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 agents responded to 29 complaints and issued 26 citations between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13.
Incidents of note included: As part of an investigation into illegal hunting practices in Sussex County, Orlan C. Hanks, 71, of Dagsboro, was arrested Feb. 9 and charged with six counts of hunting license forgery. Hanks pled guilty to three counts of hunting license forgery in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was ordered to pay $1,071 in fines and court costs.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses.
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (two), and spinning tires (one), New Castle County; Damaging state property (two), New Castle and Kent counties; Hunting license forgery (six), hunting without a license (one), possession of unlawfully taken antlerless deer (one), failure to tag antlerless deer (one), failure to register antlerless deer (one), butchering antlerless deer prior to registration (one), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (one), failure to tag antlered deer (one), failure to register antlered deer (one), butchering antlered deer prior to registration (one), unlawfully hunting antlered deer with shotgun during archery deer season (one), and dumping on state wildlife lands (one), Sussex County.
Fisheries conservation: commercial: use of improperly marked commercial net (one), Sussex County.
Boating safety: operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (one), New Castle County.
Public safety: Reckless driving (one), and illegal possession of fireworks (one), New Castle County.
Are you aware?
The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind visitors to state wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities that these areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless actively engaged in fishing or hunting in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including ATVs, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas.
"With this winter's temperature extremes, rain and snow, freezing and thawing, the ground is especially vulnerable to severe damage from vehicles operating off-road," said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. "Doing 'donuts' or four-wheeling in wildlife areas is irresponsible and illegal behavior that damages essential wildlife habitat, as well as generating unnecessary work and expense to repair the damage."