CONTACT: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 7-13
Reminder for the week: Know where to go to try out new ATVs, firearms
DOVER (Dec. 18, 2015) – 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 Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 7-13 made 1776 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 244 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 26 complaints and issued 113 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Items of particular note:
· On Dec. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Robert N. Evans, 36, of Milton, on 11 counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited and one count of possession of ammunition by a person prohibited in connection with deer hunting near Delmar. Three crossbows, three shotguns, two muzzleloaders, two rifles, one handgun and an assortment of associated arrows and ammunition were seized as evidence on a search warrant. Evans was video-arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and released on $6,000 unsecured bond pending a preliminary hearing in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.
· Also on Dec. 7, following a tip through Operation Game Theft, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Christian M. Emkey Jr., 65, of Laurel, for dumping solid waste in the form of three deer carcasses along a roadway in Midlands Wildlife Area near Millsboro. Emkey pled guilty to the charge in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown, and was fined $652, including court costs, and ordered to clean up the deer by Dec. 13.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to attach antlerless deer tag (1), and wildlife area map violation/failure to register for a deer stand on a state wildlife area (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Crabbing without a commercial crab pot license (20)*, crabbing during pot closure season (20)*, crabbing from a vessel not associated with the operator’s commercial license number (20)*, crabbing from a vessel not displaying the required color panel matching the commercial operator’s markers (20)*, and failure to tend crab pots every 72 hours (10)*.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating an unregistered vessel (1)*, and no boat ramp certificate (2).
Public Safety: Possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (11), possession of ammunition by a person prohibited (1), failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (2), operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1)*, and operating an unregistered trailer (1)*.
Other: Dumping solid waste (1).
*Charges included in DNREC press release issued earlier this week: Dover waterman arrested on 93 charges related to commercial blue crab fishing near Port Mahon
Are you AWARE?
With the holidays come days off from work and school, and DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind wildlife area visitors – especially those with brand-new ATVs or dirt bikes – that driving any motor vehicles off established roadways on state wildlife areas is illegal and damaging to wildlife habitat.
“Off-roading is very destructive to areas reserved for wildlife conservation and harmful to some of our more fragile species. In addition, Division staff have to replant vegetation, repair ruts and clean up after these activities,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “If you want to take that new ATV out for a ride, it’s best to do it on your own property or on private property with the owner’s prior permission.”
There’s another good reason to keep ATVs and other unregistered vehicles on private lands: it is illegal in Delaware to operate unregistered motor vehicles on public roadways – including state, county and established wildlife area roads. “ATVs and other vehicles without a license plate are prohibited in state wildlife areas, both off-road and on established roadways, and violators who are caught will be cited,” Sgt. McDerby said.
Hunters who find new firearms under the tree are reminded that target practice is prohibited on state wildlife areas. However, the state-owned Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center and Public Shooting Range, located at 1205 River Road, New Castle, is an excellent place to try them out. Operated by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Ommelanden Center is dedicated to providing Delaware hunters with required hunter education courses and training opportunities.
Ommelanden’s range is open year round for public use for a small fee from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The facility is closed on state holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s. The range includes 25- and 50-meter rifle and pistol ranges, skeet and trap fields and a practice archery field. For more information, call 302-323-5333, or visit Ommelanden Range.
Those unwrapping new shotguns should also consider Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center, located at 12613 Hunters Cove Road, Greenwood, DE 19950. Downstate Delaware’s first and only state-owned public shooting sports range operates as a public-private partnership with the Division of Fish & Wildlife and features a circular 60-station sporting clays course, a trap shooting range and “five-stand” warmup range. For more information, click Owens Station Sporting Clays or call 302-349-4334.
DNREC’s 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, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Vol. 45, No. 432