OF FISH, OYSTERS AND GAME.
AN ACT for the protection and preservation of Birds and certain animals.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That from and after the passage of this Act it shall be unlawful to catch, kill, have in possession (living
or dead), purchase, sell, or expose for sale, transport, or ship any wild bird, other than a game bird, or any part of the plumage, skin, or body of any such bird.
Section 2. That the following only shall be considered game birds: The Anatidae, commonly known as geese,
brant and river and sea ducks; the Rallidae, commonly known as rails, coots, mud-hens and gallinules; the Limicolae, commonly known as shore birds, plovers, surf birds, snipe, woodcock, sandpipers, tattlers and curlews; the Gallinae, commonly known as wild turkeys, grouse, prairie chicken's, pheasants, partridges and quail; also the reed bird of the Ieteridae and the dove.
Section 3. That the open seasons on the following birds and animals shall respectively be as follows:
Quail (bob-white partridges) from November 15th to December 31st, next following; partridge from November 15th to December 31st, next following; pheasant from November 15th to December 31st, next following; reed bird from September 1st to November 1st, next following; rail bird from September 1st to November 1st, next following; wild goose from October 1st to April 1st, next following; brant from October 1st to April 1st, next following; summer duck from September 1st to October 31st, next following; other wild cluck from October 1st to April 15th, next following; woodcock from July 1st to September 1st, next following and from November 15th to December 31st, next following in each and every year; dove in Kent and Sussex Counties from August 1st to December 31st, next following; hare and rabbit from November 15th to December 31st, next following; muskrat, skunk, mink and otter from November 20th to March 15th, next following; fox from October 1st to April 30th, next following; raccoon from October 1st to February 15th, next following; opossum from October 1st to February 15th, next following; fox squirrel, black squirrel and gray squirrel from September 15th to December 31st, next following; frog from November 1st to July 1st, next following. The above open seasons shall include the days defining them. Provided, however, that any person may protect his property and premises from the ravages and depredations of any wild birds or animals protected by law, at any time and in any way.
Section 4. That the English or European house sparrow, the redwing blackbird, and the purple grackle, sometimes known as the crow blackbird, are not included among the birds protected by this Act; and may be killed and sold without limit.
Section 5. That 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, skunks, minks and otters, and except as otherwise expressly provided.
Section 6. That it shall be unlawful to needlessly destroy, break or interfere with any nest, den or lair of any bird or animal protected by the Laws of this State, except as expressly permitted.
Section 7. That it shall be unlawful to pursue, catch, take, or kill any birds or animals protected by the laws of this State, except frogs, muskrats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, minks and otters between one hour after sunset of one day and one hour before sunrise of the following day.
Section 8. That it shall be unlawful to shoot at or kill any birds or animals protected by the laws of this State with any device, swivel or punt gun, or with any gun other than such as is habitually raised at arm's length and fired from the shoulder, or to pursue or kill the same, except frogs, raccoons, opossums, skunks, minks and otters, with the aid of any artificial light or lantern, or to hunt with dog or dogs wearing bell or bells or other noise-producing device. Any having such gun or lantern in one's possession while hunting, or having dog or dogs wearing bell or bells or other noise-producing device in one's possession while hunting shall be prima facie evidence of an offense against this Section.
Section 9. That it shall be unlawful to hunt, kill, take or destroy any birds or animals protected by the laws of this state, except muskrats, skunks, minks and otters, while the ground is covered with snow.
Section 10. That it shall be unlawful on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, to hunt or pursue with any kind of firearms, dog or dogs, any birds or animals whatsoever.
Section 11. That it shall be unlawful for any person to take or kill more than seventy-five rail birds, twenty ducks or twelve birds or fowl of any other species, and six animals, protected by the provisions of this Act, excepting snipe, plover and feed birds, in any one day, or to have such birds, fowl, or animals in possession for more than five days after the close of the season for killing the same.
Section 12. That it shall be unlawful to shoot at, kill or destroy any fox while such fox is being chased or pursued by dog or dogs.
Section 13. That it shall be unlawful to hunt, take, kill or destroy any rabbit or hare with ferret or ferrets, or to have ferret or ferrets in possession while hunting.
Section 14. That it shall be unlawful to take, kill or capture by any means whatever any muskrat or muskrats during the time of any flood or freshet when such flood or freshet may cause any muskrat or muskrats to leave their usual and accustomed places of shelter and protection.
Section 15. That it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, at any time of the year, to barter, sell, offer for sale, or buy for purposes of profit or sale any of the birds or animals protected by the Laws of this State, excepting always the muskrat trade during the season when it is lawful to have muskrats in possession, and trading at any and all times in muskrat, and other skins which have been lawfully taken, and except as expressly permitted hereinafter, either under the name used in this Act, or under any other name or guise whatsoever, whether lawfully or unlawfully taken; provided that nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person, who has lawfully killed or caught any birds or animals protected by the Laws of this State, from selling the same within the limits of the county shall not where such person shall reside, and provided that residents of this State who have lawfully killed ducks, snipe and plover may sell the same within or without the State; and provided further that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any restaurant keeper in this State from buying birds or animals protected by the Laws of this State from the person who has lawfully killed or caught the same and selling the same cooked and prepared for eating to his patrons during the season when it is lawful to have such game in one's possession.
Section 16. That any person convicted of having violated any of the provisions of this Act for which the penalty is not specifically prescribed shall be fined not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars and costs for each offense, and failing to pay forthwith any fine imposed under the provisions of this Act together with the costs of prosecution, unless an appeal be taken, such person shall be committed to the County Jail or Work house of the County in which such offense was committed for thirty days unless said fine and costs be sooner paid.
Section 17. That all Acts or parts of Acts in so far as the same are inconsistent with the provisions hereof be and the same are hereby repealed.
Approved April 27, A. D. 1911.