Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of 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:
Reminder for the week: Safety, ethical hunting practices
encouraged when Delaware turkey season opens April 9
DOVER (April 1, 2016) – 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 March 21-27 made 802 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 49 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 34 complaints and issued 12 citations, two of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Incidents of note:
· On March 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a man and woman for one count each of loitering to engage in sexual conduct at the Haven Lake Boat Ramp in Milford. Both were released with criminal summonses for mandatory court appearances in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover at a later date.
· On March 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers assisted with recovery of the body of missing Dover Air Force Base Airman Keifer Huhman, located by a fisherman along the southern shore of the C&D Canal near Delaware City. Airman Huhman was reported missing Feb. 7.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), and littering in a state wildlife area (2)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (4), and possession of unlawfully taken striped bass (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).
Public Safety: Loitering to engage in sexual conduct (2).
* Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
· DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police have been recognized with the Outstanding Agency Award presented by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement. Delaware was evaluated along with all 27 U.S. coastal states and six U.S. territories that are in the partnership with NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. This award was given to Delaware’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police for emphasis placed on partnerships in the Joint Enforcement Agreement; scheduling of priority-based patrols during times of federal fisheries’ peak activities, and for having complete case packages on priority violations.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind the public that Delaware’s 2016 spring wild turkey hunting season begins Saturday, April 9 and runs through Saturday, May 7. With the excitement of spring turkey season, hunters are reminded to always place safety and ethical hunting practices first and foremost as they pursue the wary spring gobbler.
Unlike some other types of hunting, turkey hunting is an interactive sport that often involves calling to the birds and moving around in the woods to increase the opportunity of harvesting a gobbler. Hunters are reminded that it is unlawful to drive wild turkeys, to shoot a wild turkey on the roost or, for safety purposes, to wear red, white or blue while hunting.
While in pursuit of wild turkeys, hunters are also reminded that it is unlawful to hunt turkeys while using bait as an attractant. Some common baits that are illegally used are wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and various birdseed blends. Hunters must make sure there is no bait present in an area where they are hunting turkeys.
Delaware offers public hunting opportunities for wild turkeys on several state wildlife areas by permit only. To hunt wild turkeys on public land in Delaware, hunters must enter a lottery from which public lands permits are drawn. Delaware’s wild turkey season is broken down into four week-long segments. Turkey hunters are drawn via the lottery system and issued a permit that enables them to hunt a designated public land area, such as the C&D Canal Conservation Area or Redden State Forest during a specified one-week segment.
If you are selected for a public land permit, make sure that you carry both your permit and your turkey education card at all times while hunting. Always remember that a public permit only allows hunting in a specific designated wildlife area and only during one designated week of turkey season.
For hunters who harvest a spring gobbler, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requires that the turkey be checked at an authorized check station by 2:30 p.m. on the same day the turkey was harvested. Information obtained through the check stations is used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to help manage Delaware’s wild turkey population.
For a list of turkey check stations, please visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/Wildlife.aspx. Check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station where they are likely to check a bird, to confirm the station’s hours of operation. Hunters who want to have their bird scored and entered into the National Wild Turkey Federation records also are reminded to have their bird’s live weight recorded on a certified scale. If the check station does not have a certified scale, hunters will be directed to another station to have the turkey re-weighed.
For turkey hunters who need to purchase a Delaware hunting license, licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2015-2016 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. For more information about public lands that allow turkey hunting, click Wildlife Area Hunting Maps or State Forest Maps.
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 the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife. Vol. 46, No. 106