Tags: Gun Control | Delaware | hunting | landowners

Hunting in Delaware: 4 Things for Landowners to Know About Hunting on Private Property

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:56 PM

Hunting on private property provides Delaware hunters with an opportunity to acquire game that isn’t widely available on more commonly hunted public lands. Private land tends to be more peaceful and less crowded with hunters. With that in mind, landowners should be apprised of issues that could arise from granting permission for people to hunt on their land.

Here are four things landowners should know about hunting on private property.

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1. Following the Law is Required
Even if you allow people to hunt on your private property, they still are required to follow the state regulations in regards to seasons and licenses. Private land does not exempt a hunter from state hunting requirements. This also applies to the landowner.

If you own the land, reside on it, or your immediately family does, you can hunt or trap without a license. The catch is the property must be at least a 20-acre parcel. You must also file for a free license exempt number, according to the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife.

2. Look for Educated Hunters
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources suggests that landowners encourage ethical and safe hunting practices and only allow experienced hunters to hunt their land. One way to ensure this is to ask the potential hunters if they have completed the Delaware Master Hunter Education Course.

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3. Know Your Limits
The state recommends that one hunter be allowed on the property per 25 acres during rifle season, and one per 15 acres during archery season. Allowing too many hunters can pose a danger to the hunters, whereas too few won't allow for maximum deer harvest.

4. Consider Liability
Though it is rare for a hunter to sue the landowner, the liability is still a possibility.
Delaware law states, “No person who enters onto private residential or farm premises owned or occupied by another person, either as a guest without payment or as a trespasser, shall have a cause of action against the owner or occupier of such premises for any injuries or damages sustained by such person while on the premises unless such accident was intentional on the part of the owner or occupier or was caused by the willful or wanton disregard of the rights of others.”

While the statute exists, note the line about payment. As a result, the DNR advises anyone who plans to lease his or her property for hunting to speak with an insurance company prior.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting on private property provides Delaware hunters with an opportunity to acquire game that isn't widely available on more commonly hunted public lands. With that in mind, landowners should be apprised of issues that could arise from granting permission for people to hunt on their land.
Delaware, hunting, landowners
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2015-56-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:56 PM
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