DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: April 1-7

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Reminder for the week: Turkey hunting season opening; baiting prohibited

DOVER (April 12, 2019) – 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 April 1-7 made 1,233 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 19 citations. Officers responded to 49 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 April 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions during a career fair at Delaware Technical Community College Stanton Campus.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

·       On April 5, Fish& Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a capsized vessel and two uninjured individuals that had been rescued from the water and transported to the shoreline by a citizen on the Indian River near Oak Orchard. The cause of the capsizing is still under investigation. 

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (3)*, no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (3), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of over- the-limit trout (1), and fishing a closed trout stream (2).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (3) and possession of drug paraphernalia (2).

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Other: Damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, target shooting on a wildlife area (1), littering on a state wildlife area (1), and improper lane change (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 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?

With the opening of Delaware’s turkey hunting season on Saturday, April 13, Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind turkey hunters that it is unlawful to use bait as an attractant while in pursuit of wild turkeys. Some common bait that is illegally used includes wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, and various birdseed blends. Hunters are responsible for ensuring that no bait is present in an area where they are hunting turkeys. 

Delaware offers hunting opportunities for wild turkeys on several state wildlife areas and state forests by permit only. Turkey hunters are drawn via a pre-season lottery and issued a permit that enables them to hunt a specified public land area during a specified one-week segment. Hunters selected for a public land permit must carry their permit, as well as their turkey education card and hunting license, at all times while hunting. 

For hunters who harvest a spring gobbler, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requires that the turkey be checked at an authorized check station by 2:30 p.m. on the same day the turkey was harvested. Information obtained through the check stations is used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to help manage Delaware’s wild turkey population.

2019 turkey check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station where they plan to check a bird to confirm hours of operation. Hunters who want to have their bird scored and entered into the National Wild Turkey Federation records also are reminded to have their bird’s live weight recorded on a certified scale. If the check station does not have a certified scale, hunters will be directed to another station to have the turkey re-weighed.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and from license agents throughout the state.

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