Policy for Ducks and Duck Hunters – October

The policy team at Delta Waterfowl has issued their update for October. Check out what is happening across the US and Canada for duck hunters as Delta works to benefit ducks.

The Duck Hunters Organization is hard at work securing the future of waterfowl hunting across the United States and Canada. Check in on the status of issues across all four flyways, including those affecting your duck hunting.

  • Ontario, Canada, Sunday Gun Hunting Expansion: Delta Waterfowl applauds the decisions made by Town of East Gwillimbury and the Township of West Lincoln who both recently passed motions to approve Sunday gun hunting within their jurisdictions. Both municipalities were added to the official Sunday gun hunting map produced by the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry this fall. Southern Ontario boasts 189 municipalities who have now approved Sunday gun hunting since the opportunity was first introduced in 2006. Delta Waterfowl will continue to lead advocacy efforts to secure Sunday gun hunting throughout the province. The updated map can be found here.

Additionally, the Township of Springwater is currently reviewing and considering adopting Sunday gun hunting within their municipality. Delta Waterfowl has contacted Township staff and offered our assistance and extensive expertise in working with municipalities on this very topic. There is no official timeline for a staff report, however, we have been informed the report will likely go to council late this year. Municipalities have until Feb. 1, 2024, to submit approved resolutions to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to be included in the next official Sunday gun hunting map update which will occur on April 1, 2024. Delta Waterfowl will be drafting a letter of support for Sunday gun hunting within the Township of Springwater.

  • California Gun Tax Signed into Law: Assembly Bill 28was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Sept. 26. This law will add an additional 11% tax to the purchase of firearms and ammunition. This tax would then be placed into a fund for “gun violence prevention” which is intentionally loosely defined in the bill language. Currently, multiple gun rights organizations have already filed suit in the state of California over this legislation. Delta Waterfowl worked over the last year to oppose this legislation at every turn and urged our members to contact their elected officials to voice their concern as well.
  • California Navigable Waterways Bill Vetoed: Assembly Bill 859, legislation to clarify the public’s right to use navigable floodwaters for waterfowl and other hunting purposes, was vetoed by Governor Newsom on Oct. 8. This bill would have allowed hunters to legally navigate and hunt flood waters off refuge and other state-owned property. Governor Newsom vetoed this bill citing issues around navigational code, saying in part in his veto message, “the bill also creates inconsistency with the definition of navigable waters in the Harbors and Navigation Code, which is likely to result in confusion in communities across California.”

Newsom stated that he supports the intent of this bill and supports the legislature drafting a new version, with more specific language around this issue.

  • Working with Canadian Partners: Delta Waterfowl recently participated in meetings with both the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters and the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers & Hunters to discuss a range of policy issues within each province. Our organizations share many of the same concerns and we look forward to exploring future opportunities to work towards achieving common goals.
  • Electronic Duck Stamp Change One Step Closer to Law: After clearing the United States Senate earlier this year, the Duck Stamp Modernization Act(H.R. 2872) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. The bill provides U.S. waterfowlers with the flexibility of possessing a physical Duck Stamp or an electronic stampon their smart phones while hunting ducks and geese.

John Devney, Delta Waterfowl’s chief policy officer said, “This legislation will continue to have the support of The Duck Hunters Organization until it’s signed into law. We applaud the bicameral and bipartisan effort to offer waterfowlers a new, convenient option to prove their annual Duck Stamp purchases.”

  • Pennsylvania Conservation Funding Update: Late last month, lawmakers in Pennsylvania quietly added an amendment to a budget bill that would jeopardize conservation funding for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Delta Waterfowl worked quickly with members of the larger conservation community to mobilize duck hunters in Pennsylvania to oppose to this misguided move.

Since then, the Pennsylvania Game Commission released a statement on Oct. 5 that says in part, “Over the past several weeks, the Game Commission has actively engaged with legislative leaders regarding ongoing wildlife conservation efforts, future plans for the Game Fund, and the complexities associated with funds received under the Pittman-Robertson Act. These discussions have proven highly fruitful, and we are confident that wildlife conservation funding in Pennsylvania is safeguarded.”

The policy team at Delta Waterfowl has issued their update for October. Check out what is happening across the US and Canada for duck hunters as Delta works to benefit ducks.