Delta Supports Expanded Hunting Opportunities in Maryland, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Quebec; Against Unjust Excise-Tax for California Hunters

Many more Duck Production, HunteR3, and more Delta-supported policy efforts underway across the United States and Canada

A duck hunter gives the thumbs up sign to the photographer as he walks through shallow water and grass in Canada.

United States


America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act: On Feb. 29, Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR) led efforts to introduce the America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act. The AWHCA will invest $320 million annually in grant funding to states for wildlife habitat conservation, providing additional resources for state governments to enact their congressionally mandated state wildlife action plans.

Delta Waterfowl appreciates Chairman Westerman bringing forth the America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act. This legislation will provide new, incremental investment in locally delivered conservation, that will yield important benefits for ducks, many other species and ultimately duck hunters.” – John Devney, chief policy officer, Delta Waterfowl

HEN Act: On Feb. 14, Dr. Frank Rohwer, president and chief scientist of Delta Waterfowl, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries, on H.R. 6854, which is known as the Habitat Enhancement Now or HEN Act.

If passed, the HEN Act would authorize $3 million annually to enhance duck production in the prairie pothole region through the installation and maintenance of Hen Houses and to develop nesting and brood habitat in California.


Maryland Sunday Hunting and Tundra Swan Legislation: During February, Delta Waterfowl staff testified on two bills before the Maryland General Assembly. First, Delta testified in support of legislation to repeal the prohibition against hunting waterfowl on Sundays, citing no scientific evidence that allowing Sunday hunting has any measurable impact on waterfowl populations. Second, Delta testified in support of legislation to establish a Tundra swan season in Maryland. Tundra swans are currently hunted in 10 different U.S. states including Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina.Tennessee Sandhill Crane Ban: Delta Waterfowl continues to monitor legislation in Tennessee that would prohibit the hunting of Sandhill cranes, a species that already has a successful, established, regulated hunting season in the state. Delta signed on to a letter of opposition on SB1876/HB1867 with several conservation partners and urged our members in the Volunteer state to contact their elected officials before a March 6, Senate Energy, Ag., and Natural Resources Committee hearing. Click here to contact Tennessee lawmakers and tell them you support legal, regulated hunting.

Delaware Sunday Hunting: The Delaware legislature came back into session on March 5, and Delta Waterfowl is hopeful that House passed legislation to repeal the prohibition against Sunday hunting will pass through the Senate and be signed into law by the Governor. After testifying in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Delta was encouraged to see not a single member of the Delaware House of Representatives voted against the bill.

Pennsylvania Sunday Hunting: Delta Waterfowl is pleased that conversations around the efforts to remove the prohibitions against hunting on Sundays in Pennsylvania have reenergized with Representative Mandy Steele’s Feb. 22 All-Colleague Memo announcing she would be moving forward with introducing legislation. Delta staff looks forward to working with Rep. Steele and conservation partners as legislation is introduced and works its way through the legislative process.

 Wisconsin Sandhill Cranes: Delta Waterfowl continues to advocate for establishing a Sandhill crane season in Wisconsin. On Feb. 29, Delta joined other conservation organizations including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Safari Club International and others to urge lawmakers to take a more in-depth look at Sandhill crane management in the state through a Legislative Council Study Committee. The Legislative Council Study Committee on Sandhill cranes is one of ten proposals currently being considered by lawmakers. If you’re a Wisconsin resident, encourage your elected officials to support this study committee here.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission: On Feb. 28, Kentucky Senator Jason Howell introduced Senate Bill 3,legislation that would administratively attach the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to the Department of Agriculture and authorize the Commissioner of Agriculture to appoint all members of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission. Delta is working with partners to help oppose this shortsighted legislation and protect wildlife management from the intrusion of agricultural interests that could negatively impact Kentucky’s sporting heritage.

Mississippi Conservation Bills: Delta Waterfowl signed on to a letter of support with several other conservation organizations including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Mississippi, Safari Club International, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and the National Deer Association in supporting House Bill 43, House Bill 300, House Bill 731, and House Bill 733. These bills would further align the management of Mississippi’s natural resources with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation as well as protect and increase conservation funding in the state. Click here to learn more about these bills.

California Gun Registration: Delta Waterfowl is closely following SB 1160, legislation that would require California gun owners to register their firearms annually and pay a tax beginning at $250 per gun. Law abiding sportsmen and women also run the risk of having their firearms confiscated if they lapse on their annual registration at any time. There is a specific provision in this bill requiring the state to destroy any confiscated firearms promptly, rather than holding them, allowing an individual to fix their registration and recover their weapon. The intent of this bill is not public safety, rather it is an excess tax on law-abiding duck hunters in California.

New California Fish and Game Commissioner: Recently, Governor Newsom appointed Darius Anderson to the California Fish and Game Commission, following the departure of Anthony Williams. The commission is made up of five members who are tasked with an array of wildlife and regulatory duties. Some of these responsibilities include setting waterfowl seasons, daily bag limits, and management of California’s state refuges. In February, our policy team met Mr. Anderson in person and discussed important issues in California conservation. We look forward to working with him and the commission in the future, pending his Senate approval.



Ontario, Canada, Sunday Gun Hunting Expansion:

Township of Springwater: Late last month, Delta Waterfowl received confirmation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that the Township of Springwater will be officially added to the updated Sunday gun hunting map scheduled to be released on April 1, 2024.

Township of Scugog: Delta Waterfowl has confirmed that the MNRF has received the resolution from the Township of Scugog to approve Sunday gun hunting. This resolution will now be put into queue to receive final approval later this summer and be added to the Sunday gun hunting map in time for the fall hunting seasons (map update scheduled to occur on Sept. 1, 2024).

Town of Minto: Delta Waterfowl is extremely happy to report that on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the Council unanimously passed a resolution to approve Sunday gun hunting within the Town of Minto. This resolution will now be forwarded to the MNRF to be put into queue to receive final approval before being added to the Sunday gun hunting map (scheduled to occur on Sept. 1, 2024). The Town of Minto will become the 192nd municipality in southern Ontario to permit Sunday gun hunting.

Haldimand County: Delta Waterfowl just received confirmation from the County that they are in the early stages of discussion on the potential adoption of Sunday gun hunting. We have been informed that they will soon be accepting comments from residents and stakeholders with the intent of having this topic come before Council in early September.

Delta Waterfowl continues to be a leader in advocating for additional hunting opportunities generated through this great initiative. To learn more about securing Sunday gun hunting in your municipality, contact us at

To learn more about Sunday gun hunting in Ontario click here.

Ontario, Canada, Discharge of Firearm By-laws:

Municipality of Temagami: Delta Waterfowl has been informed that municipal staff are in the process of writing a repeal by-law, as they feel there is sufficient legislation in place and enforced at the provincial and federal levels to address all firearms matters without any need for a municipal by-law. This is welcome news as the initial by-law was met with substantial opposition. Although there is no official timeline, it is our expectation the repeal by-law will be brought forward to council soon.

Delta’s extensive experience and expertise on this file continues to be a valued resource to municipalities across Ontario. To learn more about our involvement in discharge of firearm by-law reviews, or to let us know about an issue in your area, contact

Shout out’ to Quebec’s Introductory Hunting License Program: While commonplace in the United States, apprentice licensing is under-utilized as a hunter recruitment tool in Canada. Only BC and Quebec have embraced it. It enables new hunters an opportunity to “try before you buy,” waiving hunter education requirements faced by first time hunters. Under this approach, a new hunter apprentice is accompanied and supervised by a trained and licensed hunter who acts as their mentor. This simplifies the process for those interested in trying hunting. This introductory license is available for one year, after which they have to take the hunters safety course.

Quebec was the first North American jurisdiction to launch an apprentice license program in 2003 called ‘permis d’initiation’. A few key elements to the program include:

  1. Introductory license available for those aged 12 and over (including adults).
  2. Must purchase own license, and thereby has own bag limit.
  3. Must be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old.
  4. Mentors cannot supervise more than one introductory licensed hunter.

Since 2003, 83,569 residents have taken advantage of the Introductory Hunting License program. Approximately 40% of those individuals went on to secure their full hunting license after participating in the program with the average age of participants being 30 years old. These statistics have been provided to Delta by the government of Quebec. For further information or questions regarding the topic, please reach out to

Delta Waterfowl strongly encourages its partners in all Canadian Provinces to consider implementing a hunter apprentice program. This will provide an easy pathway for the many people interested in trying hunting and enable experienced hunters to easily introduce friends to hunting.

Now is the time to make sure you are prepared to have your voice heard by registering for Delta Waterfowl’s Duck Hunters Action Alert System. Delta Waterfowl’s policy team will send you emails and alerts when issues impacting you arise and provide you with the tools and resources to engage with lawmakers. Text DELTA WATERFOWL to 52886 or click this link today to sign up!