TITLE 7

Conservation

Game, Wildlife and Dogs

CHAPTER 1. PROTECTED WILDLIFE


For the purposes of Parts I and II of this title, unless otherwise specifically defined, or another intention clearly appears, or the context requires a different meaning:

(1) "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(2) "Fish and Wildlife Agent" means a law enforcement officer employed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control pursuant to this title and § 8003(13) of Title 29.

(3) "Hunt" means to chase, pursue, kill, trap or take or attempt to chase, pursue, kill, trap or take any form of wild bird or wild animal.

(4) "Protected wildlife" means all forms of game and wildlife except such as are not protected by Parts I and II of this title.

(5) "Resident" means any person not an alien who has resided a year or more within this State.

(6) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or the Secretary's duly authorized designee, provided any such delegation of authority is consistent with Chapter 80 of Title 29.

27 Del. Laws, c. 152, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 2358A, 2415; 40 Del. Laws, c. 191, §§ 2, 28; Code 1935, §§ 2803, 2887; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 101; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 1, 2; 63 Del. Laws, c. 389, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The Department shall protect, manage and conserve all forms of protected wildlife of this State, and enforce by proper actions and proceedings the law relating thereto. The Department shall authorize such studies as are necessary to the work of the Department, and shall collect, classify and preserve such statistics, data and information as in its discretion will tend to promote the objectives of Parts I and II of this title.

(b) The Secretary shall employ Fish and Wildlife Agents and other necessary employees and shall fix the salaries of all such employees, who shall have the power to arrest in the same manner provided in subsection (c) of this section, and for the same purpose therein described, and be subject to and serve during the pleasure of the Secretary.

(c) The Department shall prescribe the form of licenses issued by it; shall collect all fees for licenses issued by it and all fines and forfeitures imposed for violations of the game and fish laws of this State; shall have authority to arrest without warrant for all violations of the game and fish laws of this State in order to carry out the provisions thereof. The Fish and Wildlife Agents shall also have the power to make arrests of persons violating § 518 of Title 17 in their presence or view or otherwise upon the issuance of an arrest warrant based on a showing of probable cause that the individual named in the warrant committed the violation.

(d) The Department may issue a permit to any recognized sportsmen's club having its principal location in the State to hold field trials at any time on liberated game legally possessed or on liberated artificially propagated game legally possessed and take such game by shooting. Such game taken shall be immediately tagged for identification with seals or tags supplied by the Department, for which it shall receive 5 cents each. Game so tagged may be possessed, transported, bought and sold at any time and seals shall not be removed until game is finally prepared for consumption.

26 Del. Laws, c. 162, §§ 3, 6; 26 Del. Laws, c. 164, § 15; 27 Del. Laws, c. 154; 27 Del. Laws, c. 155, § 3; Code 1915, §§ 2358B, 2360, 2363; 40 Del. Laws, c. 191, §§ 2, 3; Code 1935, §§ 2804, 2806; 47 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 106; 49 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 1; 56 Del. Laws, c. 224; 57 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 7-12; 70 Del. Laws, c. 105, §§ 2, 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1.;

(a) The Department may promulgate such rules and regulations and may make expenditures necessary to:

(1) Fix and regulate seasons by shortening, extending or closing seasons, and to fix and regulate the bag limit on any species of protected wildlife or freshwater fish except muskrat in any specified localities whenever it finds, after investigation, and a public hearing is had as provided in subsection (b) of this section, that such action is necessary to assure the conservation of such wildlife or freshwater fish, and the maintenance of an adequate supply thereof or to limit the supply thereof when conditions warrant the same;

(2) Establish and close to hunting, trapping and/or fishing such wildlife refuges, or any lake, stream or pond, as in its judgment may be deemed best to conserve any species of wildlife or fish;

(3) Acquire by purchase, lease or agreement, gift or devise, lands, marshes or waters suitable for the purposes hereinafter enumerated, and maintain the same for said purposes:

a. To provide fish nursery ponds and game farms;

b. To provide lands or waters suitable for upland game, waterfowl, fish or fur-bearing animal propagation and protection;

c. To provide public hunting, fishing or other recreational grounds or waters to be used as areas in which the public may hunt, fish or camp in accordance with the provisions of law and the regulations of the Department;

d. To extend and consolidate lands, marshes or waters suitable for the above purposes by exchange of other lands or waters;

e. To capture, propagate, transport, buy or exchange any species of protected wildlife needed for stocking any lands, marshes or waters of this State.

(b) The Department may establish such other rules and regulations concerning any species of protected wildlife or freshwater fish except muskrat in any specified localities as it deems necessary or advisable for the protection and conservation of wildlife or freshwater fish.

(c) This section shall not be construed as authorizing the Department to change any penalty for violating any game or fish law, or to change the amount of any license fee established under Part I of this title, or to issue any license not lawfully authorized, or to extend any open season or bag limit beyond the limits prescribed by federal law or regulations.

(d) Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department except those pertaining to deer or wild turkeys shall be guilty of a class D environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to antlerless deer shall be guilty of a class C environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to antlered deer shall be guilty of a class A environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to wild turkeys shall be guilty of a class B environmental misdemeanor for each offense.

Code 1915, § 2358C; 40 Del. Laws, c. 191, § 2; Code 1935, § 2805; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 108; 49 Del. Laws, c. 153, §§ 1-4; 51 Del. Laws, c. 123, §§ 1, 2; 53 Del. Laws, c. 435; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 14; 59 Del. Laws, c. 210, §§ 1, 2; 60 Del. Laws, c. 674, §§ 1-3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 197, §§ 1-4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, §§ 2-7; 73 Del. Laws, c. 375, § 6[5]; 77 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 1, 2.;

The Department shall not contract any indebtedness or obligations which cannot be met by funds immediately available to its use, as provided in Part I of this title.

Code 1915, § 2358B; 40 Del. Laws, c. 191, § 2; Code 1935, § 2804; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 109; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 15.;

The State assents to the act of Congress entitled, "An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Wildlife-Restoration Projects, and for Other Purposes," approved September 2, 1937 [16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq.] as amended and the Department shall perform such acts as are necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative wildlife-restoration projects, as defined in that act of Congress, in compliance with the act and with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior thereunder. The Department may receive and disburse any and all funds allocated to this State under said act of Congress and any amendment or amendments thereto.

42 Del. Laws, c. 129, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 110; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 16; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 8.;

The State assents to the act of Congress entitled "An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Fish-Restoration and Management Projects, and for Other Purposes," approved August 9, 1950 [16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq.] as amended and the Department shall perform such acts as are necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative fish-restoration and management projects, as defined in that act of Congress, in compliance with that act and with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior thereunder. The Department may receive and disburse any and all funds allocated to this State under said act of Congress and any amendment or amendments thereto.

48 Del. Laws, c. 205, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 111; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 17; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 9.;

All funds derived from the issuance of licenses issued by the Department for hunting and trapping shall be deposited by the Department with the State Treasurer, retained by the State Treasurer, and specifically set aside and earmarked until expended upon by proper vouchers for the purpose of matching and securing money allotted to Delaware under the acts of Congress approved September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq. (Wildlife Restoration)) as amended, and August 9, 1950 (16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq. (Fish Restoration and Management)) as amended, to provide federal aid to the states in wildlife and fish restoration. Any balance remaining in such fund after full provision is effected to insure matching in full of federal aid to this State for wildlife and fish restoration shall be expended by the Department with approval from the Office of Management and Budget, the Controller General's Office and the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee upon the fish and wildlife resources of this State in accordance with the federal guidelines to manage such fish and wildlife resources.

42 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 1; 42 Del. Laws, c. 129, § 2; 43 Del. Laws, c. 12, § 1; 47 Del. Laws, c. 78, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 112; 51 Del. Laws, c. 47; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 18; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 10; 76 Del. Laws, c. 80, § 260.;

All funds derived from the issuance of licenses issued by the Department for fishing shall be deposited by the Department with the State Treasurer, retained by the State Treasurer, and specifically set aside and earmarked until expended upon by proper vouchers for the purpose of matching and securing money allotted to Delaware under the acts of Congress approved September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq. (Wildlife Restoration)) as amended, and August 9, 1950 (16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq. (Fish Restoration and Management)) as amended, to provide federal aid to the states in fish and wildlife restoration. Any balance remaining in such fund after full provision is effected to insure matching in full of federal aid to this State for wildlife and fish restoration shall be expended by the Department with approval from the Office of Management and Budget, the Controller General's Office and the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee upon the fish and wildlife resources of this State in accordance with the federal guidelines to manage such fish and wildlife resources.

42 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 207, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 113; 50 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 19, 20; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 11; 76 Del. Laws, c. 80, § 261.;

All funds received by the Department, except those which may be exempt from Chapter 61 of Title 29, and except funds derived from the issuance of yearly licenses for hunting and trapping and fishing, shall be deposited by the Department to the credit of the State Treasurer in the General Fund of the State and shall be reported in accordance with Chapter 61 of Title 29. The funds derived from the issuance of licenses for hunting, trapping or fishing shall be deposited in accordance with §§ 107 and 108 of this title.

7 Del. C. 1953, § 114; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 21; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 12.;

All disbursements made by the Department for salaries, expenses and other purposes, as are by law permitted, shall be paid by the State Treasurer, to the extent there is money legally available to the Department, upon vouchers issued by the proper officers, designated by the Department, and approved by the Auditor of Accounts.

37 Del. Laws, c. 48, § 1; 38 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 1; Code 1935, § 2807; 42 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 115; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 22; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 13.;

The Secretary and the Fish and Wildlife Agents may 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 the Secretary or the Fish and Wildlife Agent has reason to believe and has stated to the suspected person or occupant the 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. This section shall not authorize the entering of a dwelling house without first procuring a search warrant.

Provisions of this section shall be subject to Chapter 23 of Title 11. If there is any conflict or inconsistency between this section and such chapter, the latter shall prevail.

Code 1935, § 2806A; 41 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 117; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 24; 70 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No employee of the Department shall receive or accept any fee from the sale of licenses issued by the Department.

Code 1915, § 2358B; 40 Del. Laws, c. 191, § 2; Code 1935, § 2804; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 118; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 25.;

When information is furnished to the Department 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 Department 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. The Department shall issue an appropriate order giving effect to its determination.

Code 1935, § 2821A; 41 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 4; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 119; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 26; 70 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 14.;

Upon receipt by the Department of information from the owner, tenant or sharecropper that any 1 or more species of protected wildlife are detrimental to his or her crops, property or other interests on the land on which he or she 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 the injury and the particular species of protected wildlife committing the injury, an investigation shall be made by the Department, 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 Department is necessary, a permit to kill or capture any number or all of such protected wildlife on such premises shall be issued by the Department, in which permit shall 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 Department deems necessary and appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case.

Code 1935, § 2821B; 41 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 4; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 120; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 27; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Department may take any game birds, animals or fish in or out of season in any way for strictly propagating and restocking purposes.

Code 1915, § 2538; 30 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 6; Code 1935, § 3025; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 121; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, § 28.;