CHAPTER 177 - GAME

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 74 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, IN REFERENCE TO THE RIGHT OF SEARCH BY GAME WARDENS; GAME ANIMALS ENUMERATED; OPEN SEASON FOR GAME; UNLAWFUL USE OF DEVICES, DRUGS AND EXPLOSIVES, PEN OR CAGE DEFINED; UNLAWFUL TO HUNT WHILE GROUND COVERED BY SNOW; LAWFUL TO CHASE RED FOX; UNLAWFUL TO SHOOT RED FOX PURSUED BY DOGS; INJURY OF AGRICULTURE BY PROTECTED WILDLIFE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by adding a new section at the end of 2806 Section 5 to be known as 2806A Section 5A.

2806A Section 5A. Power of Search:--Each member of the Board, the Chief Game and Fish Warden and Game Wardens shall have the power to search and examine without warrant any person, conveyance, vehicle, game bag, game coat or other receptacle for protected wildlife, and in the presence of an occupant of any camp or tent, may search and examine without warrant such camp or tent for protected wildlife, when he has reason to believe and has stated to the suspected person or occupant his reason for believing that any of the laws relating to protected wildlife have been violated, and may seize and possess (take) any protected wildlife illegally in possession. Provided, however,. that this section shall not authorize the entering of a dwelling house without first procuring a search warrant.

Section 2. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be further amended by striking out 2819 Section 18 and inserting in lieu thereof the following Section to be known as 2819 Section 18.

2819 Section 18. Game Animals Enumerated:--Mink, .raccoon, opossum, fox-squirrel, gray squirrel, otter, muskrat, red fox, hare, rabbit, frog, deer, and beaver.

Section 3. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be further amended by striking out 2821 Section 20 and inserting in lieu thereof the following Section to be known as 2821 Section 20:

2821. Section 20. Open Season for Game; Proviso:--The open seasons during which it shall be lawful to catch, kill or pursue or attempt to catch, kill or pursue any of the following birds and animals shall, respectively, be as follows:

Quail (bob-white, partridge), from November 15th to December 31st, next following: Rails, reed birds, woodcock, doves, ducks, geese and other waterfowl, including brant, snipe, coot, Wilson snipe or jacksnipe, gallinules, season to conform in all cases to Federal laws and regulations governing migratory birds; mink, otter and muskrat from December 1st to March 10th, next following, provided that in cases of embanked meadow in New Castle County, the open season for muskrats shall be from December 1st to March 20th, next following; red fox from October 1st to April 30th next following (provided, however, it shall be unlawful for any person to shoot or kill a red fox from October 1st to April 30th, this being set apart merely for the privilege of hunting red foxes with dogs); raccoon and opossum from*November 1st to January 15th next following; squirrels from September 15th to November 1st next following; hare and rabbit from November 15th to December 31st, next following; frogs from May 1st to December 31st, next following. The above open seasons shall include the days defining them.

Section 4. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by adding a new Section at the end of 2821 Section 20 to be known as 2821A Section 20A and a new Section to be known as 2821B Section 20B.

2821A. Section 20A. Community Injury by Protected Wildlife:--When information is furnished the Board that any species of protected wildlife has become, under extraordinary conditions, seriously injurious to agriculture or other interests in any particular community, an investigation shall be made by the Board to determine the nature and extent of the injury, whether the protected wildlife alleged to be doing the damage should be killed or captured and, if so, by whom, during what times and by what means, upon such determination the Board shall issue an appropriate order.

2821B. Section 20B. Specific Injury by Protected Wildlife:--Upon receipt by the Board of information from the owner, tenant or share-cropper that any one or more species of protected wildlife are detrimental to his crops, property or other interests on the land on which he resides or controls, together with a statement of the location of the land, the nature of the crops, property or other interests being damaged or destroyed, the extent of such injury and the particular species of protected wildlife committing the injury, an investigation shall be made by the Board, and, if it is determined from such investigation that the injury complained of is substantial and can be abated only by killing or capturing the protected wildlife, or so many thereof as in the opinion of the Board necessary, a permit to kill or capture any number or all of such protected wildlife on such premises shall be issued by the Board, in which permit will be specified the time during which, the means and methods by which, and the person or persons by whom the protected wildlife may be killed or captured, and the disposition to be made of all protected wildlife so killed or captured, and such other restrictions as the Board may deem necessary and appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case.

Section 5. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be further amended by striking out the first paragraph of 2826. Section 25 and inserting in lieu thereof the following new paragraph as follows:

It shall be unlawful, at any time, to make use of any pitfall, deadfall, scaffold, cage, snare, trap, net, pen, baited hook, or baited field or any other similar device, or any drug, poison, chemicals, or explosives for the purpose of injuring, capturing, or killing birds or animals protected by the laws of this State, except muskrats, minks and otters, and except as otherwise expressly provided and except it shall be lawful for landlords and tenants and their respective children to take rabbits in traps and snares during the open season for same on their freeholds and leaseholds respectively. The unlawful setting or placing of any of the devices or contrivances named in this Section shall constitute an offense against the provisions of this Section, and said devices and contrivances, when found unlawful set or placed, shall be confiscated by the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners of the State of Delaware and disposed of as said Board shall see fit.

Section 6. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, 2831. Section 30 be amended by striking out the word "skunk" as the same appears in Paragraph 1 of said Section and striking out the word "fox" as the same appears in the second Paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof "red fox."

Section 7. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be further amended by striking out 2836. Section 35 and inserting in lieu thereof the following section to be known as 2836. Section 35.

2836. Section 35. It shall be unlawful to shoot at, kill or destroy any red fox while such fox is being chased or pursued by dog or dogs.

Whoever shall violate the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof before any Justice of the Peace shall be fined a sum of not less than Ten Dollars ($10.00) and not more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and in default of payment of said fine and costs shall be imprisoned for not less than thirty days.

Section 8. That Chapter 74 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be further amended by striking out the first paragraph of 2879. Section 78 and inserting in lieu thereof the following new paragraph as follows:

It shall be unlawful to sell, or expose for sale, any red fox or any red fox hide in this State, and it shall be unlawful to ship by freight or express, or otherwise, or to take any red fox, or any red fox hide, from any place within said State to any place outside of this State. Whoever shall violate the provisions of this paragraph shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof in the Court of General Sessions, shall be fined a sum of not less than Ten Dollars (10.00) and not exceeding Fifty Dollars (50.00), or imprisoned for a term not exceeding ten days, in the discretion of the Court. One-half of all fines collected under the provisions of this paragraph shall go to the informer.

Approved May 19, 1937.