DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 25 – Dec. 1

Reminder for the week: Rules on using bait while hunting 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. 25 – Dec. 1 made 1,172 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 31 citations. Officers responded to 47 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. 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended a Toys for Tots donation event with DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, State Parks Natural Resources Police, and Environmental Crimes Natural Resources Police at the Brandywine Zoo as reported in a DNREC press release.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

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

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting migratory waterfowl over illegal bait (1), possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (3), possess/transport unlawfully taken game – antlerless deer (6), trespass to hunt (1), and hunting on a refuge (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

Public Safety: Possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm, deadly weapon, or ammunition by a person prohibited (5), possession of marijuana – civil (1)*, possession of marijuana – aggravating factor other than for personal use (1), possession of a controlled substance – tier 5 methamphetamines (1), manufacture, deliver, or possession of LSD (1), possession of human growth hormones without prescription (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4)* and wildlife area map violation – parked in an area designated no stopping, standing, or parking (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?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that it is illegal to use bait to hunt game, except for hunting deer on privately-owned lands. Bait is defined in Delaware law as any nontoxic food material, compound, or mixture of ingredients which wildlife is able to consume.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide are available at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or by calling the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.

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, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913


Black bear sighted in northern Delaware; public asked to contact DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police if seen

WILMINGTON – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has received reports of a black bear sighting from residents and local police agencies in the north Wilmington area and northern New Castle County. Black bear populations within neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have expanded over the past several decades. As a result, it is not unusual for a bear find its way into Delaware. Attempts will be made to live-capture the bear if located and transport it to more suitable habitat out of state within the bear’s normal range.

For residents in the area where the bear has been sighted, the Division of Fish & Wildlife advises taking the following precautions:

  • If you see the bear:
    • Do not approach, attempt to touch, feed, or shoot at the bear. Back away slowly – give it space. Go inside and wait for the bear to leave. Once inside, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 800-523-3336 to report the sighting.
    • Keep in mind, most bears fear people and will retreat when they see you.
  • Eliminate potential food sources that could attract the bear by cleaning or removing anything outdoors that may smell like food. This includes:
    • Locking garbage in a secure trash container, or keeping it inside until the day of pick-up.
    • Rinsing trash containers with ammonia to eliminate food odors.
    • Temporarily discontinuing the use of backyard compost piles.
    • Storing cooking grills inside or keeping them clean of food residue.
    • Temporarily removing birdfeeders ─ there are many wild food sources for birds during this time of year.
  • If you have animals, particularly dogs or cats:
    • Keep their food indoors. If animals are fed outdoors, only feed the animal what it will eat in one sitting to ensure that there is no food remaining.
    • Corral livestock close to buildings and use outdoor lighting at night.
    • If you have electric fencing, make sure it’s turned on to protect chicken coops, livestock nursery pens, etc.
    • Promptly dispose of dead farm animals.

The public is encouraged to report sightings of the bear by calling the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at 800-523-3336 to help track its movements and to help locate the bear to enable a proper response. For general information on bears and wildlife, please call the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section 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 cuts ribbon for renovated Millsboro Pond boating and fishing access area, managed by Division of Fish & Wildlife

(Cutting the ribbon at DNREC’s newly-renovated boat ramp in Millsboro are, left to right: State Representative Ruth Briggs King; DNREC Division of F&W Project Manager Jeremy Ashe; State Representative Richard Collins; State Senator Gerald Hocker; Millsboro Mayor Michelle Truitt; DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin; U.S. Senator Tom Carper; DNREC Division of F&W Director David Saveikis; State Senator David Wilson. DNREC photo)

DOVER – Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin was joined today by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, State Senator Gerald Hocker, State Senator David Wilson, State Representative Ruth Briggs King, State Representative Richard Collins, Millsboro Mayor Michelle Truitt, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis and staff, to cut the ribbon officially opening the newly-renovated Millsboro Pond Boating and Fishing Access Area.

Millsboro Pond is one of the most heavily-fished DNREC-maintained ponds in Delaware, hosting numerous bass tournaments and attracting largemouth bass enthusiasts regionally as well as locally. DNREC has partnered with the Town of Millsboro since the 1980s to provide public access to the town-owned pond.

Due to the popularity of Millsboro Pond, funding was secured to update public access, and construction began in July. The four-month project involved total reconstruction of the boat ramp, addition of a courtesy dock and lighting, and expansion and repaving of the parking lot to provide additional parking.

Funding for the $625,000 project was provided by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife from Delaware fishing license revenues and federal Sport Fish Restoration grant funds, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Millsboro Pond Boating and Fishing Access Area is managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife and supports DNREC’s mission to enhance outdoor recreation access and support local communities.

For more information on the Little Creek Boating and Fishing Access Area, please contact 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


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.