Delaware deer hunters shut out on semi-auto rifles
By Chris Eger
State lawmakers that backed the expansion argue that sportsmen planning to hunt with semi-autos they thought qualified may now face problems. (Photo: Remington)
New legislation had Delaware sportsmen expecting more options but conservation officials are adamant that semi-autos are not part of the list.
This session, state lawmakers approved a number of deer hunting expansions, including a bill to bring more hunting on Sundays and a technical adjustment to allow a pistol caliber rifle to be used for deer hunting during shotgun season.
This had some– such as those who wanted to hunt with such rounds as the popular .450 Bushmaster out of an AR-platform– excited. However, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control last week poured cold water on that idea by announcing that only manually-operated rifles may be used such as lever-action, bolt-action, pump-action, single shot and revolver rifles. In other words, everything but a semi-auto.
Lawmakers who backed the new law say the agency is off base in their assessment.
“Based on the law that was passed and signed by the Governor, there were hunters that went out and purchased some of these semi-automatic rifles for deer hunting and now if they’re out there hunting with those and they’re stopped