Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 4-10
Reminder for the week: Hunters should observe surroundings, take safety precautions.
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. 4-10 made 2,166 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 239 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 25 citations. Officers responded to 49 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community
- On September 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended a hunter safety education class in Little Creek, presenting on the importance of firearms safety, game animal identification and what to expect when checked by an officer.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incidents of note:
- On September 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Calvin R. Walters, 58, of Frankford, for three counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, after contacting him while hunting in the Assawoman Wildlife Area near Frankford. Walters was arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on a $3,000 bond pending a future court appearance in Sussex County Superior Court.
- On September 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Trey L. Drouillard, 22, of Seaford, for one count each of criminal impersonation, possession of drug paraphernalia and littering upon a highway or adjacent property, following a traffic stop near the boat ramp in Seaford. Drouillard was issued a criminal summons for the charges with an order to appear in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at a future date. Drouillard was transported to Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3 for arraignment for two outstanding capiases. Drouillard was committed to Sussex County Correctional Institute and issued a $9,000 cash bond.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (1), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (2), and crabbing in a closed area of a state wildlife area (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), no boating safety certificate (2), allow the use of a non-compliant vessel (2), and operating a PWC after sunset (1).
Public Safety: Shellfish in closed polluted area – recreational clamming (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), and possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (3).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), operating an unregistered mo
tor vehicle on a state wildlife area (1)*, criminal impersonation (1), and littering upon highway or adjacent property (1).
*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
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 800-292-3030or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
Are you AWARE?
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 Lt. 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, they are required to wear 250 square inches of hunter orange material for safety reasons. This requirement applies only on state wildlife areas; private lands are not included.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2017-2018 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 on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to give close attention to Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and also online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
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