DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 19-25
DOVER – 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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 19-25 made 2,568 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 117 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 44 complaints and issued 16 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (6), fileting shark prior to landing (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (3), possession of undersized striped bass (3), and possession of undersized summer flounder (1).
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
• On Sept. 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed a marine patrol boat and shared information about boating safety and careers in Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at the Newark Lowe’s Safety Day, which was attended by more than 200 children and their families.
• On Sept. 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at the grand opening of the Smyrna Tractor Supply store, speaking with about 75 people about hunting, fishing and boating opportunities in Delaware.
• On Sept. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers addressed a hunter education class at Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center near Greenwood about hunting in Delaware and the role of a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer.
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 share a reminder to always be observant of a hunter’s surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions.
“Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far the ammunition they are using can travel,” said Sgt. 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, only the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission from the owner or occupant can legally discharge a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding. 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 laws and code.
During all firearms deer seasons, all hunters on both private and public lands, except those hunting migratory waterfowl, are required to wear hunter orange for safety reasons in the form of no less than 400 square inches of hunter orange material on the head, chest and back. Those hunting from a ground blind and completely concealed are required to place 400 square inches of hunter orange material within 10 feet outside the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground. Small game hunters and archery deer hunters are included in those required to wear hunter orange.
In addition, small game hunters should note a new requirement for the 2016/17 seasons: when hunting small game in season on state wildlife areas, they are required to wear 250 square inches of hunter orange material for safety reasons. This new requirement applies only on state wildlife areas; private lands are not included.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, consult the 2016-2017 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 more information about Sunday deer hunting in Delaware, which is allowed for the first time on five Sundays during the 2016/17 hunting season due to a recent change in state law, please visit Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Sunday deer hunting webpage.
For information on hunting safety classes, please visit the Hunter Education website.
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.
Like Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.
Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 46, No. 359