Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish and 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: Sept. 9-15
Reminder for week: Hunters and residents encouraged to review Delaware hunting regulations
DOVER (Sept. 19, 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 and Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 9-15 made 765 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 74 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 29 complaints and issued 19 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Sept. 9, Fish and Wildlife officers arrested John P. Owens, 40, of New Castle, and charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and a parking violation for leaving his vehicle on the roadway on Route 9 near Delaware City. Owens was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 9 for an intoxilizer test and released, pending a mandatory appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle at a later date.
· Following an investigation, Fish and Wildlife officers on Sept. 15 cited and fined Thomas Conley, 48, of Gaithersburg, Md., for failure to render aid/leaving the scene of a boating accident. The accident took place Aug. 8, when a vessel making way struck a docked vessel in the Whitehouse Beach Marina in Longneck, incurring an estimated $2,000 in damage to the docked vessel.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting waterfowl without required state waterfowl stamp (1), and hunting outside of an assigned, designated waterfowl blind on a state wildlife area (2), New Castle County; Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Driving a motor vehicle at excessive speed on a state wildlife area (1), and damaging state wildlife area property (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing/crabbing without a license (4), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Trespassing to fish (1), New Castle County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no boating safety certificate (1), and operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), New Castle County; No sound-producing device/required safety equipment (1), and failure to render aid/leaving the scene of a boating accident (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Driving under the influence of alcohol/DUI (1), and parking violation for leaving a vehicle on the roadway (1), New Castle County.
Are you AWARE?
With archery deer, mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons open as of Sept. 1, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section encourages both hunters and residents who live near hunting areas to become familiar with Delaware hunting regulations.
Cpl. John McDerby of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement noted that residents can expect to see and hear hunting activity in the next several months, such as:
· In most areas, hunting hours begin a half hour before sunrise and end at a half hour after sunset.
· Hunting between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise is illegal. (Exception: Night hunting for raccoon and opossum in season.)
· Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.
· Hunting is allowed on private lands with permission of the landowner.
· Regulated hunting is allowed on most state wildlife areas.
· Regulations for specific wildlife areas, including season dates and hunting days and hours, are included on wildlife area maps.
“We recommend that residents who live near hunting areas – private or public – familiarize themselves with season dates and regulations by checking wildlife area maps and our Hunting and Trapping Guide,” said Cpl. McDerby. “Although most hunters observe these regulations, we also encourage the public to report any illegal hunting activity they may observe.”
Cpl. McDerby also added some tips on what residents should report:
· Hearing gunshots at night between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise.
· Seeing hunters or hearing them shooting on your property if they do not have your permission to hunt.
· Seeing hunters afield or hearing gunshots coming from wildlife areas on Sunday. (Note: Target shooting on state wildlife areas is illegal at all times; target shooting on private property is allowed seven days a week, within the parameters of local, county and state ordinances.)
· Witnessing shots fired across a public road or right-of-way, or within 15 yards or closer to a public roadway. (Note: carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle or vessel also is illegal.)
· Hunting migratory waterfowl and game birds including doves over bait is illegal in Delaware. An area is generally considered baited if grain or other feed has been placed as a lure or attraction.
For more information on the 2014-2015 hunting seasons – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey and migratory birds – hunters and residents should consult the 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide along with wildlife area maps and the 2014-2015 Migratory Game Bird Season Summary. The guide and summary are available online at 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Guide and 2014-2015 Migratory Game Bird Season Summary, and where hunting licenses are sold. Newly updated hunting maps and wildlife area-specific regulations are available online at Delaware Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, the Migratory Game Bird Summary and the hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.
For more information on September dove and waterfowl hunting seasons, click Delaware’s dove, resident Canada goose and teal seasons to open in September.
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. 322