Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 25-Oct. 1

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.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On Oct. 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended the Lewes Coast Day where they discussed boating safety, search and rescue, and hunting and fishing enforcement.  The Operation Game Theft Trailer was on display.
  • On Oct. 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended an open house at the Millville Fire Company where they discussed boating safety, search and rescue, and hunting and fishing enforcement.  Patrol vessel MP-Mike was on display.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incidents of note:

  • On Sept. 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Brent Eckhart, 42, of Jim Thorpe, Pa., for assault third degree: intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to another, following an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred on board a vessel located at the Rehoboth Bay Marina, near Dewey Beach.
  • On Sept. 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Anthony M. Cichocki, 44, of Millsboro, following an investigation into illegal hunting, near Millsboro. Cichocki was charged with three counts of possess purchase own or control of a firearm or ammunition by person prohibited: convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, one count of possess purchase own or control a deadly weapon by person prohibited: convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

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.

Are you AWARE?

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:

  • Muzzleloader deer season, Friday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 14
  • Archery and crossbow deer season, now through Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018
  • Squirrel season, now through Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018; closed during deer shotgun season Friday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 19
  • Snow goose season, will open Tuesday Oct. 10 through Saturday Feb. 10, 2018

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.

Follow 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.

Contact: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386


DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police searching for suspect in assault of an officer

Daniel A. Allen 
Daniel A. Allen

LAUREL – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are searching for a suspect in an assault on one of their officers in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Laurel last night.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers are attempting to locate Daniel A. Allen, 21, of Seaford. Allen was contacted by Fish & Wildlife officers when he was found trespassing after hours in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area. During an associated traffic stop, the suspect assaulted one of the officers, fled on foot, and jumped into Broad Creek. Allen was last seen by pursuing officers swimming towards the opposite shoreline.

Delaware State Police officers and Delaware State Police Aviation responded to assist with a ground search. Additional Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and local fire departments responded with vessels and conducted a search of Broad Creek, but the suspect was not located.

The ongoing investigation into the incident is being conducted by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. Anyone with information regarding this incident or the location of Daniel A. Allen are asked to contact Lieutenant Casey Zolper, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, at 302-381-5718.

Media Contacts: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


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

Reminder for the week: Public encouraged to report fishing, hunting, boating violations

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. 18-24 made 2,081 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 86 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 19 citations. Officers responded to 30 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 Sept. 19, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information on firearms safety, game animal identification and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field at a hunter safety education class, in Little Creek.  
  • On Sept. 19, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information on firearms safety, game animal identification and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field hunter safety education class at Owens Station, near Greenwood.
  • On Sept. 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed boating safety, search and rescue, and hunting and fishing enforcement at the Townsend Fair. Officers displayed the Operation Game Theft Trailer, which was very popular.
  • The week of Sept. 18-22, 2017, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers AFC Chelsea Allen, Cpl. Josh Hudson with K-9 River and K-9 Rosco attended their quarterly K-9 training hosted by Maryland Natural Resource Police, at Camp Baker in Western Maryland.  K-9s River & Rosco were both recertified in human tracking, article search, as well as scent detection for deer, waterfowl & fish.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (3), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), and possession of undersized blue crabs (1).

Public Safety: Possession of drug paraphernalia (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3), trespassing in a closed area of a state wildlife area (8), and damage to division 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?

With hunting season underway, Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police encourage residents and visitors to report violations of fishing, hunting and boating regulations, and share tips on information needed to investigate and make a case based on such reports.

“Since it is not possible for Natural Resources Police officers to be everywhere 24/7, we encourage compliant anglers, hunters and boaters as well as the general public to report possible fish, wildlife and boating regulation violations to us for investigation,” said Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “A timely call with good information helps our officers to better protect more of our resources, enforce Delaware’s regulations and educate the public.”

To ensure accurate, complete reports, callers are encouraged to take written notes when they witness what they believe to be a violation. The following information will assist agents in their investigation:

  • Time of day/night, date and location of the alleged violation
  • Descriptions of the alleged violators including any details on clothing and physical appearance; names if known
  • Descriptions of any vehicles or vessels involved; license plate numbers or boat registration numbers if known
  • Descriptions of any weapons involved
  • Descriptions of any fish, wildlife or other resources involved
  • Any other details about the incident witnessed, including possible human victims

“Just one word of caution to ethical hunters and others who witness illegal activity: for your own safety, do not try to confront suspected violators yourself,” Lt. McDerby added. “Leave that to trained natural resources police officers.”

To report any suspicious or illegal activity observed, contact Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at Operation Game Theft.

For more information, contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 302-739-9913 during weekday business hours or call the 24-hour line at 302-739-4580.

Follow 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.

media Contact: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386


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

Reminder for the week: Public urged to report violations of hunting and wildlife regulations

DOVER – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserveDE F&W Natural Resources Police logo Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 11-17 made 2,055 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 177 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 19 citations. Officers responded to 38 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 Sept. 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed Patrol vessel MP-Romeo and presented information on boating and Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police careers to approximately 400 first through fifth graders at Lulu Ross Elementary School in Milford.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

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

Wildlife Conservation: Trespass to hunt (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (2), failed to obtain a FIN number before fishing in Delaware waters (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), and possession of undersized blue crab (6).

Boating and Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), and failure to maintain a proper lookout (1).

Public Safety: Shellfish in closed polluted area- recreational clamming (1), and unreasonable speed (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (1)* and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (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 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.

Are you AWARE?

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police encourage the public to report violations of Delaware’s hunting and wildlife regulations through Operation Game Theft (OGT), a fund established in 1980 by the Delaware General Assembly to assist in the apprehension and conviction of game law violators. Funded with all fines collected for violation of game laws in Delaware and with donations from various sources, OGT provides rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons involved in game law violations. The identity of those providing information is kept confidential, and rewards are paid in cash.

Following is a list of rewards paid by Operation Game Theft for information on violations covered under the fund: 

Rewards of $100 – $1,000

  • Commercialization of wildlife (sale of wildlife or wildlife parts)
  • Killing an endangered/threatened species
  • Any violation in which a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer is assaulted
  • Fleeing to avoid prosecution for a wildlife violation

Rewards of $100 – $500

  • Illegally hunting black ducks, canvasbacks, turkeys or Canada geese
  • Poisoning wildlife
  • Destruction of state wildlife areas or equipment
  • Gross over-limits of wildlife
  • Illegally hunting waterfowl or deer on state game refuges
  • Willful obstruction of lawful hunting
  • Illegally hunting/trapping out of season or at night
  • Hunting during license revocation
  • Possession, tending or setting killer traps with a jaw spread in excess of 5 inches

Rewards up to $100

  • Fraudulent use of hunting license and/or fraudulently obtaining a hunting license
  • Illegally hunting with a rifle
  • Dumping trash on state wildlife areas

NOTE: An additional $100 reward will be paid by the Delaware Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally killing a wild turkey in Delaware.

Operation Game Theft’s primary focus is on catching and deterring those who illegally kill wildlife species, including ducks, geese, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and endangered or threatened species. “While poaching is broadly defined as the illegal hunting or killing of wildlife, it actually robs natural resources from the people of Delaware, especially from the majority of hunters who hunt legally and ethically,” said Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “With the help of Delaware citizens, we can better battle poaching to conserve our wildlife resources.”

Residents and landowners in Delaware are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal activity that they observe as soon as possible to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at Operation Game Theft. “To report a violation, please provide all the information you can. Details that might seem insignificant often help in solving cases,” Lt. McDerby said. “And the sooner you can get the information to us, the better the chances are that we can catch violators.”

Useful details include:

  • Time, date and location of the violation observed;
  • Species and numbers of wildlife involved;
  • How the animal was taken and its current location, if known;
  • A vehicle description and tag number; and
  • Age, height, weight, hair color, clothing and any other identifying features of the violator(s), if this information can be obtained safely without contacting, confronting or attempting to restrain the violator(s).

For more information, contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 302-739-9913 during weekday business hours or call the 24-hour line at 302-739-4580.

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.

Follow 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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Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 28-Sept 3

Reminder for the week: Review Delaware’s wildlife area maps and regulations.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (5), no fisheries identification number FIN (2), recreational gill net restriction (1), recreational gill net size limit (1), possession of undersized white perch (2), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized largemouth bass (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (5), over the limit of recreational crab pots (1), and tampering with a recreational crab pot of another (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (5), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), failure to observe slow no wake zone (3), assault by vessel (1), operating an unregistered vessel (1), no boating safety certificate (3), allow the use of a non-compliant vessel (1), and equipment violation- navigation lights (2).

Public Safety: Reckless endangering (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), driving without a valid license (1)*, failure to have insurance identification in possession (1)*, and shellfish in closed polluted area- recreational clamming (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (5)*, unlawful to build fire on a state wildlife area (1), and criminal impersonation (1).

http://de.gov/ogt.

Are you AWARE?

State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements and found at these sites between sunset and sunrise face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.

Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Violators found to cause damage also will be cited for destruction of state property. In addition, operating a motor vehicle that is not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on and off-road on state wildlife areas.

The following rules also apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:

  • Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering, and fires are prohibited.
  • Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
  • Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only during designated hunting seasons.
  • All of these sites have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.

Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.

www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

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