DOVER, Del. -(Ammoland.com)- 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 Nov. 14-20 made 1,379 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 24 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 106 citations. Officers responded to 56 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 associated recreational trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions:
Incidents of note:
- On Nov. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Dennis M. Ruff, 53, of New Castle, following an investigation into a report of shot from a shotgun striking a house near Lewes. Ruff was charged with one count each of first-degree reckless endangering,striking an occupied dwelling with shot discharged from a firearm, criminal mischief under $1,000 and discharging a firearm in a safety zone within 100 yards of a residence. Ruff was released on $4,252 unsecured bond, pending an appearance in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at a later date. No injuries were reported.
- On Nov. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Lewes commercial waterman for 75 counts of possession of undersized channeled conch aboard his commercial vessel when boarded for a routine check near Lewes. He pled guilty to eight counts of possession of undersized channeled conch and was fined $568 in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown.
- On Nov. 18, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Mark Willoughby, 36, of Greenwood following an investigation into a report of shot from a shotgun striking a house near Greenwood. Willoughby was charged with one count each of striking an occupied dwelling with shot discharged from a firearm and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season. He was released pending an appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 3 at a later date. No injuries were reported.
- On Nov. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police with the assistance of K-9 River located and cited a Newark man for one count each of trespassing to hunt and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season near Christiana. The man was fined $330, including court costs.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Unlicensed hunting (1), trespassing to hunt (1), hunting on a refuge (3)*, failure to tag antlerless deer (1), failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), littering on a state wildlife area (3)*, dumping solid waste (1), and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (2), possession of undersized tautog (4), and possession of undersized striped bass (1).
Commercial: Possession of undersized conch (75).
Public Safety: Carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), striking an occupied dwelling with shot discharged from a firearm (2), first degree reckless endangering (1), criminal mischief under $1,000 (1), discharging a firearm in a safety zone (1), and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (3).
*Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With fall’s second waterfowl hunting season segment open through Saturday, Nov. 26 and the third duck season segment coming up Friday, Dec. 9 thru Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, 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.”
Hunters wishing to hunt waterfowl on Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach, Little Creek, Ted Harvey or Assawoman wildlife areas also are reminded they must go through a lottery.
Lotteries are held two hours before sunrise for all areas except for Little Creek/Ted Harvey, where the lottery is held 2.5 hours prior to sunrise.
Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. If hunting waterfowl on a state wildlife area from a blind that was selected through a lottery, all hunters in the blind are required to carry the $20 annual blind permit, available for purchase where hunting licenses are sold.
This permit is waived for hunters participating in Division of Fish & Wildlife-designated youth hunting days.
More information about waterfowl blind lotteries and availability at individual wildlife areas as well as specific wildlife area rules can be found online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Delaware, visit 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.
Printed copies of the guide and the wildlife area maps are also available at DNREC’s Dover license desk, 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.
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.