Reminder for the week: With turkey season opening April 11, take time to review regulations
DOVER (March 27, 2015) – 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 Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between March 16-22 made 1,141 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 52 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 37 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 Enforcement presence.
Citations issued by offense type 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)*, and damaging state property (1)*, New Castle County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of unlawfully taken white perch (1), Kent County; Unlicensed fishing (11), gillnet marking violation – failure to use required floats and/or permit numbers (3), and use of a gillnet that does not meet size requirements and obstructs navigation (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: No wearable PFD (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of drug paraphernalia (1), Sussex County.
Other: Littering on a public highway (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters that the 2015 Delaware spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 11, and runs through Saturday, May 9. Before heading afield, hunters are encouraged to review Delaware’s turkey regulations, which include:
· Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
· Hunters must carry their hunter education card certifying completion of Delaware’s mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class, or a Delaware-approved online turkey hunter education course.
· Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only.
· Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting on public lands and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.
· Bag limit is one bearded bird per year; birds without beards (hens) may not be taken.
· Hunting wild turkey over bait is prohibited.
· Hunting wild turkey with dogs is prohibited.
· Taking a wild turkey from its roosting place is prohibited.
· Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage are permitted.
· Artificial turkey decoys are permitted; decoys may not include all or any parts of a formerly live turkey.
· Non-electric calls are permitted.
· For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.
· Shotguns in 20, 16, 12 and 10-gauge, and smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns, which may be used with #4, #5, or #6 steel or lead shot. (See Delaware Hunting Guide for more information.)
· A longbow, compound bow or crossbow with a minimum broadhead width of 7/8 inches may be used.
· For safety reasons, wearing any visible garment having red, white or blue is prohibited.
· All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station. For a list of where to register your turkey harvest, click 2015 Delaware Turkey Hunting Check Stations.
Prior to the opening of Delaware’s 2015 spring turkey season, youth ages 10 to 15 and non-ambulatory disabled hunters will have a special one-day hunt opportunity on Saturday, April 4. Youth and disabled hunters will be able to hunt turkeys on private property and state wildlife areas, with hunting this year also allowed on state forest lands. As with the regular turkey hunting season, hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. For more information, click Annual wild turkey hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters set for April 4.
Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2014-2015 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.
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 and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.