Turkey hunters reminded about regulations

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 20 and 26 made 729 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 115 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 30 complaints and issued 17 citations.

Citations issued included: two citations for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area; two citations for operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area; damaging state property; four citations for possession of undersized conch; one citation for failure to check a commercial gill fishing net within required 48-hour timeframe; five citations for fishing without a license; possession of undersized white perch; and possession of over-the-limit bluegill.

On April 24, AFC Joshua Hudson took the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Operation Game Theft trailer afield and talked to more than 200 children in grades K-5 at Eagles Nest Christian Academy in Milton about boating safety, fisheries and wildlife enforcement.

On April 20, Officer Adam Roark also used the Operation Game Theft trailer for a presentation to Boy Scouts in Lewes about native Delaware wildlife and wildlife enforcement that allowed the scouts to earn their wildlife merit badge.

On April 24, Roark spoke to approximately 120 children in grades 1-4 during career day at Long Neck Elementary School, about the daily job duties of a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer.

With Delaware’s 2015 wild turkey season open through Saturday, May 9, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminded hunters to review Delaware’s turkey regulations before heading out into the field. Regulations include:

• Hunters must carry their hunter education card certifying completion of Delaware’s mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class.

• Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only.

• Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting on public lands and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.

• Bag limit is one bearded bird per year.

• Birds without beards (hens) may not be taken.

• Hunting wild turkeys over bait is prohibited.

• Hunting wild turkeys with dogs is prohibited.

• Temporary blinds of vegetation or camouflage are permitted.

• Artificial turkey decoys are permitted.

• Non-electric calls are permitted.

• For safety reasons, hunters should not imitate the male gobbling call.

• Shotguns in 20-, 16-, 12- and 10-gauge and smooth-bore muzzleloading shotguns may be used with #4, #5, or #6 steel or lead shot.

• A longbow, compound bow or crossbow with a minimum broadhead width of 7/8 inches may be used.

• For safety reasons, wearing any visible garment having red, white or blue is prohibited.

• Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

• All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station.