hunting game birds sunday

Hunting game birds on Sunday one pen stroke away from legal

Katie KazimirGovernment, Headlines

hunting game birds sunday

A bill that would allow hunters to pursue game birds has passed both the state House and Senate. Photo by izzet çakallı/Pexels.

Sunday fun day for outdoor sportsmen and women may soon include hunting game birds, if House Bill 271 is signed by Gov. John Carney.

Currently, section 712 of Title 7 of the Delaware Code prohibits the hunting of any game birds or game animals, except deer, on Sundays. 

It passed the Senate Tuesday with 20 votes. One senator was absent.

“This is one of the last Colonial Era blue laws that we have on our books,” said Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Christiana, co-sponsor of the bill said.

HB 271 would eliminate the prohibition against hunting game birds on Sundays.

“Everybody knows we all have busy schedules. We have kids who play sports. A lot of individuals now may work six days a week. And right now you can’t hunt game birds on Sunday,” Walsh said.

Delaware is one of only eight states that don’t allow hunting of game birds on Sundays, he said.

The prohibition on Sunday deer hunting was removed in 2016.

“So this is to follow suit with that,” Walsh said.

Game bird rules

The number of hunting days allowed is decided annually by the federal Fish and Wildlife department.

State Fish and Wildlife sets a schedule for hunting based on the number of days the federal department advises.

Walsh told his fellow senators that the  Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife cannot set this season’s schedule until a decision on the bill is made. 

“So hopefully today with my colleague’s support we can approve this,” Walsh said.

ALSO FROM LEGHALL: Alcohol delivery bill fails, despite data show wide support

Game birds are classified as either migratory or non-migratory, and selected by Fish and Wildlife officials.

Migratory game birds include ducks, Canadian geese, snow geese, mourning doves and woodcock, among others.

Game birds that are non-migratory include wild turkeys, pheasants, quails and others. The designation is set by the state Division of fish and wildlife.

DNREC still has authority to establish and regulate season dates, bag limits and enforcement for the hunting of game birds.


Share this Post