stop hunting and prevents them from introducing their children to hunting because they are competing with organized sports and other activities on Saturday. Opening hunting on Sundays is vital to preserving Delaware’s hunting heritage for future generations to come.
“This will allow the hunters, whose hunting licenses maintain those areas to have a time when they can use it for five times a year,” Rep. William Carson (D-Smyrna) said to Delaware Public Radio.
State officials are expected to hold a public hearing before Sunday hunting goes into effect.
Unsurprisingly, local groups such as the Delaware Equine Society have voiced opposition to this proposed law. They cites their concerns up at their blog:
Hunting on private land and public lands on any Sunday causes great concern for the safety of anyone who wishes to enjoy the outdoors. The same is not true for any other day during the hunting season and horseback riders along with bird watchers, hikers, runners, etc. are aware of this and respect the rights of the hunters even though it closes the door for any opportunity for them to occupy any portion of the woods during that time.
Delaware was one of 11 remaining states to leave “blue laws” from the 1700’s in place. The states still prohibiting Sunday hunting are Maine and Massachusetts. States allowing limited Sunday hunting include Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
This is a great step forward in allowing greater hunting opportunities to individuals residing in states were restrictions are currently in place. It appears that more legislatures are realizing hunting allows local economies to flourish and more people to responsibly conserve and harvest animals.