Contact: Sgt. 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: Nov. 16-22
Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters advised to remove lead shot from gear
DOVER (Nov. 25, 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 Nov. 16-22 made 1,507 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including eight vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 61 complaints and issued 56 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.
An item of particular note:
· On Nov. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Joshua Handy, 18, of Greenwood, and charged him with hunting without a license, possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer, failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours, harvesting antlered deer without purchasing a tag, failure to attach antlered deer tag, failure to retain antlered deer tag and removing antlered deer parts prior to registration. Handy was video-arraigned on the poaching-related charges by Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and released pending trial at a later date in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting without a license (4)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3), trespassing in a closed section of a state wildlife area (1), hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (8), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (2)*, possession of unlawfully taken antlerless deer (3)*, harvesting antlered deer without purchasing tag (2)*, failure to attach antlered deer tag (3)*, failure to attach antlerless deer tag (5)*, failure to retain antlered deer tag (1), failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours (2)*, failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours (3)*, transporting unlawfully taken antlered deer (1)*, transporting unlawfully taken antlerless deer (3)*, removing antlered deer parts prior to registration (2), removing antlerless deer parts prior to registration (3)*, and wildlife area map violation/running rabbit dogs during deer season (1).
Public Safety: Possession of a firearm by a person prohibited (1), and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (8)*.
* Charges included in a DNREC press release issued earlier this week: Two New Jersey men arrested on multiple deer poaching violations.
Are you AWARE?
With fall’s second waterfowl hunting season segment open through Saturday, Dec. 5, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind waterfowl hunters to check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats and any other gear to make sure they are not carrying any lead shot.
“Small game hunters sometimes forget to remove boxes of lead shot from their hunting bags or accidentally leave extra lead shells in their hunting coat pockets when they go waterfowl hunting,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Using lead shot for waterfowl hunting is prohibited to prevent habitat contamination and ingestion poisoning of wildlife, and hunters can be fined for possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting, whether the shot is chambered or simply carried.”
The daily limit of six ducks (excluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combination, up to: four mallards, with no more than two hen mallards; one black duck; two pintails; two canvasbacks; three wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup; six teal; six shovelers; six gadwalls; six wigeons; six goldeneyes; six ring-necked ducks; six buffleheads; six ruddy ducks; one mottled duck; one fulvous whistling-duck; four scoters; six eiders; six long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks remains closed.
Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks, with a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45 for coots, and a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 15 for mergansers. Daily bag limit may include no more than two hooded mergansers (six in possession).
Migratory Canada geese have a daily bag limit of two, with a possession limit of six birds. Hunters also may take white-fronted geese, which count against the daily bag limit for Canada geese, allowing hunters to take up to two Canada geese, or two white-fronted geese, also known as “specklebellies,” or one of each daily.
Also, snow goose season continues through Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, with a daily bag limit of 25 and no possession limit, including Ross’ geese. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is open for snow goose hunting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with permission of refuge manager.
Most state wildlife areas open for waterfowl hunting hold a lottery drawing for waterfowl blinds 1.5 hours before legal shooting time, except for Little Creek Wildlife Area, which holds its drawing two hours before legal shooting time. Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. If hunting waterfowl on a state wildlife area from a blind that was selected through a lottery, all hunters in the blind are required to carry the $20 annual blind permit, available for purchase where hunting licenses are sold. This permit is waived for hunters participating in Division of Fish & Wildlife-designated youth hunting days.
Additional information about waterfowl blind lotteries and availability at individual wildlife areas as well as rules specific to each wildlife area can be found online at Delaware Hunting Maps. Hard copies of these wildlife area maps are also available at DNREC’s Dover license desk, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.
Delaware residents age 16 through 64 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase a hunting license to hunt in Delaware. A junior hunting license is required for youths age 13 through 15. Hunters age 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl also are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp, except Delaware resident hunters 65 and older. Delaware hunting licenses and waterfowl stamps 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 hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl. Federal duck stamps may be purchased at U.S Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps; no exemptions are made for persons 65 years or older for purchasing federal stamps. For more information on federal stamps, call 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).
Hunters who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). Hunters who plan to pursue migratory game birds such as ducks, geese and doves, also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. LEN and HIP numbers can be obtained through the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration System (HTR). This free, easy-to-use system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use the HTR system, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. If you prefer to talk to a live customer service representative, please call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Delaware, click on 2015-2016 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and 2015-2016 Delaware Migratory Game Bird Season Summary.
Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, the Migratory Game Bird Season Summary and the wildlife area 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. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.
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. 412