Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Cautions Migratory Bird Hunters About Hunting on Crop-damaged Fields

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This fall, migratory bird hunters will need to be aware that many farm fields where hunting usually takes place have suffered heavy crop damage that could have an impact on their use for hunting, according to DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.

Many crops, especially corn, were damaged or flattened by rain and wind from Hurricane Irene and other late summer severe weather events and cannot be harvested. Under state and federal law, if these crops that have not been harvested have been mowed, disked or otherwise manipulated, these fields are considered baited areas and cannot be legally hunted for waterfowl and other migratory birds that would be attracted to the crops for food.

“Hunters are allowed to hunt a crop-damaged field if the crop has not been manipulated and has been left intact on the ground as it was naturally blown down,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “For fields that have been manipulated, hunters must wait to hunt until 10 days after all the manipulated crops are gone.”

The Delaware Farm Bureau sent letters this week to farmers who host hunting on their fields, encouraging them to leave damaged crops in their natural state until after hunters have finished for the season.


Retired2hunt's picture

  I guess I am not


I guess I am not understanding this article completely.  The Delaware Farm bureau sent letter to farmers who host hunting on their property to leave the damage crops as is in their natural state.  The weather happened several weeks and months ago - didn't it?  If a hunter has to wait 10 days after the manipulation of the field it may take them out of the season... or are these weather and crop issues of recent? 

I guess the question I would be asking if I was a hunter in Deleware would be... If these farmers received state and or federal funds due to their crop losses or even insurance payouts due to their losses - then should they not be required to effficiently "manipulate" the crops to ensure the hosted hunters are able to hunt as prescribed in the normal season?

What am I missing here - a late storm that created the issue just prior to hunting season or something else?