DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 18-24

Reminder for the week: Happy Thanksgiving hunting reminders

Picture of the DNREC Natural Resources Police BadgeDOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 18-24 made 1,433 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 17 citations. Officers responded to 61 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concluded multiple trespassing to hunt investigations, resulting in two separate arrests of individuals charged with hunting and trespassing on closed Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) properties as described in a press release.

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 (1), unlicensed hunting (1), trespass to hunt (1), and wildlife area map violation – hunting on a Sunday in an area of Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area closed to Sunday hunting (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Possession of undersized oyster (1).

Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited (1), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), possession of marijuana – civil (1), and driving without using headlights (1)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6)*.

*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. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

For those who will be hunting this holiday, please remember the following:

  • Waterfowl hunters should check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats, and any other gear to make sure that they are not carrying any lead shot left over from deer or other hunting seasons.
  • After harvesting a deer, an appropriate tag must be attached to the animal before it is field dressed or moved from the place of harvest.
  • All successful deer hunters must register their deer within 24 hours of harvest.
  • Prior to registering a deer, hunters may not cut the meat or remove any part of the deer except the internal organs.
  • If you have an emergency, call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24 hour dispatch line at 302-739-4580.

For more information on the 2019/2020 hunting seasons – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information, and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey, and migratory birds – click on 2019/2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces Delaware hunting and trapping seasons opening in December

Multiple opening waterfowl hunting seasons run into January

DOVER – Numerous Delaware hunting and trapping seasons open in December, including multiple waterfowl seasons that extend into or through January, coinciding with the influx of a variety of migratory waterfowl for the winter, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Many other hunting and trapping seasons provide opportunities to enjoy the winter outdoors as temperatures drop and provide favorable hunting and trapping conditions.

Hunting seasons opening in December:

  • Beaver: Dec. 2 – March 20, 2020, private land only
  • Woodcock and common snipe: Dec. 7 – Jan. 21, 2020
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 14 – 22, including all Sundays*
  • Waterfowl (ducks, coots, and mergansers): Dec. 13 – Jan. 31, 2020
  • Brant: Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, 2020
  • Canada geese (migratory): Dec. 21 – Jan. 21, 2020

*Archery and crossbow hunters may NOT take antlered deer during the December antlerless deer season.

Trapping seasons opening in December:

  • Red fox, coyote: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020
  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, nutria:
    • New Castle County: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
    • Kent and Sussex counties: Dec. 15 – March 15, 2020
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 – March 20, 2020

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 4, 2020
  • Sea ducks in the special sea duck area: through Jan. 31, 2020 (See page 30 of the hunting guide for more information about the special sea duck area.)
  • Tundra swan: through Jan. 31, 2020, by permit only, issued via pre-season lottery
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2020
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2020
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Feb. 2, 2020, including all Sundays
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Raccoon & opossum (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020*
  • Crow: through March 31, 2020 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays only)
  • Red fox (chase) through April 30, 2020**
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2020 (open year-round)

*Raccoon and opossum may be hunted from 7 p.m. until midnight during the December and January firearm deer seasons.
**Red fox chase season closed during December antlerless season.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at Wildlife Area Hunting Maps.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a LEN or HIP number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl.

To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 11-17

Reminder for the week: Required hunter education in Delaware

Picture of the DNREC Natural Resources Police BadgeDOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 11-17 made 2,416 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 40 citations. Officers responded to 74 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A 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 Nov. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers provided security and logistical support to the Blue Cheetah Timing C&D Canal Half Marathon & 5K held on the Michael N. Castle Trail in the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Failure to tag antlered deer (4), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1)*, removing antlered deer parts prior to checking (2), failure to purchase a hunter choice tag prior to killing an antlered deer (1), hunting deer with the aid of illegal bait on a wildlife area (6)*, spotlighting (1), hunting on a refuge (2), hunting deer on a Sunday on a state forest (1), hunting deer in archery season with weapon other than a bow (1), trespass to hunt (2), and unlicensed hunting (1).

Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (6), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (3), and possession, purchase, ownership or control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited (3).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2)*, driving with a suspended or revoked license (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (1)*, fictitious tags (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle without insurance (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. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind the public that per Delaware law, all people born after Jan. 1, 1967, are required to satisfactorily complete a Basic Hunter Education Course to obtain a Delaware hunting license or youth hunting license. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult when taking the course. Hunter education certification is not issued to children under 10 years of age. To learn more about Hunter Education, visit this link, or call
302-735-3600, Ext.1.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police make arrests for hunting and trespassing on closed DelDOT properties

DelDOT’s created wetlands are closed to public access including hunting as are many other state lands.

DOVER – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers this week concluded multiple trespassing to hunt investigations, resulting in two separate arrests of individuals charged with hunting and trespassing on closed Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) properties.

On Nov. 14, Christopher Kinne, 50, of Lancaster, Pa., was charged with one count of trespassing to hunt when making his way to a deer stand with a crossbow on DelDOT property located off of Route 1 south of the Leipsic River near Smyrna. As a result of the arrest, a Barnett Ghost 420 crossbow with quiver and bolt was confiscated as evidence. Kinne was released, pending a mandatory appearance in Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover.

On Nov. 17, Robert Unruh, 45, of Townsend, was charged with one count each of hunting on a state game refuge, hunting deer with the aid of illegal bait, and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season on a DelDOT property located east of Route 1 and north of Blackbird Creek near Townsend. Unruh was fined $379, including court costs and released.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police again remind the public that certain state-owned properties are closed to the public, including numerous created wetland sites established by DelDOT to offset environmental impacts from transportation projects throughout the state. These created wetlands are protected properties closely monitored to evaluate how well they are becoming established and whether they meet environmental standards. Any damage to these sites as a result of trespassing or other activities – such as illegally erecting stands or clearing vegetation for hunting, or using the sites for other outdoor recreation activities – may impact DelDOT’s compliance with state and federal environmental permit requirements.

“No trespassing” signage is posted at these sites, with additional signage being installed on DelDOT properties to inform the public. Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are patrolling these sites to help achieve awareness and compliance.

Media contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9086 or 302-382-7167; or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

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.

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Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish to meet Nov. 26 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62207.

For more information on Delaware wildlife, please call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. For more information on Delaware fisheries, please call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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