Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Jan. 28-Feb. 3
Reminder for the week: Conservation Order allows snow goose harvest
DOVER (Feb. 7, 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 Jan. 28-Feb. 3 made 556 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including two vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 27 complaints and issued 36 citations, 17 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.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Jan. 28, Fish and Wildlife Agents arrested John T. Simmons, 21, of Dagsboro, and charged him with possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer; failure to attach tag to antlered deer; hunting antlered deer during archery season with a shotgun; failure to register antlerless deer; and failure to attach tag to antlerless deer, following an investigation near Dagsboro. Simmons pled guilty at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was fined $1,221 including court costs.
· On Jan. 28, three juveniles were arrested and each was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in the C&D Canal Conservation Area. The three received summons to appear in Family Court.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing to hunt (1)*, hunting in a closed area (1)*, failure to wear required hunter orange during a firearm deer season (1), and driving deer with more than six hunters (9)*, New Castle County; Possession of unlawfully taken game/Canada geese (4), possession of prohibited lead shot while hunting migratory waterfowl (1), and possession of over the limit Canada geese (3), Kent County; Possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1), failure to attach tag to antlered deer (1), hunting antlered deer during archery season with a shotgun (1), failure to register antlerless deer (1), failure to attach tag to antlerless deer (4), failure to tag traps as required (1), and no federal waterfowl stamp (1), Sussex County.
NOTE: The charge “driving deer with more than six hunters” refers to the state regulation stating that it is unlawful for residents to participate in deer drives, except where authorized on current wildlife area maps between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. No more than six resident hunters may participate in driving deer at any one time; nonresidents may not participate in deer drives at any time.
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (3)*, and possession of drug paraphernalia (3)*, New Castle County; Possession of a firearm by a person prohibited (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind hunters that the 2014 Snow Goose Conservation Order is closed Saturday, Feb. 8, to accommodate the youth and non-ambulatory disabled waterfowl hunting day, but will reopen Monday, Feb. 10 and run through Saturday, April 12.
To participate in the Conservation Order, hunters must obtain a free Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number, which must be in their possession while hunting. Hunters also are required to report their hunting activity and success to the Division of Fish and Wildlife by Thursday, May 1. Participants must have a valid Delaware hunting license or a Maryland resident hunting license, a 2013-14 Delaware waterfowl stamp and a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. A federal waterfowl stamp is not required. To obtain a Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number or HIP number, and to report hunting success, please visit https://egov.delaware.gov/HTR. Hunters may also report hunting success by phone at 302-735-3600.
The Snow Goose Conservation Order allows harvest every day except Sunday. Use of unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are permitted, with legal shooting hours extended from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset and daily bag and possession limits removed. All other federal and state hunting regulations apply.
Most state wildlife areas will open to hunting during the Conservation Order. Wildlife areas in New Castle and Sussex counties will be open on a first-come, first-serve basis with no registration required, except at Assawoman Wildlife Area, where hunters must self-register at the Assawoman check station. In Kent County, individual sign-in will be required at Woodland Beach, Little Creek and Ted Harvey wildlife areas. Sign-in will not be required at Blackiston, Milford Neck, or Norman G. Wilder wildlife areas.
To avoid conflicts with the spring 2014 wild turkey season, snow goose hunting will be prohibited on state wildlife areas after Friday, April 4. Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges will be closed to hunting during the Conservation Order. For more information, please call 302-739-9912 or visit www.fw.delaware.gov.
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. 34