Severe crop damage at Redden State Forest creates public deer harvest opportunities to assist local farmers

DOVER, Del. — A recent increase in severe deer damage to agricultural crops on two portions of Redden State Forest in Sussex County has created public deer harvest opportunities to assist local farmers. Through a partnership with DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is opening specific portions of Redden State Forest’s Jester Tract immediately to expanded antlerless deer harvest dates and methods through Monday, Sept. 30.

“We recognize that farmers are attempting to protect their crops without using lethal measures, but the steps they are taking are not keeping deer from causing crop damage. The field inspections conducted by the Department of Agriculture are showing upwards of 85 percent crop loss,” said Deputy State Forester Kyle Hoyd. “We have an opportunity to assist these Delaware farmers by opening these portions of Redden State Forest earlier than normal to allow the use of firearms to harvest deer, which will provide the public additional opportunities to harvest antlerless deer.”

Under this special permit from DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, only antlerless deer can be harvested in the specified portions of the Jester Tract outlined in red on the associated maps. The harvest of antlerless deer, specifically does, has been proven to be the most effective way of reducing local deer populations and associated crop damage.

Only firearms or archery equipment that can be legally used to harvest deer in Delaware are allowed. Those using archery equipment may still harvest antlered deer on these permitted areas once the archery and crossbow deer seasons open on state forests on Monday, Sept. 2. Pursuit and harvest of deer on Sundays is prohibited in these areas.

All users of the areas, including those pursuing the harvest of deer, are required to wear and display at least 400 square inches of hunter orange in these permitted areas through Sept. 30. These areas will have signage posted, so the public knows where these expanded firearm harvest opportunities of antlerless deer are permitted.

To harvest or attempt to harvest deer, a Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required. To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a successfully completed a basic hunter education safety course. Delaware hunting licenses can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or from hunting license agents statewide.

Deer must be tagged immediately after harvest, and tags must remain attached until the deer is processed. Delaware hunting licenses come with four antlerless deer tags, but additional antlerless deer tags may be purchased online or from license agents for $20.

All harvested deer must be registered deer within 24 hours of harvest. A registration number is required before taking any deer to a butcher or taxidermist. Likewise, those who butcher their own deer must register the deer within 24 hours of harvest or before processing. Deer may be registered by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration (HTR) system online at https://egov.delaware.gov/htr using their smartphone, tablet or computer, or by calling 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868).

Harvested deer may be donated to the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger Program using the walk-in cooler at the Redden State Forest. All donated deer will be processed free of charge and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable groups. The Division of Fish & Wildlife requests that those donating harvested deer call the phone number posted on the cooler, so that donated deer are transported for processing in a timely manner. Any deer dropped off at a cooler must be field-dressed and registered, with the registration number written on a field tag to be attached to the deer.

###

Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov

 


DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2018/19 deer hunting harvest ranks as state’s 2nd all-time highest

A white-tailed doe/USFWS photo

DOVER – Hunters in Delaware harvested 14,883 deer during the 2018/19 hunting season, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today – the sixth year in a row that the state’s white-tailed deer harvest has exceeded 14,000 deer. This season’s harvest ranked as the second highest in Delaware’s history, exceeded only by last year’s (2017/18) harvest of 15,304 deer. Inclement weather limited the deer harvest during this past season’s opening weekend of the popular November deer shotgun season, which likely reduced the overall annual harvest.

The highest 2018/19 season harvest occurred in Sussex County, with a count of 7,735 deer, followed by Kent County with 4,299 deer taken, and New Castle County with a harvest of 2,849 deer. All Sundays during the various deer hunting seasons were open to deer hunting to provide additional hunting opportunities and to help manage the deer population, resulting in the harvest of 2,214 deer on these 23 Sundays from private lands and Division of Fish & Wildlife public wildlife areas.

Hunters harvested more female (doe) than male (buck) deer, consisting of 53.6 percent (7,982) does and 46.4 percent (6,901) bucks, with high doe harvest percentages an important tool for properly managing the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population. Antlerless deer – does, juvenile bucks without antlers known as button bucks, antlered bucks with antlers measuring less than three inches, and bucks that had already shed both of their antlers when harvested – represented 69.7 percent of the total harvest.

Additional and more detailed information will be made available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website upon further analyses of the deer harvest data by division biologists.

For more information on deer hunting and management, contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 116


DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife promotes December hunting and trapping season openings

Duck, Canada goose, brant, and antlerless deer hunting season splits open; furbearer trapping seasons open in all three counties

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is promoting the December openings of Delaware’s duck, Canada goose, brant, and antlerless deer hunting season splits, as well as the opening of furbearer trapping seasons. Numerous other hunting seasons remain open in December.

Hunters are reminded of expanded Sunday deer hunting opportunities on all Sundays through the end of the deer-hunting season on Feb. 3, 2019, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons. For more information, including Sunday hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas, visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Sunday Hunting webpage.

Hunting and trapping seasons opening in December include:

Hunting:

  • Brant: Dec. 1 – Jan. 31, 2019
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 – Mar. 20 (private land only)
  • Duck, coot, and merganser: Dec. 7 – Jan. 26, 2019
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 8-16, including Sundays, Dec. 9 and 16
  • Canada goose (migratory): Dec. 14 – Feb. 2, 2019

Trapping:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, and nutria:
    • New Castle County: Dec. 1 – Mar. 10, 2019 (March 20, 2019 if trapping within embanked meadows)
    • Kent and Sussex Counties: Dec. 15 – Mar. 15, 2019
  • Red fox and coyote: Dec. 1 – Mar. 10, 2019
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 – Mar. 20, 2019

A Delaware hunting or trapping license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt or trap, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license, trapping 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 number or HIP number, hunters and trappers 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, hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. To purchase a trapping license, trappers born on or after Jan. 1, 1978, must have a trapping education course card/number. Hunters and trappers who took a Delaware hunter safety course or trapping education course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety or trapping education card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters and trappers who took their Delaware hunter safety course or trapping education course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card or trapper education 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 free CAP, or to purchase an additional pass, 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, or 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.

A trapping license can only be purchased directly from the Division of Fish & Wildlife, and is not available online. Trapping license applications are available online at Delaware Licenses and on page 9 of the 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide.

For more information on hunting and trapping, click 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting and trapping licenses, season details, and Conservation Access Passes is also available by calling the 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.

Vol. 48, No. 328


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrest three Kent County men for multiple hunting violations

Jeremy V. Fennell

DOVER – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested three Kent County men in the Farmington area Thursday night as the result of an enforcement operation to deter nighttime hunting activities.

Jeremy V. Fennell, 19, of Felton, was charged with one count each of conspiracy 3rd degree; hunting deer during a closed season; hunting at nighttime; possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; unlicensed hunting; failure to complete an approved hunters safety course of instruction; failure to tag antlerless deer; failure to retain tag on antlerless deer; failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours; unlawfully removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking; trespassing to hunt; possession or transport of an unlawfully taken antlerless deer; hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells; hunting from a motor vehicle; and underage possession/consumption of alcohol. Fennell was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, where he was released on a $2,650 unsecured bond pending a future court appearance in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

Benjamin E. Clay

Benjamin E. Clay, 19, of Felton was charged with one count each of conspiracy 3rd degree; hunting deer during a closed season; hunting at nighttime; possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; shooting within 15 yards of a public roadway; hunting rabbits out of season; trespassing to hunt; hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells; hunting from a motor vehicle; and underage possession/consumption of alcohol. Clay was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover where he was released on a $2,400 unsecured bond pending a future court appearance in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

John K. Burch

John K. Burch, 18, of Harrington was charged with one count each of conspiracy 3rd degree; hunting deer during a closed season; hunting at nighttime; possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; hunting without a license; shooting within 15 yards of a public roadway; failure to complete an approved hunters safety course of instruction; failure to tag antlerless deer; discharging a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied structure; trespassing to hunt; possession or transport of an unlawfully-taken antlerless deer; hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells; hunting from a motor vehicle; and underage possession/consumption of alcohol. Burch was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, where he was released on a $3,100 unsecured bond pending a future court appearance in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

As a result of the arrests, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource police seized a Chevrolet pickup truck, a shotgun, and numerous other hunting-related instruments. One antlerless deer was also seized and donated to DNREC’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program.

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

Vol. 48, No. 318

-END-

 


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces more Delaware hunting seasons opening in October

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that additional Delaware hunting seasons are opening this month, including expanded Sunday deer hunting opportunities. Sunday deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through the end of the deer season on Feb. 3, 2019, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons. Please refer to DNREC’s Sunday Hunting webpage for Sunday deer hunting information, including hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas.

Hunting seasons opening in October:

  • Snow goose: Oct. 3 – Feb. 2, 2019, and Feb. 9, 2019
  • Muzzleloader deer: Oct. 5-14, including Sundays
  • Antlerless deer: Oct. 15, 19-22, and 26-29, including Sundays
  • Youth Waterfowl Hunt: Saturday, Oct. 20
  • Ducks, coots, and mergansers: first season split Oct. 26 – Nov. 6

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail, and clapper rail: through Nov. 21
  • Common snipe: through Nov. 24, and Dec. 15 – Jan. 26, 2019
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2019, including all Sundays (archery and crossbow can also be used Feb. 1 – 3 during the late muzzleloader deer season)
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 2, 2019 (closed during November shotgun deer season)
  • Coyote hunting season: through Feb. 28, 2019
  • Crows: through March 31, 2019 (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2019

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory gamebird (except crow) hunters will need a federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a HIP number or LEN number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 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 on or 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 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 free CAP, or to purchase an additional pass, 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, or 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 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and Conservation Access Passes is also available by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 270

-30-