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. 28-Nov. 4
Reminder for the week: Know the rules and follow safe hunting practices
DOVER (Nov. 8, 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. 28-Nov. 4 made 650 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 82 vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 33 complaints and issued 25 citations, 12 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 Nov. 2, three Newark men were cited for a variety of violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Michael T. Chopack, 21, was cited for possession of marijuana with aggravating factors, possession of drug paraphernalia, second offense operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area, second offense damaging state property, and operating a vehicle with improper window tinting. Christopher Zebleckes, 19, was cited for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area, damaging state property, and malicious mischief by a motor vehicle. In a separate incident the same day, Andrew D. Pyle, 22, was cited for second offense operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area, second offense damaging state property, and malicious mischief by a motor vehicle. Zebleckes was fined, and Chopack and Pyle both received a mandatory summons to appear in court.
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)*, Second offense operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2)*, damaging state property (1)*, second offense damaging state property (2)*, failure to display hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), and hunting deer on Sunday (1), New Castle County; Possession of lead shot while hunting waterfowl (2), and hunting waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (1), Kent County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (2), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2), and dumping/littering on state wildlife lands (2), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana with aggravating factors (1)*, possession of drug paraphernalia (1)*, and malicious mischief by a motor vehicle (2)*, New Castle County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), Sussex County.
Other: Operating a vehicle with improper window tinting (1)*, New Castle County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With shotgun deer season open Nov. 15-23, archery/crossbow deer season continuing through Jan. 31 and more firearm deer season dates in December and January, plus duck and Canada goose seasons Nov. 25-30, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters of some important rules and regulations when pursuing game.
· For reasons of public safety, the following activities are prohibited: hunting while intoxicated, hunting from a motor vehicle or vessel, carrying a loaded weapon in a motor vessel while underway (weapons must be unloaded when the vessel is in motion), carrying a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle, spotlighting, discharging a firearm from 15 yards or closer to a public road, and shooting across a public road or right-of-way. Also, hunting with a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied building is prohibited; more restrictive safety zones are in place in parts of New Castle County.
· Entering a state wildlife area between dusk and dawn is prohibited unless actively engaged in legal hunting or fishing activities. Violators face trespassing charges.
· If hunting on public lands, hunters should be familiar with any rules or specific requirements for the area. Wildlife area maps include these specifics and are available online by clicking Delaware Hunting Maps or in hard copy from DNREC’s Dover license desk at 89 Kings Highway.
· Hunters must obtain specific permission in advance to hunt on private property from the property owner.
· Wearing hunter orange is required for safety during all firearms deer seasons. 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 during firearms deer seasons. 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.
· To hunt deer, you must have a valid Delaware hunting license and deer tags, or a license exempt number and deer tags, in your possession when hunting.
· Successful hunters must tag their deer with the appropriate tag immediately after taking it, and must register their deer within 24 hours. Tagging and registration must be done before butchering. (To register a deer, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt, or call 855-DEL-HUNT toll-free.)
· To hunt migratory waterfowl, you must have a valid Delaware hunting license or license exempt number, and state and federal waterfowl stamps in your possession when hunting.
· Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at DNREC’s licensing office in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. For more information, click Licenses, or call 302-739-9918.
Enforcement also reminds residents that they may hear shots during hunting season dates.
Upcoming or continuing deer season dates:
· Shotgun – Friday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 23; Saturday, Jan. 18 through Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014
· Special antlerless – Saturday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 21
· Handgun – Saturday, Jan. 4 through Saturday, Jan. 11
· Muzzleloader – Monday, Jan. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 1
· Archery/crossbow deer season – continues through Friday, Jan. 31
Upcoming or continuing waterfowl season dates:
· Duck – Monday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Nov. 30; Thursday, Dec. 12 through Saturday, Jan. 25
· Migratory Canada goose – Monday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Nov. 30; Thursday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Jan. 31
· Snow goose (regular season) – continues through Friday, Jan. 31
· Snow goose Conservation Order – Saturday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 7, and Monday, Feb. 10 through Saturday, April 12
For more information on hunting in Delaware, hunters should consult the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Copies of the guide also are available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and at license agents statewide. For more information on hunting safety, click Hunter Education.
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. 430