Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Nov. 11-17
Reminder for the week: Hunters should ‘get the lead out’ for waterfowl season
DOVER (Nov. 21, 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 Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 11-17 made 1,243 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including five vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 70 complaints and issued 65 citations, one of which was related to increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Nov. 17, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Raymond M. Cook, 61, of Seaford, and charged him with possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, first-degree felony reckless endangering and criminal mischief, in connection with a Nov. 15 incident near Seaford. Cook was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $25,000 unsecured bond, pending trial at a later date.
· On Nov. 17, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Mark Schweigher, 58, of Elkton, Md., east of Smyrna, and charged him with five counts of failure to tag antlerless white-tailed deer and one count each of failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours and butchering antlerless deer prior to registration. Schweigher was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and released, pending trial at a later date, and faces fines and court costs exceeding $699.
· On Nov. 14, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers cited seven Pennsylvania residents for a total of 16 hunting violations, including failure to register antlered/antlerless deer within 24 hours, hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, failure to attach tags to an antlered/antlerless deer, failure to retain tags on antlerless deer, and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Fines and court costs for the group totaled $7,272, with individual fines and court costs ranging from $330 to $2,882.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to tag antlered deer (3), and failure to tag antlerless deer (14), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2), New Castle and Kent counties; Trespassing to hunt (1), and operating an unregistered vehicle on state forest lands (1), New Castle County; Unlicensed hunting (4), trespassing to hunt illegally on a wildlife preserve (1), and butchering antlerless deer prior to registration (1), Kent County; Hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (5), and failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours (5), Kent and Sussex counties; Hunting deer over bait on state wildlife area (1), failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours (6), failure to retain tag on antlerless deer (2), and failure to purchase antlered deer tag before harvesting antlered deer (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Operating an unregistered motor vehicle (ATV) on a public roadway (2), Kent County; Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (10), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of a firearm during commission of a felony (1), first degree felony reckless endangering (1), criminal mischief (1), and hunting on a state wildlife area while possessing/consuming alcohol (1), Sussex County.
* One citation was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters preparing to participate in waterfowl hunting season Monday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 29 to “get the lead out” by removing from their firearms, hunting bags, coats and vests any leftover lead shot from the shotgun deer season or from small game hunting, including buckshot, deer slugs, and shotgun shells. Only non-toxic shot, as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, may be used in Delaware to hunt waterfowl, including ducks, geese and coots. For a list of approved non-toxic shot, click USFWS non-toxic shot.
Other rules and pertinent general hunting information to keep in mind:
· The last day of shotgun deer season is Saturday, Nov. 22. Archery deer season remains open through Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.
· Upcoming or ongoing small game hunting seasons are: gray squirrel and pheasant (through Saturday, Feb. 7), quail (Monday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Jan. 3) and rabbit (Saturday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Feb. 28).
· Hunters should check daily bag limits and possession limits, as well as types of arms and ammunition permitted for the game they are planning to hunt.
· If hunting on public lands, hunters should review wildlife area maps and rules, including hunting times, specific rules for each wildlife area and any permits they may need. Wildlife area maps and rules are available in DNREC’s Dover licensing office or online at Delaware Hunting Maps.
· Small game hunters, particularly squirrel hunters, need to be aware that they may be sharing their hunting spots with camouflaged archery deer hunters in tree stands.
· Waterfowl hunters should make sure they have their hunting licenses, state and federal stamps, and harvest information number (HIP) before they head for their blinds. To conveniently obtain your free HIP number online from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, click HIP DelHunt. Hunters also may call 1-855-335-4868 (1-855-DELHUNT) toll-free.
· Successful waterfowl hunters who plan to leave their birds with another person or somewhere other than in their possession are required to tag them with their name, address, the total number and species of birds taken and the date taken; tags may be made by the hunter or available from a picking house or taxidermist. Without tagging, hunters are not permitted to leave birds in the custody of another person for any reason, including picking, cleaning, storage, transportation or taxidermy.
Delaware hunting licenses and state waterfowl stamps 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 hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918. Federal waterfowl stamps are available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping 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 & 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 & 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. 408