Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters, check your gear for prohibited lead shot
DOVER (Oct. 28, 2016) – 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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Oct.17-23 made 1,587 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 98 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks.
Officers responded to 45 complaints received from the public regarding possible violations of laws and regulations. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of note:
Oct. 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested two downstate men on hunting-related charges. A Frankford man was charged with failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours and illegal discharge of solid waste by dumping deer carcasses on private property near Frankford. An Ocean View man was charged with failure to attach tag to antlerless deer. Both were released from Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown on $100 unsecured bond each, pending a court appearance at a later date.
Oct. 22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited a Milford man on charges of hunting waterfowl over bait and two counts of unlawful possession of game birds near Milford. Three Canada geese and four wood ducks were seized as evidence. He was fined $495, including court costs.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Unlicensed hunting (1), trespassing to hunt (1), failure to register antlered deer within 24 hours (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), hunting waterfowl over bait (1), unlawful possession of game birds (2), littering on a state wildlife area (1)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (1), operating an unregistered vehicle on a state wildlife area (1)*, damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (6), possession of undersized blue crabs (1), possession of undersized flounder (1), possession of undersized tautog (6), and possession of undersized sea bass (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), and no boat ramp certificate (1).
Public Safety: Illegally discharging solid waste on private property (1), and parking in a no-parking zone (1).
*Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, plus three citations for unlicensed fishing.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community
On Oct. 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers conducted a K-9 demonstration at Roxana Fire Hall for a Halloween kids day event attended by about 200 children.
Are you AWARE?
With fall’s first waterfowl hunting season opening today, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind waterfowl hunters to check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats and any other gear to make sure they are not carrying any lead shot.
“Small game hunters sometimes forget to remove boxes of lead shot from their hunting bags or accidentally leave extra lead shells in their hunting coat pockets when they go waterfowl hunting,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Using lead shot for waterfowl hunting is prohibited to prevent habitat contamination and ingestion poisoning of wildlife, and hunters can be fined for possession of lead shot while waterfowl hunting, whether the shot is chambered or simply carried.”
In order to hunt, Delaware residents age 16 through 64 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase a hunting license. A junior hunting license is required for youths age 13 through 15. Hunters age 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl also are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp. Delaware resident hunters 65 and older are not required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl stamp. Delaware hunting licenses and waterfowl stamps are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp, commonly called “the duck stamp,” is also required to hunt waterfowl. Federal duck stamps may be purchased at U.S Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps; no exemptions are made for persons 65 years or older for purchasing federal stamps. For more information on federal stamps, call 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).
Hunters who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). Hunters who plan to pursue migratory game birds such as ducks, geese and doves, also must obtain a HIP number as required under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program. LEN and HIP numbers can be obtained through the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration System (HTR). This free, easy-to-use system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use the HTR system, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. If you prefer to talk to a live customer service representative, please call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Delaware, click on 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Wildlife area maps with area-specific regulations are available online at Delaware Hunting Maps.
Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the wildlife area maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available 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, 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.