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: Sept. 21-27
Reminder for the week: Hunters should observe surroundings, take safety precautions
DOVER (Oct. 2, 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 Sept. 21-27 made 1,146 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 35 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 49 complaints and issued 18 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.
An incident of particular note:
· On Sept. 26, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a boat fire in the area of Mariners Cove off Long Neck Road near Millsboro. The 16-foot Carolina skiff, which was unoccupied and tied to a dock, was a total loss. The fire was extinguished by the Indian River Fire Company. The State Fire Marshal’s office was unable to determine the cause of the fire.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (5), possession of undersized white perch (1), illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (1), possession of black sea bass out of season (2), possession of undersized black sea bass (2), and possession of flounder parts (1).
Public Safety: Reckless driving (1)*.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area in a case detailed in a separate release: Vehicle flips into C&D Canal; reckless driving charge for Dover man.
Are you AWARE?
With fall hunting seasons underway, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police advise hunters to become familiar with state, county and local regulations before choosing their hunting spots, and remind them to always be observant of their surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions.
“Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far the shot (pellets) they are using can travel,” said Cpl. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, noting that it is illegal in Delaware to discharge a firearm so that a shotgun pellet, slug or bullet lands upon any occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding.
In addition, anyone except the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission of the owner or occupant is prohibited from discharging a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding, while hunting wild birds or animals of any kind. The statewide safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is 50 yards. Within this safety zone, it is illegal for anyone other than the owner or occupant to hunt, trap, pursue, disturb or otherwise chase any wild animal or bird without advance permission of the owner or occupant.
Discharging a firearm while on or within 15 yards of a public road or right-of-way is also illegal in Delaware, unless it is an area controlled by DNREC, the Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of the Interior and designated as an area open to hunting or trapping. Shooting at a wild bird or wild animal in a public roadway or firing across a public roadway is also prohibited.
Upstate hunters should also note that New Castle County has its own ordinances, including a 200-yard firearm safety zone from homes, structures and camps north of I-295 and I-95 in which firearms may not be discharged, and a 100-yard firearm safety zone south of I-295 and I-95. A 50-yard safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is in effect for all of New Castle County. For more information, please check New Castle County ordinances.
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.
For information on hunting safety classes, click Hunter Education.
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. 333