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: Sept. 24-Oct. 1
Reminder for the week: Hunters should observe surroundings, take safety precautions
DOVER (Oct. 4, 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 Sept. 24-Oct. 1 made 1,046 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 67 vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 26 complaints and issued 13 citations. This week, for the second time since an expanded Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence was deployed as a deterrent, there were no citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the 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 (1), New Castle County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized summer flounder (1), and prohibited use of cast net within 100 yards of a spillway (1), Sussex County; Fishing without a license (2), Kent County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), New Castle and Sussex counties; No fire extinguisher on board/required safety equipment (1), no boating education certificate (1), invalid boat registration (1), and no boat ramp certificate (1), New Castle County.
Public Safety: Operating a motorcycle without carrying a helmet as required by law (1), New Castle County.
Other: Littering from a motor vehicle (1), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
With fall hunting seasons underway, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section cautions hunters to become familiar with state, county and local regulations before choosing their hunting spots, and reminds them to always be observant of their surroundings and to take appropriate safety precautions.
“Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far the shot (pellets) they are using can travel,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, noting that it is illegal in Delaware for anyone other than the owner or occupant, or a person with specific, advance permission from the owner or occupant, to discharge a firearm so that a shotgun pellet or slug or a bullet lands upon any occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding.
In addition, anyone except the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission of the owner or occupant is prohibited from discharging a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding, while hunting or trapping wild birds or animals of any kind. The statewide safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is 50 yards. Within this safety zone, it is illegal for anyone other than the owner or occupant to hunt, trap, pursue, disturb or otherwise chase any wild animal or bird without advance permission of the owner or occupant.
Discharging a firearm while on or within 15 yards of a public road or right-of-way is also illegal in Delaware, unless it is an area controlled by DNREC, the Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of the Interior and designated as an area open to hunting or trapping. Shooting at a wild bird or wild animal in a public roadway or firing across a public roadway is also prohibited.
Upstate hunters should also note that New Castle County has its own ordinances, including a 200-yard firearm safety zone from homes, structures and camps north of I-295 and I-95 in which firearms may not be discharged, and a 100-yard firearm safety zone south of I-295 and I-95. A 50-yard safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is in effect for all of New Castle County. For more information, please check New Castle County ordinances.
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. 389