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:
Oct. 26-Nov. 1
Reminder for the week: Hunters should take safety precautions, observe surroundings
DOVER (Nov. 6, 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 Oct. 26-Nov. 1 made 1,287 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 66 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 40 complaints and issued 46 citations, five 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.
Items of particular note:
· On Oct. 28, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited a Sussex County man and woman for one count each of loitering to engage in sex in a public area off Mulberry Knoll Road near Lewes. Both were given mandatory appearances in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown.
· On Oct. 27, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited commercial waterman Richard S. Hand Jr., 38, of Dover, for leaving a vessel unattended at a state-owned dock at Port Mahon. Hand was fined $107, including court costs.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing to hunt (2)**, spotlighting (2)**, hunting from a motor vessel at night (1)**, hunting deer during a closed season (2)**, hunting antlerless deer with shot smaller than buckshot (2)**, failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (2)**, hunting with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (2)**, possession of an unlawfully taken Canada goose (1)**, hunting migratory waterfowl using shot larger than “T” size (1)**, possession of prohibited lead shot/shot size while hunting migratory waterfowl (2), hunting migratory waterfowl from a vessel within 1,500 feet of an established blind (1), hunting Canada geese out of season (1)**, carrying an unsigned federal duck stamp (1)**, hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal duck stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without a federal HIP number (1)**, hunting in a closed area on a state wildlife area (2), damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, and operating a motor vehicle without insurance on a state wildlife area (1)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), no fire extinguisher on board (1)**, no navigation lights (2)**, and operating a motor vessel without registration (1).
Commercial: Leaving a vessel unattended at a state-owned dock (1).
Public Safety: Carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vessel (4), third degree conspiracy (2)**, loitering to engage in sex in a public area (2), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1)*.
* Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
** Charges included in a separate press release issued earlier this week: Two New Castle County men arrested for spotlighting multiple hunting related violations.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind firearm and archery deer hunters and small game hunters that they are required to wear no less than a total of 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads, chests and backs during all firearms deer seasons, with the exception of those hunting migratory birds. Deer hunters concealed inside ground-level blinds also must place 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet outside of the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground.
Deer hunters also are reminded that transporting a loaded firearm in any motor vehicle, including ATVs, is prohibited. In the case of a muzzleloader rifle, loaded means that the powder and ball, bullet or shot is loaded in the bore. To be considered unloaded, a muzzleloader rifle must have the cap, primer, or priming powder (in a flintlock) removed. In addition, the striking mechanism used to ignite the cap, primer or priming powder must be removed or rendered inoperable, or the muzzleloader rifle must be enclosed in a case.
Current hunting seasons include:
· Archery and crossbow deer season, through Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
· Squirrel season, through Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016; closed during November deer shotgun season Friday, Nov. 13 through Saturday, Nov. 21
· Snow goose season, through Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
Upcoming deer seasons and dates include:
· Youth/non-ambulatory disabled hunt – Saturday, Nov. 7
· Shotgun – Friday, Nov. 13 through Saturday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Jan.16 through Saturday, Jan, 23, 2016
· Special antlerless – Saturday, Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec. 19
· Muzzleloader – Monday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
· Handgun – Saturday, Jan. 2 through Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016
“During Delaware’s fall hunting seasons, it’s not unusual to have more than one type of game being hunted and more than one type of weapon being used in the same area. For example, during the coming week, before shotgun deer season opens, you may have deer hunters using crossbows and archery gear in the same woods as squirrel hunters,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “With these activities occurring concurrently, visibility is vital, and in the interest of everyone’s safety, we urge hunters to observe the hunter orange requirement. Also, before you fire your weapon, be aware of your surroundings, know your target – and what lies beyond it.”
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 in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and 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. 381