Delta Waterfowl Celebrates Wins for Hunting Opportunity on the East Coast; California Gun Registration and Tax Loses Steam in Legislative Session

Vigorous Duck Production, HunteR3, and other Delta-supported efforts continue across the United States and Canada

It's spring and the work for the ducks and new ducklings continues with Delta's policy team.

United States


Delaware Sunday Hunting Signed into Law: Late last month, Delaware Governor John Carney officially signed House Bill 271 into law. The new law repeals the decades-old prohibition of hunting waterfowl and other game birds on Sundays in Delaware. As a result, hunters will now be able to hunt both days of the weekend, which, for many working people and students, essentially doubles the number of days they have available to hunt waterfowl.

In anticipation of HB 271 becoming law, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control developed a season structure for 2024-25 waterfowl hunting season to include Sundays, meaning that duck and goose hunters in Delaware will be able to hunt on Sundays this fall.

Wisconsin Legislative Council Study Committee on Sandhill Cranes: Delta Waterfowl has long supported enacting a managed hunting season for sandhill cranes in the state of Wisconsin by supporting various pieces of legislation throughout the last several years. Working with our partners, Delta was able to successfully push for the Wisconsin legislature to establish a special legislative council study committee to research overall sandhill crane management within the state.

This committee, which will be chaired by Wisconsin Representative Paul Tittl and State Senator Romaine Quinn, will “review and recommend options for legislation relating to the management of Wisconsin’s sandhill crane population.” Additionally, “the committee may consider whether the Department of Natural Resources should seek federal approval to establish a hunting season for sandhill cranes. The committee shall recommend legislation to manage the population of sandhill cranes and address the agricultural impact of sandhill cranes.”

Delta’s policy staff looks forward to being part of these conversations throughout the remainder of 2024.

Pennsylvania Sunday Hunting Clears House Committee: Delta Waterfowl was pleased to see the Pennsylvania House Game and Fisheries Committee advance legislation to repeal the prohibition against hunting on Sundays last month. House Bill 2160 was voted out of committee 13 to 11 on May 22. That bill, along with the similar Senate Bill 67, are now awaiting floor consideration in their respective chambers. Delta is continuing to encourage members and duck hunters in Pennsylvania to reach out to their legislators through our Duck Hunters Action Alert System to urge them to support both bills.

California Firearm Safety Certificate: Delta’s policy staff have been closely monitoring California Senate Bill 1253, which seeks to alter the process by which firearm owners in California obtain and are exempted from obtaining a Firearm Safety Certificate. Currently in California, if an individual wants to buy, sell, or transfer a firearm, he or she must possess a valid FSC. However, for years a valid hunting license has been an approved exemption for obtaining an FSC, as a large portion of the firearms training required for an FSC is covered in hunter education courses.

The Delta team met with the bill sponsor’s office to express our concerns over the bill language and is continuing to monitor and engage on the bill throughout the legislative process to ensure sportsmen and women may still present a valid hunting license in lieu of an FSC. SB 1253 was slated for hearing with the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety on June 11.

California Gun Registration and Tax Dead: One bill that the Delta policy staff has been opposing since its introduction has, for the most part, died for this legislative session. Senate Bill 1160, as it was originally introduced, would have required California gun owners to register their firearms annually and pay a tax beginning at $250 per gun, which would have grown exponentially based on the number of firearms an individual owns. This bill also mandated that if for any reason an individual lapsed on his or her annual registration, the state of California could confiscate and destroy the firearms. This would have directly impacted law-abiding sportsmen and women. Although we will continue to monitor this legislation, we were pleased to see this language stripped out of the bill and this idea discarded for this session.

Oregon Anti-Hunting Ballot Initiative Petition 28: Delta’s policy staff continues to be active in the fight against a future Oregon ballot initiative—Initiative Petition 28—that seeks to ban all hunting and fishing in the state. While this ballot initiative—which is currently projected for the 2026 election—may seem outlandish, the individuals and organizations behind it show no signs of stopping in their pursuit to ban hunting. Delta has continued to work with our partners in the state to lay the groundwork to launch a full campaign to defeat this initiative. Additionally, Delta members in the state have contributed directly to our involvement in this campaign through their Wildlife Heritage Funds (through WHF, Delta chapters are allowed to keep and use 15% of the net proceeds from their fundraising towards local projects or to reallocate the funds back to Delta with specific earmarks for initiatives of their choosing). Though this process may be long, Delta is committed to protecting the ability to hunt for all sportsmen and women in Oregon.


Delta Waterfowl Policy Team Meet and Greet at the Duck Hunters Expo: The entire Delta Waterfowl policy team will be on hand in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the third annual Duck Hunters Expo this summer. Stop by the main Delta Waterfowl booth on Friday, July 26, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to meet the policy team and learn how you can help fight for ducks and duck hunters!

Delta Waterfowl's policy team is working to make sure there are plentiful canvasback broods like this one for hunters and for the sustenance of the species. Don’t miss Delta Waterfowl's Duck Production, HunteR3, and other Delta-supported efforts across the United States and Canada.

Do you want to stay involved with issues threatening the future of waterfowl hunting? Now is the time to make 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 52886or click this link today to sign up!