Reminder for the week: Hunters should take safety precautions & wear their hunter orange
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. 25-Oct. 1 made 2,040 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 72 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 59 citations. Officers responded to 37 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.
Incidents of note:
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (2), possession of undersized weakfish (1), possession of undersized tautog (1), possession of undersized black drum (2), possession of undersized blue crab (6), unlawful to catch or land crabs without commercial license (1), non-commercial crab sales (2), non-commercial crab pot illegal tampering (10), non-commercial crab pot marking (11), and unlawful to have, place, use, set, tend more than two crab pots in tidal water (10).
Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no boating safety certificate (1), and unregistered vessel (1).
Public Safety: Possess purchase own or control of a firearm or ammunition by person prohibited convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (3), possess purchase own or control a deadly weapon by person prohibited convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (1), assault third degree intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to another (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), driving while suspended or revoked (1), failure to have required insurance (1), and expired vehicle registration (1).
Other: Offering a false instrument for filing (1).
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.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters heading out this weekend for the start of muzzleloader deer season on Oct. 6 that all hunters are required to wear hunter orange for safety during all firearms deer seasons, with the exception of those hunting migratory birds. Firearm deer hunters as well as bow hunters and small game hunters are required to wear no less than a total of 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads, chests and backs. Deer hunters concealed inside ground-level blinds also must place 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet outside of the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground.
“During Delaware’s fall hunting seasons, it’s not unusual to have more than one type of game being hunted and more than one type of weapon being used in the same area. For example, during this coming week, you may have deer hunters using muzzleloaders, crossbows and archery gear in the same woods as squirrel hunters,” said Lt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “With these activities occurring concurrently, visibility is vital, and in the interest of everyone’s safety, we urge hunters to observe the hunter orange requirement. Also, before you fire your weapon, know your target – and what lies beyond it.”
Current hunting seasons include:
Deer hunters also are reminded that transporting a loaded firearm in any motor vehicle, including ATVs, is prohibited. In the case of a muzzleloader rifle, loaded means that the powder and ball, bullet or shot is loaded in the bore. A muzzleloader is not considered loaded if the cap, primer, or priming powder (in a flintlock) is removed and the striking mechanism used to ignite the cap, primer or priming powder is removed or rendered inoperable; or the rifle is enclosed in a case.
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Contact: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386
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