DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announces butcher shops processing Sportsmen Against Hunger venison donations for 2016/17 deer season

DOVER – To help hunters whose largesse supports DNREC’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program continue to provide sustenance for needy Delawareans, the Division of Fish & Wildlife today announced the list of private butcher shops accepting donated deer during the state’s 2016/17 deer hunting season. All donated venison will be distributed to charitable groups participating in the program.

Last year, 16,800 pounds of venison from 586 deer donated by hunters was divided among 32 food pantries and shelters statewide, providing more than 67,000 meals for hungry Delawareans. Since it began in 1992, the Sportsmen Against Hunger program has provided more than 1.8 million meals for Delawareans in need.

Successful hunters can take their deer directly to participating private butcher shops, or they may drop off their deer at any of the DNREC-maintained walk-in coolers, also listed below.

Participating Butcher Shops

Sussex County
Dave’s Cut ‘Em Up
6854 Delmar Road
Delmar, DE 19940
302-381-7257

Ole McDonald’s
Farm Fresh Meats & Produce
8977 DuPont Boulevard
Lincoln, DE 19960
302-265-2321

Kent County
Miller’s Butcher Shop
577 Morgans Choice Road
Wyoming, DE 19934
302-697-8278

D&J Custom Cutting
89 Myers Drive
Hartly, DE 19953
302-492-0323

New Castle County
Townsend Deer Butchering
1300 Dexter Corner Road
Townsend, DE 19734
302-378-3268

Marks Butcher Shop
7296 Grantham Lane (River Road Industrial Park)
New Castle, DE 19720
302-229-0897

DNREC-maintained coolers for donated deer

Sussex County
Assawoman Wildlife Area, near Frankford
Gumboro Community Center, Gumboro
Redden State Forest Headquarters, near Georgetown
Trap Pond State Park, near Laurel

Kent County
Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, near Smyrna
Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area, near Viola
Mosquito Control Office, Milford

New Castle County
Augustine Wildlife Area, Port Penn

Hunters donating deer at a DNREC-maintained cooler are to please call the phone number posted on the cooler so that the deer can be transported for processing in a timely manner. Hunters are reminded that any deer dropped off at a cooler also must be field-dressed and registered by the hunter donating it, with the registration number also written on the field tag attached to the animal. Coolers are checked frequently, with donated deer taken to the Sussex Correctional Institution’s deer butchering program or to participating private butcher shops for processing.

All deer harvested in Delaware must be registered through the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration (HTR) system. Deer hunters are encouraged to access the system online using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. Those who prefer to talk to a live customer service representative can call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2016-2017 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, DE 19901, and from license agents statewide.

For more information on the Sportsmen Against Hunger Program, please visit Sportsmen Against Hunger, or contact Bill Jones, Kent County Regional Wildlife Manager, 302-284-4795. For deer information, please contact Deer and Furbearer Biologist Emily Boyd, at 302-735-3600.

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

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302.739.9902

Vol. 46, No. 354

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After downstate accident, Delaware hunters reminded to observe safe gun handling, hunting practices

DOVER – Following a recent incident in which a hunter accidentally shot himself in the foot with a muzzleloader before starting to deer hunt, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police and the Delaware Hunter Education Program remind hunters to observe safe gun handling and hunting practices before, during and after they have gone afield in pursuit of game animals. DE F&W Natural Resources Police logo

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers on Oct. 7 responded to Milford Memorial Hospital, where a 32-year-old downstate man was treated following a hunting accident near Harrington. The man told investigating officers that while preparing to go deer hunting, he failed to check whether his muzzleloader contained a powder charge and had a bullet in it before putting a live percussion cap in the rifle. Bypassing these precautionary measures, he placed the muzzleloader against his right foot, squeezed the trigger, and discharged a .50-caliber round into his foot.

“He told officers he thought the muzzleloader was unloaded, and wanted to fire a cap to be sure the firing nipple was clear in the ignition passage,” said Lt. Carl Winckoski, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. He also noted the injured hunter was in stable condition following emergency hospital treatment.

“The very first thing we teach in every Delaware Hunter Education Course are the four critical rules of gun safety,” said Delaware Hunter Education Coordinator Mark Ostroski. “Never, never for any reason point your firearm – loaded or unloaded – at yourself or another person. That’s the key message of rule number one.”

Ostroski stressed all four rules of gun safety, reiterating the first:

  • ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Never point at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  • “Treat every firearm as if it were loaded, even when you are sure it is empty.
  • “Be absolutely certain of your target and what lies beyond and in front of your target.
  • “Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.”

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police also advise hunters to become familiar with state, county and local regulations before choosing their hunting spots, and share a reminder to hunters to always be observant of their surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions. Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far the ammunition they are using can travel, since it is illegal in Delaware to discharge a firearm so that a shotgun pellet, slug or bullet lands upon any occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding.

In addition, only the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission from the owner or occupant can legally discharge a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding. (NOTE: The statewide safety zone for archery deer hunting, including crossbows, is 50 yards.) Within this safety zone, it is illegal for anyone other than the owner or occupant to hunt, trap, pursue, disturb or otherwise chase any wild animal or bird without advance permission of the owner or occupant.

Discharging a firearm while on or within 15 yards of a public road or right-of-way is also illegal in Delaware, unless it is an area controlled by DNREC, the Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of the Interior and designated as an area open to hunting or trapping. Shooting at a wild fowl or animals in a public roadway or firing across a public roadway is also prohibited.

Upstate hunters should also note that New Castle County has its own ordinances, including a 200-yard firearm safety zone from homes, structures and camps north of I-295 and I-95 in which firearms may not be discharged, and a 100-yard firearm safety zone south of I-295 and I-95. (NOTE: A 50-yard safety zone for archery deer hunting, including crossbows, is in effect for all of New Castle County.) For more information, please check New Castle County laws and code.

For information on the Delaware Hunter Education Program, click Hunter Education. More information on muzzleloader hunting safety can be found at this website.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2016-2017 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. For information about Sunday deer hunting in Delaware, which is allowed for the first time on five Sundays during the 2016/17 hunting season due to a recent change in state law, please visit Sunday deer hunting.

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.

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.

Media contact: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, Lt. Carl Winckoski, 302-542-2115 or Sgt. John McDerby, 302-354-1386; or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 343

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Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 26-Oct. 2

Reminder for the week: Boaters advised to use caution in bad weather, carry safety items

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. 26-Oct. 2 made 1,226 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 24 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 39 complaints and issued 21 citations, two of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.DE F&W Natural Resources Police logo

Incidents of note:
• On Oct. 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited two Millsboro men in connection with a complaint about trespassing on a property adjoining the Ingrams Pond public boat ramp parking lot near Millsboro. Thomas B. Phillips, 53, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and third degree criminal trespass; Dylon H. Phillips, 45, was charged with third degree criminal trespass. Both were released pending a mandatory appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown.

• On Sept. 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Ronald K. Poulin, 49, of Townsend, for criminal impersonation after repeatedly giving officers false names during a routine investigation at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area near Smyrna. Poulin was taken into custody on a $10,000 secured bond out of New Castle County Family Court and transported to Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover. He was later released after posting bail.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Failure to tag antlerless deer (1), trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), and operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1)*.

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (2), possession of undersized blue crabs (5), possession of undersized striped bass (2), and possession of undersized white perch (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a vessel (1), and operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (1).

Public Safety: Criminal impersonation (1), third degree criminal trespass (2), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1)*.

*Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

Are you AWARE?
With hurricane season bringing the potential for high tides and winds to Delaware’s waterways, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police offer some fall boating safety tips.

“Fall typically brings some beautiful days for boating, but boaters should always check the forecast before heading out on the waterways, as the weather can change quickly even on what starts out as a nice day,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police boating safety coordinator. “On an obviously stormy day, recreational boaters must always consider the risks before going out. Not only are you putting yourself and your passengers at risk, but you unnecessarily put the lives of first responders at risk if you need assistance when you shouldn’t have been on the water in the first place.”

Also, in the event of predicted severe weather, recreational boaters are advised to secure their vessels well in advance of the rain and wind. “Do not wait until the middle of a storm to pull your vessel from the water,” Sgt. McDerby said. “Again, a boat that’s broken away from its moorings puts you as well as any rescuers at risk.”

Sgt. McDerby also recommended that boaters carry safety items, including:
• Lifejackets, worn by everyone on board, especially non-swimmers in all seasons; Delaware law requires that all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel wear a lifejacket while underway;
• Blankets to stay warm on board while awaiting rescue;
• Multiple means of communication: a fully-charged cell phone and a marine radio; and
• Items to attract the attention of rescuers: a whistle, a personal position locator beacon (PLB), a personal emergency locator light and/or flares, all kept in waterproof containers, ideally in immersion suit pockets and appropriately secured with a lanyard.

Boat operators also should spend some time on vessel preparations and maintenance to help prevent breakdowns on the water, including checking fuel levels before heading out. Here are some additional tips from Delaware’s Office of Boating Safety and Education:
• Check your vessel’s capacity plate for maximum weight to avoid overloading, which can lead to possible capsizing; hunting parties are reminded to include the weight of their gear.
• Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket and sealed in a plastic bag.
• Pack a set of dry clothing in a sealed plastic bag.
• If you fall overboard or capsize, stay with your boat for a better chance of being found sooner.
• Keep clothing on to help retain heat.
• File a “float plan” with a responsible friend or family member. Include a description of your boat, when you plan to head out, who is going with you, where you plan to go and when you plan to return.

“Filing a float plan is always a good idea, because unforeseen circumstances can hit boaters in any season at any time, including a storm, engine problems, swamping and injuries or other health issues,” Sgt. McDerby said. “With your plans in a friend’s or family member’s hands, they can call for help if you’re overdue and tell searchers where to begin looking for you, saving precious time.”

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, please visit Delaware_Boating_Safety on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website. For an easy-to-use float plan, visit USCG Float Plan.

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.

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.

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

Vol. 46, No. 341

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 19-25

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoReminder for the week: Hunters should observe surroundings, take safety precautions

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. 19-25 made 2,568 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 117 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 44 complaints and issued 16 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (6), fileting shark prior to landing (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (3), possession of undersized striped bass (3), and possession of undersized summer flounder (1).

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
• On Sept. 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed a marine patrol boat and shared information about boating safety and careers in Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at the Newark Lowe’s Safety Day, which was attended by more than 200 children and their families.

• On Sept. 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at the grand opening of the Smyrna Tractor Supply store, speaking with about 75 people about hunting, fishing and boating opportunities in Delaware.

• On Sept. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers addressed a hunter education class at Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center near Greenwood about hunting in Delaware and the role of a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer.

Are you AWARE?
With fall hunting seasons underway, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police advise hunters to become familiar with state, county and local regulations before choosing their hunting spots, and share a reminder to always be observant of a hunter’s surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions.

“Hunters should always consider their surroundings and how far the ammunition they are using can travel,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, noting that it is illegal in Delaware to discharge a firearm so that a shotgun pellet, slug or bullet lands upon any occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding.

In addition, only the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission from the owner or occupant can legally discharge a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house or residence, or any related barn, stable or other outbuilding. The statewide safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is 50 yards. Within this safety zone, it is illegal for anyone other than the owner or occupant to hunt, trap, pursue, disturb or otherwise chase any wild animal or bird without advance permission of the owner or occupant.

Discharging a firearm while on or within 15 yards of a public road or right-of-way is also illegal in Delaware, unless it is an area controlled by DNREC, the Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of the Interior and designated as an area open to hunting or trapping. Shooting at a wild bird or wild animal in a public roadway or firing across a public roadway is also prohibited.

Upstate hunters should also note that New Castle County has its own ordinances, including a 200-yard firearm safety zone from homes, structures and camps north of I-295 and I-95 in which firearms may not be discharged, and a 100-yard firearm safety zone south of I-295 and I-95. A 50-yard safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is in effect for all of New Castle County. For more information, please check New Castle County laws and code.

During all firearms deer seasons, all hunters on both private and public lands, except those hunting migratory waterfowl, are required to wear hunter orange for safety reasons in the form of no less than 400 square inches of hunter orange material on the head, chest and back. Those hunting from a ground blind and completely concealed are required to place 400 square inches of hunter orange material within 10 feet outside the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground. Small game hunters and archery deer hunters are included in those required to wear hunter orange.

In addition, small game hunters should note a new requirement for the 2016/17 seasons: when hunting small game in season on state wildlife areas, they are required to wear 250 square inches of hunter orange material for safety reasons. This new requirement applies only on state wildlife areas; private lands are not included.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, consult the 2016-2017 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. For more information about Sunday deer hunting in Delaware, which is allowed for the first time on five Sundays during the 2016/17 hunting season due to a recent change in state law, please visit Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Sunday deer hunting webpage.

For information on hunting safety classes, please visit the Hunter Education website.

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.

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.

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

Vol. 46, No. 359

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DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife seeking great shots of Delaware hunters for 2016/17 photo contest

Entries to be accepted now through Jan. 31

DOVER – With many of Delaware’s hunting seasons already open or opening soon, plan on pointing your camera afield in the months ahead and perhaps catching a hunter in a duck blind or deer stand or otherwise pursuing their favorite game animal or bird. DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife invites you to enter your hunting photographs in the 2016/17 Delaware Hunting Photo Contest. The winning photo will be featured on the cover or inside of the 2017/18 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide to be published next year.

A judging panel comprised of DNREC staff will be looking for photos that best portray this year’s contest theme, “Hunting with Family or Friends.” Judges also will look at technical criteria including resolution, clarity and composition.

“The hunting photo contest is a great chance to showcase and share adventures with other hunters,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “The theme helps reinforce and capture the fun of a shared outdoor hunting experience.”

The contest is open to all Delaware residents, with a maximum of three entries per person. To be eligible, photographs must have been taken in Delaware. Portrait orientation is preferred; landscape photos, if chosen among contest winners, may be cropped for presentation.

Entries may be mailed to the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Photo Contest, Attention: Jennifer Childears, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. All entries must be postmarked or delivered by Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, and must include a completed and signed entry form. A photo release form is also required for photos that include images of children younger than 18. Information and forms are available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website or may be requested by calling Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910, or email jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

Photographs must be submitted as 8×10-inch photo quality prints, with no frames or mats and no markings or signatures on the front or back. Winning entries must be available in a digital version with resolution of 300 dpi or greater (when enlarged to 8×10 inches).

Normal processing of RAW image files, minimal cropping and minor adjustments to color and contrast are acceptable. HDR and focus stacking are permitted as long as manipulation is disclosed upon entry. Nothing should be added to the image or, aside from dust spots, taken away. The entrant must hold all rights to the photograph and must not infringe on the rights of any other person. Images that involve unlawful harm to wildlife or damage to the environment should not be submitted and will not be accepted. Entries will not be returned. For more information, please visit the Fish & Wildlife photo contest page on the DNREC website.

The Division’s 2016 Fishing Photo Contest is still accepting entries through Monday, Oct. 31, with similar guidelines. This year’s fishing photo contest theme is “Fishing with Family or Friends.”

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

Vol. 46, No. 352

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