DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: April 3-9; Reminder for the week: Turkey season opens April 13

DOVER (April 12, 2013) – 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, between April 3 and April 9 DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents made 1,135 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 12 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 36 complaints and issued 41 citations. Incidents of particular note included: 

  • On April 8, following an investigation, agents arrested Howard B. Carter IV, 35, of Middletown and charged him with possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, hunting from a roadway, third degree conspiracy, hunting wild turkey without a permit, failure to register wild turkey, illegal possession of wild turkey, hunting wild turkey during a closed season and failure to wear required camouflage while hunting wild turkey. Carter was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle and released pending a later trial in a higher court. 
  • Agents arrested two local fugitives. On April 4, Lanier L. Bright, 41, of Millsboro, was taken into custody on a Justice of the Peace Court warrant and released after posting bail. Bright was also cited for trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. On April 8, Sarah King, 40, of Millsboro, was taken into custody on a Justice of the Peace Court 3 warrant and committed to Sussex Correctional Institute in default of bond. King and a companion were also cited for trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. 
  • On April 5, a 24-year-old Wilmington man was cited for possession of an undersized snapping turtle, which the man had offered for sale online. Agents also issued a warning to the man about two other turtles found in his possession for which he did not have a permit. All three turtles were turned over to Division of Fish and Wildlife’s aquatic education staff. 

Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses: 

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), hunting from a roadway (1), hunting wild turkey without required permit (1), failure to register wild turkey (1), illegal possession of wild turkey (1), hunting wild turkey during a closed season (1), and failure to wear required camouflage while hunting wild turkey (1), and possession of an undersized snapping turtle (1), New Castle County; Trespassing  after hours in a state wildlife area (8), illegally offering antlered deer parts for sale (2), commercialization of native wildlife (1), and an international wildlife trafficking violation for offering for sale a taxidermy-mounted bear (1)*, Sussex County. 

* A press release on the commercialization of wildlife case was issued earlier this week: Milford man charged with illegally selling mounted wildlife .

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (6), fishing in a closed trout stream (3), over limit trout (1), and no trout stamp (1), New Castle County.

Public Safety: Parking violations related to trout season opening day (8), New Castle County.

 Other: Criminal mischief (1), and third degree conspiracy (1), Sussex County.

Are you AWARE?

 The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters that the 2013 Delaware spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 13, and runs through Saturday, May 11. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 

Delaware hunters are reminded that they must have successfully completed a mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class before they can legally hunt wild turkeys in Delaware. Turkey hunters also are required to carry their Hunter Education Card certifying successful completion of the course. Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only. Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.

 Bag limit is one bearded bird per year; birds without beards may not be taken. All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station. For a list of check stations, click Turkey Check Stations

For more information, pick up a copy of the 2012-2013 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at your local hunting license dealer, or check it out online at Delaware Hunting Guide.

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 .

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


Vol. 43, No. 145


Milford man charged with illegally selling mounted wildlife

MILFORD (April 10, 2013) – An investigation that began in January culminated in DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents citing a Milford man for illegally offering mounted deer heads, turkeys and a bear for sale online.

On April 4, John J. Ament Jr., 57, of Milford, was charged with two counts of offering for sale antlered deer, one count of commercialization of wildlife and one count  international wildlife trafficking violation* for offering for sale a mounted bear, a violation under an international wildlife treaty to which Delaware adheres.

The mounted wildlife items were seized as evidence. Ament, who has the option to pay the citation or opt for a trial, could face more than $2,600 in fines and court costs for the alleged violations.

 Under the Delaware Code, it is unlawful for any person to collect, possess, import, export, buy, sell or offer for sale any native wildlife species or any part thereof without a permit from the director of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, or, alternately, written documentation to confirm that said wildlife was legally taken and transported from another state. 

In a second, unrelated case, following an investigation into illegal taxidermy, Thomas G. Baker, 57, of Felton, was arrested on March 27 and charged with eight counts of illegal possession of untagged migratory waterfowl, one count of working without a federal migratory bird taxidermy permit, and one count of illegal possession of a wild bird for mounting purposes. Baker was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown with a court date pending.

 “In Delaware, in order to provide services, a taxidermist must have a valid business license, and also must adhere to state and federal wildlife laws and regulations as applicable, including observing permit, tag and species restrictions,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. 

* The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement to which more than 170 countries worldwide adhere voluntarily, with the aim of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Although participation in CITES is legally binding, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather, it provides a framework to be respected by each country, which must then adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level. 

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section works 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. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.

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 

Vol. 43, No. 140



DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife accepting applications for 2013-2014 low-number hunting license lottery on June 4

DOVER (April 10, 2013) – DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is continuing to accept applications from Delaware residents for its annual low-number hunting license lottery. The Division of Fish & Wildlife will conduct the lottery drawing for 20 available low-number Delaware hunting licenses with numbers under 1,000 at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 4 in the auditorium at DNREC’s main office in the Richardson & Robbins Building in Dover.

Licenses will be awarded to the applicants whose names are drawn starting with the lowest and ending with the highest number available via a live drawing. The lottery is open to the public but successful applicants do not need to be present as they will be notified by phone or mail.

The following information applies to the low-numbered licenses:

  • The license will be assigned to the successful applicant.
  • An applicant must be a Delaware resident, having lived at a primary residence in the state for at least one year.
  • An applicant must be at least 15 years of age, and not older than 64 years of age on July 1, 2013.
  • The license holder will be notified annually by mail for renewal.
  • The license is not transferable by the selected applicant to any individual.
  • Individuals who currently hold a low-numbered license are not eligible.
  • To be considered, an applicant must submit one and only one postcard, either by mail or hand-deliver it to the Richardson & Robbins building in Dover.

Postcards must be addressed to:

Candace Dunning
Low-Number Hunting License Lottery
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901

 Also, the following information must be included on the reverse side of the postcard: applicant’s name, street address, city, state, ZIP code and daytime phone number. Applications will not be included in the drawing if there is more than one postcard per applicant, or if postcards are received without the information above. 

Applications must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, May 21 or hand-delivered to the Richardson & Robbins Building by 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 24. No applications will be accepted after that date under any circumstances. 

For more information about the low-number drawing, please call Candace Dunning, Division of Fish and Wildlife Licensing Section, at 302-739-9918.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 139


2013 Mosquito Control season begins this week with spraying wooded wetlands

DOVER (April 3, 2013) – Weather permitting, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section has started its annual spring woodland-pool spraying this week, treating wooded wetlands for control of immature (larval) mosquitoes near populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. Approximately 5,000 to 8,000 acres with woodland pools where early season mosquitoes breed in quantity will be strategically larvicided by helicopter, and possibly fixed-wing aircraft. 

If larval stages of these early season mosquitoes are not successfully controlled, an intolerable number of biting adult mosquitoes could take wing by early to mid-May and remain through late June, becoming particularly troublesome within one to two miles of their woodland pool origins, significantly affecting local quality of life for residents and visitors alike, said Mosquito Control Administrator Dr. William Meredith. As in past years, only woodland pools near populated areas will be treated. 

“Delaware has about 100,000 acres of wet woodlands in the spring, and it’s not possible logistically or for budgetary reasons to larvicide all woodland mosquito-rearing habitats. Additionally, not all of these wet woodlands contain pool habitats suitable for producing large numbers of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Meredith. “Targeting woodland pools that are good habitats for mosquito larvae near populated areas is the best return on investment in providing mosquito relief to the most people.” 

Over the next few weeks, Mosquito Control will apply a bacterially-produced insecticide, Bti, for larval mosquito control. “Like all insecticides used by the Mosquito Control Section, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that Bti, when used in accordance with all EPA-approved instructions as required by federal law, can be applied without posing unreasonable risk to human health, wildlife or the environment,” said Dr. Meredith. 

The amount of spraying needed is determined by where and how wet the woodlands are, which can vary from year to year depending on the location and amount of precipitation that has occurred over the past autumn, winter and early spring. At present, with the exception of some wetter areas in Sussex County, woodland pool acreage is below normal statewide, and larval densities also appear a bit lower than normal. Relatively cool weather this spring is also slowing larval growth progression. These factors can be favorable for effectively treating in timely manner woodland pool mosquito production during early spring. However, all of this can quickly change, depending upon rainfall amounts and temperatures over the next few weeks. 

Aerial spraying of woodland pools must be completed before the forest canopy fills in with foliage, usually around mid-April, because leaves prevent the insecticide from reaching pools and other wet spots containing larvae on the forest floor. The spring campaign marks the beginning of Delaware’s mosquito season, which in most years continues until sometime between mid-October and early November, depending upon when the first killing frost occurs. Throughout the rest of the year, mosquito control needs expand to include saltmarsh mosquito control, treatment of myriad types of freshwater habitats to control other species of freshwater mosquitoes, and control of mosquitoes in urban or developed areas that are produced in standing water or container habitats.

 As in the past, advance public notice of when and where spraying will occur this year will be given daily via radio announcements, by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free, or by visiting Mosquito Control’s website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/MosquitoSection.aspx and clicking “Mosquito Spraying Announcements.” Interested parties may also subscribe to receive email notices by visiting DNREC’s homepage, clicking on “Email List Subscription” under Services and following directions to sign up for mosquito control spray announcements.

During mosquito season, the public is encouraged to do its part to reduce mosquito-rearing habitat by cleaning clogged rain gutters, keeping fresh water in birdbaths, draining abandoned swimming pools and emptying standing water from such containers as scrap tires, cans, flower pot liners, unused water cisterns, upright wheelbarrows, uncovered trash cans, depressions in tarps covering boats or other objects stored outside.

To request local relief, call Mosquito Control’s field offices:

  • Glasgow Office, 302-836-2555, serving New Castle County and the northern half of Kent County including Dover
  • Milford Office, 302-422-1512, serving the southern half of Kent County south of Dover and all of Sussex County.

For more information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, call the Dover office at 302-739-9917. 

The Delaware Mosquito Control Section provides statewide services to more than 880,000 residents and more than 2 million visitors annually to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Throughout the warmer months, Mosquito Control monitors and treats mosquito populations that emerge from wetland areas found throughout the state, including ditches, stormwater ponds, wet woodlands and coastal salt marshes. The Section also works year-round on water and marsh management projects designed to reduce mosquito populations, and provides the public with information on dealing with mosquitoes, from reducing backyard mosquito breeding to avoiding mosquito bites.

 Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902. 


Vol. 43, No. 124


DNREC’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program distributes nearly 19,000 pounds of venison to Delawareans in need

DOVER (April 3, 2013) – During the 2012-2013 deer season, hunters donated 18,761 pounds of venison from 708 deer to the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife staff is working to distribute the frozen ground venison to more than 30 charitable organizations and food pantries throughout the state to provide meals for needy Delawareans.

The venison was processed by nine participating private butchers plus a butcher shop located at the Sussex Community Corrections Center in Georgetown. The venison processing facility is staffed by offenders in the SCCC’s Violation of Probation Center, who have been specially trained as butchers. Since the Delaware Department of Correction program began in 2005, the Sussex facility has processed more than 70,000 pounds of venison. This year, the facility processed 268 deer into 7,636 pounds of venison at substantial savings to the Sportsmen Against Hunger program.

Since Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger was founded in 1992 by a coalition of sporting groups, hunters have donated more than 400,000 pounds of venison, providing nearly 1.5 million meals to Delawareans in need. The amount of venison donated this year was less than the 2011-12 season, in which 23,762 pounds of venison was donated from 725 deer.

For more information, please visit the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife website at Sportsmen Against Hunger, or call 302-284-1077. 

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 122