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
Sussex men charged with weapons, hunting violations
FRANKFORD (Jan. 7, 2014) – DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Agents arrested two Sussex County men Jan. 5 near Frankford on numerous hunting violations following a call from a concerned citizen regarding deer hunting on a Sunday. The arrests were made with the assistance of Enforcement Labrador retriever K9 Warden’s tracking skills.
Thorvald P. Impastato, 19, of Frankford, was arrested and charged with felony possession of a destructive weapon (a handgun with an illegal silencer), shooting a firearm within a safety zone near a residence, trespassing to hunt, unlicensed hunting, hunting deer during a closed season, and hunting deer illegally on a Sunday. A shotgun and a handgun with a silencer were seized as evidence.
Gabriel S. Bowden, 18, of Dagsboro, was arrested and charged with shooting a firearm within a safety zone near a residence, possession of an unplugged shotgun, trespassing to hunt, unlicensed hunting, and hunting deer illegally on a Sunday. A shotgun was seized as evidence.
Both men were arraigned in Justice Peace Court 3 in Georgetown. Impastato was released on $2,725 unsecured bond, and Bowden was released on $250 unsecured bond, pending trial at a later date.
“Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far their fired ammunition can travel,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, noting that it is illegal in Delaware for anyone other than the owner or occupant, or a person with specific, advance permission from the owner or occupant, to discharge a firearm so that shot, slug or a 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 or trapping wild birds or animals of any kind. The statewide safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is 50 yards. 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. Within these safety zones, 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.
For hunting information, consult the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide at Hunting guide online. Hard copies are available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or from license dealers statewide. For more information, call the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.
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 by calling 800-292-3030 or online at Operation Game Theft.
Vol. 44, No. 4