Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters, check your gear for prohibited lead shot
DOVER (October 27, 2017) – 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. 16-22 made 4,078 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 165 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 33 citations. Officers responded to 49 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased 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 Oct. 12, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Marine Police vessel Romeo and discussed hunting, fishing and boating and Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police careers during a Cub Scout event at the Akridge Scout Reservation near Dover.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incident of note:
- On Oct. 22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers investigated an accident involving an overturned vehicle on the C&D Canal Conservation Area near Bear. Andrew J. Deascanis, 25, of New Castle, was cited with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, spotlighting deer, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area, destruction of state property, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area. He was released with an order to appear in the New Castle County Justice of the Peace Court 11 at a later date.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting license not in possession (1), trespass to hunt (1), spotlighting deer (1)*, and no hunter orange (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized summer flounder (1), possession of undersized black seabass (7), possession of undersized tautog (3), over the limit black seabass (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), and unlawful taking of shellfish-oysters (3).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no navigation lights/required safety equipment (1), and no tidal/non-tidal boat ramp certificate (1).
Public Safety: Driving under the influence of alcohol (1)*, leaving the scene of an accident (1)*, and possession of marijuana-civil (2)*.
Other: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, destruction of state property (1)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2)*.
*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. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
Are you AWARE?
With fall’s waterfowl hunting season opening, 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 Lt. 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.”
Non-toxic shot, as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is required for all waterfowl hunting within the State of Delaware. There are no exceptions. For a list of currently approved non-toxic shot types visit http://flyways.us/faq/what-type-shot-approved-non-toxic-us.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2017-2018 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Wildlife area maps with area-specific regulations are available online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the wildlife area maps are also available at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.