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Legislation allowing Sunday hunting advances to Delaware House

Delaware Public Media

Legislation allowing deer hunting on Sundays in the First State easily passed the State Senate. It now heads to the House.

The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife said deer have more contact with humans because of a loss of habitat. That’s resulting in crop damage, vehicle collisions with deer and the spread of disease.

State Sen. Bruce Ennis (D-Smyrna) said deer cause a lot of destruction to agricultural land.

“The deer problem has continued to increase," he said. "Farmers have lost a lot of crops, there’s been a lot of damages. As you heard probably one of the senators from upstate say it’s damaged even the parks.”

The state started offering five Sundays of deer hunting during the fall of 2016. But Ennis, the bill sponsor, wants to eliminate the ban altogether.

“This just expands the program," he said. "But again, it’s under full control of Natural Resources and it also opens up some ag lands as well, a lot of ag land and preservation lands. So, to try to head off this deer overpopulation problem, that’s what the bill’s all about.”

The bill would allow hunting on public land and private land - with the landowner’s approval.

Ennis’ bill is estimated to cost about $45,000 annually for the next three fiscal years in vehicles, equipment and personnel.

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