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Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902  

Marydel man arrested for turkey hunting violations

MARYDEL (Nov. 13, 2013) – DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents on Nov. 10 arrested a Marydel man on multiple charges related to illegal hunting practices in western Kent County in which four wild turkeys were taken illegally.

Isidro Espinal, 57, was arrested and charged with four counts of unlawfully taken game (wild turkeys) and one count each of trespassing to hunt, hunting turkey during a closed season, hunting turkey with a prohibited weapon (rifle), hunting turkey without required turkey hunting safety certification, hunting turkey without wearing required camouflage, hunting turkey without required permit, and unlicensed hunting. A rifle and the four turkeys were seized as evidence.

Espinal was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, where he pled not guilty and was released on $800 unsecured bond, pending trial at a later date in the Court of Common Pleas.

The wild turkey remains one of Delaware’s top wildlife restoration successes after nearly becoming extinct in the early 20th century. In the early 1980s, the Division partnered with the Delaware Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation to re-establish a wild turkey population in the state. By 1991, the population had grown large enough to permit opening a wild turkey hunting season, and the birds continue to thrive and multiply.

“Keeping this success story going requires responsible, vigilant wildlife management, and that includes enforcing the hunting regulations in place to keep our wild turkey population thriving,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “These regulations protect the wild turkey in Delaware for compliant hunters and all who appreciate these unique birds.”

The DNREC Division of Fish and 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 and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.

Vol. 43, No. 436

-30-
11/12/2013
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