Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Oct. 1-8
Reminder for the week: Hunters must wear hunter orange during firearms deer season
DOVER (Oct. 11, 2013) – 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 Oct. 1-8 made 783 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 83 vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 47 complaints and issued 15 citations, seven of which were associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Oct. 5, Ronald W. Rogers Jr., 30, of Wilmington, was arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited while hunting near Greenwood. Rogers was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown and released on $3,000 unsecured bond pending a future court date.
· On Oct. 5, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents responded to a boating accident in the Delaware River near Reedy Island. A joint investigation with the U.S. Coast Guard indicated that a sailboat anchored in a designated anchorage was struck by a commercial tug and barge combination as it turned south into the river from the C&D Canal. Damage to the sailboat was estimated at $10,000; neither of the persons on board was injured. The investigation is continuing, with charges possibly to be filed by the Coast Guard.
· On Oct. 5, Jacob B. Records, 18, of Newark was cited for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area, failure to stop off-road vehicle at command of police officer, failure to provide identification, operating a non-licensed motor vehicle in a state wildlife area, operating an off-highway vehicle on public property, and damaging state property at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. If found guilty on all counts, Records faces minimum fines of $891. Wildlife habitat including native plants were damaged in the incident.
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 (2)*, operating a non-licensed motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (1)*, operating an off-highway vehicle on public property (1)*, and damaging state property (1)*, New Castle County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of unlawfully taken game (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized weakfish (2), Kent County; Fishing without a license (2), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Failure to stop off-road vehicle at command of police officer (1)*, New Castle County; Possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (1), Sussex County.
Other: Failure to provide identification (1)*, New Castle County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; additional violations at this site are also included above but are not marked with an asterisk: (1) charge of trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area.
Are you AWARE?
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters heading out this weekend for the start of muzzleloader deer season on Oct. 11 that all hunters are required to wear hunter orange for safety during all firearms deer seasons, with the exception of those hunting migratory birds. Firearm deer hunters as well as bow hunters and small game hunters are required to wear no less than a total of 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads, chests and backs. Deer hunters concealed inside ground-level blinds also must place 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet outside of the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground.
“During Delaware’s fall hunting seasons, it’s not unusual to have more than one type of game being hunted and more than one type of weapon being used in the same area. For example, during this coming week, you may have deer hunters using muzzleloaders, crossbows and archery gear in the same woods as squirrel hunters,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “With these activities occurring concurrently, visibility is vital, and in the interest of everyone’s safety, we urge hunters to observe the hunter orange requirement. Also, before you fire your weapon, know your target – and what lies beyond it.”
Current hunting seasons include:
· Muzzleloader deer season, Friday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Oct. 19
· Archery and crossbow deer season, now through Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
· Squirrel season, now through Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014; closed during deer shotgun season Friday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 23
· Snow goose season, now through Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
Deer hunters also are reminded that transporting a loaded firearm in any motor vehicle, including ATVs, is prohibited. In the case of a muzzleloader rifle, loaded means that the powder and ball, bullet or shot is loaded in the bore. A muzzleloader is not considered loaded if the cap, primer, or priming powder (in a flintlock) is removed and the striking mechanism used to ignite the cap, primer or priming powder is removed or rendered inoperable; or the rifle is enclosed in a case.
For more information on hunting safety, click Hunter Education.
For hunting information, consult the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide at Hunting guide online. Hard copies are available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or from license dealers statewide. For more information, call the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.
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. 43, No. 399