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. 5-11
Reminder for the week: Public urged to report hunting, wildlife violations
DOVER (Oct. 16, 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. 5-11 made 1,794 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 53 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 35 complaints and issued 22 citations, three 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.
An item of particular note:
· On Oct. 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Danny L. Weippert Jr., 42, of Bridgeville, and charged him with three counts of felony possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited and one count of failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season in the Marshy Hope Wildlife Area west of Bridgeville. Weippert was arraigned and released on $9,050 unsecured bond, pending a court appearance at a later date. Two muzzleloaders and a shotgun were confiscated.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (3), dumping trash on a state wildlife area (2), hunting without a license (2), hunting with a prohibited weapon/shotgun during archery deer season (1), failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), illegally hunting on Sunday (1), trespassing to hunt (1), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1), transporting unlawfully taken antlered deer (1), harvesting antlered deer without purchasing an antlered deer tag (1), failure to tag an antlered deer (1), and failure to check an antlered deer within 24 hours (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (2).
Public Safety: Felony possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (3), and lewdness (1)*.
* This citation was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citations not marked with an asterisk also were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police encourage the public to report violations of Delaware’s hunting and wildlife regulations through Operation Game Theft (OGT), a fund established nearly 20 years ago by the Delaware General Assembly to assist in the apprehension and conviction of game law violators. Comprised of all fines collected for violation of game laws in Delaware, plus donations from various sources, the OGT fund is used to provide rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons involved in game law violations. The identity of those providing information is kept confidential, and rewards are paid in cash.
Following is a list of violations and rewards covered under OGT:
Rewards of $100 - $1,000
· Commercialization of wildlife (sale of wildlife or wildlife parts)
· Killing an endangered/threatened species
· Any violation in which a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer is assaulted
· Fleeing to avoid prosecution for a wildlife violation
Rewards of $100 - $500
· Illegally hunting black ducks, canvasbacks, turkeys or Canada geese
· Poisoning wildlife
· Destruction of state wildlife areas or equipment
· Gross over-limits of wildlife
· Illegally hunting waterfowl or deer on state game refuges
· Willful obstruction of lawful hunting
· Illegally hunting/trapping out of season or at night
· Hunting during license revocation
· Possession, tending or setting killer traps with a jaw spread in excess of 5 inches
Rewards up to $100
· Fraudulent use of hunting license and/or fraudulently obtaining a hunting license
· Illegally hunting with a rifle
· Dumping trash on state wildlife areas
NOTE: An additional $100 reward will be paid by the Delaware Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally killing a wild turkey in Delaware.
Operation Game Theft’s primary focus is on catching and deterring those who illegally kill wildlife species, including ducks, geese, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and endangered or threatened species. “While poaching is broadly defined as the illegal hunting or killing of wildlife, its true definition is that it robs natural resources from the people of Delaware, especially the majority of hunters who hunt legally and ethically in our state,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Wildlife violations usually have few witnesses, and Natural Resources Police officers cannot be in all places at all times. With the help of Delaware citizens, however, we can battle poaching while better conserving wildlife resources.”
Residents and landowners in Delaware are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal activity that they observe as soon as possible to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at Operation Game Theft. “To report a violation, please provide all the information you can. Details that might seem insignificant often help in solving cases,” Sgt. McDerby said. “And the sooner you can get the information to us, the better the chances are that we can catch violators.”
Useful details include:
· Time, date and location of the violation observed;
· Species and numbers of wildlife involved;
· How the animal was taken and its current location, if known;
· A vehicle description and tag number; and
· Age, height, weight, hair color, clothing and any other identifying features of the violator(s), if this information can be obtained safely, without contacting, confronting or attempting to restrain the violator(s).
For more information, contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 302-739-9913 during weekday business hours or call the 24-hour line at 302-739-4580.
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. 351