Contact: Lt. Douglas Messeck, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-258-4045, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: March 18-24
Reminder for the week: With turkey season opening April 12, take time to review rules
DOVER (March 28, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between March 18-24 made 420 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 18 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 13 complaints and issued 15 citations, seven of which were related to increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (3)*, trapping out of season (1), New Castle County;
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (5), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of a rifled firearm on a state wildlife area (2)*, discharging a firearm on a state wildlife area outside hunting season (2)*, driving without a license (1), and driving an unregistered vehicle (1), New Castle County.
* These seven citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. NOTE: This case involved illegal off-road driving and target practice on a state wildlife area. Under state law, it is illegal to discharge a firearm on wildlife lands unless you are legally engaged in hunting. It is also illegal to possess a rifle on a state wildlife area, with the exception of a muzzleloader rifle during deer season.
Are you AWARE?
The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters that the 2014 Delaware spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 12, and runs through Saturday, May 10. Before heading afield, hunters are encouraged to review Delaware’s turkey regulations, which include:
· Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
· Hunters must carry their hunter education card certifying completion of Delaware’s mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class.
· Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only.
· Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting on public lands and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.
· Bag limit is one bearded bird per year; birds without beards (hens) may not be taken.
· Hunting wild turkey over bait is prohibited.
· Hunting wild turkey with dogs is prohibited.
· Taking a wild turkey from its roosting place is prohibited.
· Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage are permitted.
· Artificial turkey decoys are permitted; decoys may not include all or any parts of a formerly live turkey.
· Non-electric calls are permitted.
· For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.
· Shotguns in 20, 16, 12 and 10-gauge and smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns – may be used with #4, #5, or #6 steel or lead shot. (See Delaware Hunting Guide for more information.)
· A longbow, compound bow or crossbow with a minimum broadhead width of 7/8 inches may be used.
· For safety reasons, wearing any visible garment having red, white or blue is prohibited.
· All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station. For a list of check stations, click Turkey Check Stations.
Prior to the opening of Delaware’s 2014 spring turkey season, youth ages 10 to 15 and non-ambulatory disabled hunters will have a special one-day hunt opportunity on Saturday, April 5. Youth and disabled hunters will continue to be able to hunt turkeys on private property and state wildlife areas, with hunting this year also allowed on state forest lands. As with the regular turkey hunting season, hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. For more information, click Annual turkey hunt for youth/non-ambulatory disabled hunters set for April 5.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2014 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.
Vol. 44, No. 84