Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2016 calendar on sale while supplies last

DOVER – Remaining copies of the 2016 Division of Fish & Wildlife calendar have been marked down to $3 while supplies last – $4 by mail, which includes shipping and handling.

Calendars can be purchased at DNREC’s licensing desk at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901; Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center, 12613 Hunters Cove Road, Greenwood, DE 19950; and Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center and Public Shooting Range, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720.

Calendars may be ordered by mail for $4 by calling the Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9910, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by sending a check made out to “Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife” to Jennifer Childears, Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Each month of the calendar features seasonal photos depicting the natural beauty of Delaware’s wildlife areas, fishing ponds and boat ramps, taken by DNREC staff members Jesse Baird, Chris Bennett, Anthony Gonzon, Larry Horan, Bill McAvoy, Scott Newlin, Craig Rhoads and Joanna Wilson. The calendar also includes monthly seasonal reminders related to outdoor activities and a Division of Fish & Wildlife contact directory.

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

Vol. 46, No. 12

Jan. 31 deadline approaching to submit great shots of Delaware hunters for Division of Fish & Wildlife photo contest

DOVER – The Jan. 31 deadline is fast approaching to enter your best image in the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2015/16 Delaware Hunting Photo Contest. The winning photo will be featured on the cover or inside of the 2016/2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide to be published later this year.

A judging panel comprised of DNREC staff will be looking for photos that best portray the contest theme, “Hunters in Action.” Judges also will look at technical criteria including resolution, clarity and composition.

“After the success of last year’s contest, we are hoping that once again photographers from all over the state will share some of their best images with us, so we can share them with the hunting public,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “This year we look forward to photos that capture the contest theme of ‘Hunters in Action’ as they enjoy our great outdoors.”

The contest is open to Delaware residents of all ages, 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: Lynne Pusey, 6180 Hay Point Landing Rd., Smyrna, DE 19977. All entries must be postmarked or delivered by Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, 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 Lynne Pusey at 302-735-3600, or email lynne.pusey@delaware.gov.

Photos must be submitted as 8 x 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 x 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.

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

Vol. 46, No. 13

Wildlife advisory council to consider possible fee increases and related wildlife program services at Jan. 26 meeting in Dover

DOVER – The Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish will consider possible hunting and trapping fee increases presented by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26 at DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Any fee increases by the Division of Fish & Wildlife require approval of the Delaware General Assembly before becoming effective.

The agenda for the advisory council meeting is:

  • Presentation of wildlife program services and funding by Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis.
  • Summary of public workshops held Jan. 12-14 on wildlife program services and funding by Director Saveikis.
  • Council action on possible wildlife program fees.

Council consideration of 2016/17 waterfowl season dates, customarily proposed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife at the January meeting, has been moved to the council’s February agenda.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife’s recent series of public workshops on wildlife management and wildlife area user services included discussion on increasing hunting and trapping license fees, as well as establishing a Conservation Access Pass for anyone using state wildlife areas for wildlife-associated recreation. Options discussed include raising the annual Delaware resident hunting license fee from $25 to $39.50 and the annual waterfowl stamp from $9 to $15. An annual Conservation Access Pass for admission to wildlife areas statewide costing $20 for Delaware residents and $30 for non-residents is also being considered.

Increased fee revenues would help ensure comprehensive wildlife program operations and services, which are important for statewide management of wildlife species and for managing wildlife habitat and providing hunter and other wildlife-associated public access on state wildlife areas. Increased revenues from a fee increase also provide an opportunity for value-added wildlife program public services, including consideration of extended statewide hunting seasons for certain species and increased hunting, trapping and wildlife-viewing access and enhanced habitat management on public wildlife areas.

Delaware’s last hunting license fee increase occurred in 2007. Each dollar of state hunting license revenue brings in an additional $3 of federal funds to the state to support a variety of wildlife management and hunter access services.

Additional information on wildlife program services and the proposed fee increases to fund wildlife conservation and wildlife area management, public access and hunting opportunities is available from a fact sheet found on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website. For more information, please contact the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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

Vol. 46, No. 11

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Jan. 4-10

Weekly reminder: After-hours entry, off-roading, target shooting in wildlife areas unlawful

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoDOVER – 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, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Jan. 4-10 made 851 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 74 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 23 complaints and issued 12 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there remains an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.

An item of note:

  • On Jan. 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Cody R. Stellar, 18, of Smyrna, for possession of marijuana near Townsend, with fines totaling $131, including court costs.

Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:

Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*, hunting with an unplugged shotgun (1), no federal duck stamp (1), federal regulation/hunting brant out of season (1), possession of toxic lead shot while waterfowl hunting (1), and possession of over-the-limit waterfowl (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (2).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), and no boating safety certificate (1).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (1), and operating a motor vehicle without insurance (1).

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

Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind visitors to state wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities that these areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing or hunting in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements who are found in state wildlife areas 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 have caused 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.

“With recent heavy rains and changing temperatures, the ground is especially vulnerable to damage from vehicles operating off-road,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Doing ‘donuts’ or four-wheeling in wildlife areas is irresponsible and illegal behavior that damages essential wildlife habitat, as well as generating unnecessary work and expense to repair the damage.”

Other noteworthy general wildlife area rules and regulations to remember include:

  • Camping, swimming, fires, target shooting (including paintball) and dumping or littering are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
  • 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.
  • Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas from March 1 to Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
  • All state wildlife areas are designated carry-in, carry-out for trash.

For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each wildlife area, wildlife area visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps. These maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.

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.

Media Contacts: 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. 9

Statewide firearm deer season reopens with shotgun season running Jan. 16-23, followed by muzzleloader season Jan. 25-30

DOVER – Delaware’s 2015/16 firearm deer hunting season reopens Saturday, Jan. 16, with shotgun deer season running through Saturday, Jan. 23, followed by the resumption of muzzleloader season from Monday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 30. The state’s continuing archery and crossbow seasons also conclude Saturday, Jan. 30.

In order to hunt, Delaware residents age 16 through 64 are required to purchase a Delaware hunting license; a Delaware junior license is required for ages 13 through 15. Some license requirements differ for non-resident hunters. Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent, or to purchase a license online, click Delaware Licenses. For more information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.

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 $10. Resident hunters may purchase a combination resident hunter’s choice/quality buck tag for $10, with the resident hunter’s choice tag usable on both antlered and antlerless deer and the resident quality buck tag only usable on an antlered deer with a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches. Non-residents may purchase separately one antlered deer tag valid for any deer and/or one quality buck tag for deer with a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches for $25 each. Hunters are permitted to harvest a maximum of two antlered bucks for all seasons combined. All other deer taken must be antlerless.

Hunters are reminded that they must register their deer within 24 hours of harvest. A registration number is required before taking any deer to a butcher or taxidermist. Likewise, hunters who butcher their own deer must register the deer within 24 hours of harvest or before processing.

Hunters may register deer by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration (HTR) system online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt using their smartphone, tablet or computer. Those who prefer to register their deer through a live customer service representative have the option to call 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868). However, using the website instead of the live customer service phone number is a cost-savings measure that helps the Division of Fish & Wildlife direct more funding to on-the-ground habitat conservation and management, and to public hunting areas.

Successful hunters who harvest a deer and already have enough venison for themselves are encouraged to donate their deer to the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable groups.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife maintains walk-in coolers where hunters may donate field-dressed, tagged deer at the following locations:

  • Sussex County
    Assawoman Wildlife Area, Frankford
    Gumboro Community Center, Millsboro
    Redden State Forest Headquarters, Georgetown
    Trap Pond State Park, Laurel
  • Kent County
    Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, Smyrna
    Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area, Viola
    Mosquito Control Office, Milford
  • New Castle County
    Augustine Wildlife Area, Port Penn

These coolers are checked periodically, and donated deer are taken to the Sussex Correctional Institution’s deer butchering program, or to participating private butcher shops, where they are processed. If a hunter donates a deer, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requests that the hunter please call the phone number posted on the cooler, so that the deer is 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 the field tag attached to the animal.

Successful hunters may also donate their deer at any of the Sportsmen Against Hunger participating private butcher shops found throughout the state:

  • Sussex County
    Dave’s Cut ‘Em Up
    6854 Delmar Road
    Delmar, DE 19940

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

  • Kent County
    Miller’s Butcher Shop
    577 Morgans Choice Road
    Wyoming, DE 19934

    D&J Custom Cutting
    89 Myers Drive
    Hartly, DE 19953

  • New Castle County
    Townsend Deer Butchering
    1300 Dexter Corner Road
    Townsend, DE 19734

    Cedar Hill Custom Deer Cutting
    738 Paddock Road
    Smyrna, DE 19977

    Marks Butcher Shop
    7296 Grantham Lane
    (River Road Ind. Park)
    New Castle, DE 19720

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2015-2016 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. State wildlife area hunting maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Hunting Maps. For more information, call the recreational license desk at 302-739-9918 or the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

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

Vol. 46, No. 8