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Bear, Delaware Man faces more than 70 charges for weapons, deer hunting violations



James R. Smith III was arrested for more than 70 weapons and deer hunting violations. (Photo: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police)

TOWNSEND (Feb. 12, 2016) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concluded an investigation into illegal deer hunting Tuesday with the arrest of a New Castle County man for illegal weapons possession charges along with numerous charges related to the illegal take of at least 14 deer during Delaware’s 2015/16 deer season.

James R. Smith III, 38, of Bear, was charged Feb. 9 with two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited; three counts of failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours; three counts of failure to tag antlered deer; three counts of butchering antlered deer prior to registration; six counts of

possession of or transporting unlawfully taken antlered deer; 10 counts of failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours; 10 counts of failure to tag antlerless deer; 10 counts of butchering antlerless deer prior to registration and 24 counts of possession of or transporting unlawfully taken antlerless deer. Two shotguns, ammunition, a compound bow, a crossbow, several deer antlers and a large quantity of packaged deer meat were seized as evidence.

Smith was released on $14,900 unsecured bond, pending a court appearance at a later date.

 “Under Delaware law, persons whose criminal and legal history includes prior felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions associated with violent crimes, drug convictions or mental conditions as defined under the law or court-issued protection from abuse orders (PFAs) are prohibited from possession of ammunition, firearms and other deadly weapons,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Any deer taken by a person under this prohibition is considered an illegal take, and subject to arrest.”


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