Pennsylvania Cuffs and Collars – March 16th, 2012
•Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky said, even though rabbit season is longer, safety still is paramount. “There have been at least two hunting-related shooting incidents in this district since the end of flintlock season, and both involved rabbit hunters,” he said.
•Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark said an individual who was charged with reckless endangerment following an incident during last deer season was bound over for trial during a preliminary hearing recently.
•Forest/Warren Counties LMGS Richard T. Cramer said a plea agreement was reached at a preliminary hearing for two individuals in Warren County. The two defendants each pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of killing antlerless deer out of season on the first day of the rifled antlered deer season this past November. Related summary charges were dropped as a result of a plea agreement.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that a beaver trapper accidently caught a large river otter in a body gripping trap recently in a stream near Keystone Dam.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns and Deputy WCO Fred Cessna investigated several cases where large amounts of household trash were dumped on property that was open to public hunting. “When we tracked down the suspects, both people admitted to dumping the trash and said that others had told them it was a good place to dump trash,” he said. Citations for dumping have been filed.
•Fayette County WCO Christopher Bergman reports a Luzerne Township man recently was found guilty of alighting from a vehicle and not moving more than 25 yards from the road before shooting at a wild animal.
•Fayette County WCO Christopher Bergman reports a Connellsville man recently was found guilty of transporting used drywall and dumping it in Lower Tyrone Township. The violation will cost the individual $300.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray cited an individual for hunting and killing a bobcat with a rifle during the bobcat trapping season, and another individual was cited for late spotlighting.
•Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that several charges were filed on a York County trio after they were apprehended spotlighting after midnight with two rifles and a shotgun in the vehicle. “A deer also was in the bed of the truck that the driver admitted to shooting earlier that evening,” he said. The shooter was found guilty at trial, while the other two pleaded guilty. Fines totaled $2,250.
•Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh reports that 61 people were certified at the first HTE course in Waynesboro at the end of January.
•Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz reported that, in late January, two Fort Littleton residents were successful in killing a six-point buck over a corn pile just outside the window of their home. “The wounded deer ran off and died on a township road and left a vivid blood trail in the snow,” he said. “When we arrived to investigate, we found the carcass in an adjacent stream with the head removed. The actor’s tracks led right back to the porch of the residence. Once apprehended, the one individual was charged with a killing a deer in closed season and hunting through the use of bait,” he said. Fines could be up to $1,800 with a possible 90-day prison sentence. The second person was charged with possession of a white-tailed deer in a closed season and was his fourth offense within seven-year period. The penalty grading under Act 54 for this offender is a first-degree misdemeanor with fines up to $10,000 and a possible prison sentence up to 18 months.
•Perry County WCO Steve Hower recently spent a good deal of time in court with cases stemming from the 2011 hunting seasons. Most of these cases have resulted in guilty verdicts with only a few exceptions. “One case involved a man who drove into an SGL while ignoring warning signs that were posted stating ‘Closed to Motor Vehicles.’ The individual was found guilty. Another summary trial was held for a hunter who shot a 502-pound bear during the deer season when bears were not in season, but he was found not guilty. Another case involved a man who was caught dragging a poached deer and then ran from officers when approached. He was found guilty of both charges. And most recently, a Perry County jury found a Duncannon man not guilty of shooting and killing his hunting companion through carelessness while turkey hunting, but the jury convicted him of possessing a firearm since he was prohibited from doing so due to a previous felony conviction.”
•York County WCO Kyle Jury reports a large case involving three unlawfully taken deer has been adjudicated in northern York County. Two individuals pleaded guilty to charges for poaching in the amount of $5,400. Two of the deer where unlawfully taken in Newville and Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County. One buck also was poached in Monaghan Township of York County.
•York County WCO Shawn Musser cited an individual after her dogs were regularly seen chasing deer. “She refused to admit that the dogs were doing anything wrong, as it was a ‘natural instinct’ to them,” he said.
•York County WCO Shawn Musser reminds readers that it is unlawful to carry another person’s license while in the field. “It also is unlawful to possess a big game kill tag that has already been filled,” he said. “The third issue with licenses that seems to be more common is carrying outdated licenses.”
•Juniata/ Mifflin/Perry/Snyder Counties LMGS Steven Bernardi, this past hunting season, cited several individuals for driving non-licensed vehicles on one of the SGLs. “One drove a mid-sized tractor from his cabin and parked in an SGL parking lot,” he said. “Apparently he thought he could skirt the regulations by using his tractor instead of an ATV. Vehicles that can’t be licensed for operation on roadways are not permitted on SGL roads, other than some handicapped vehicle exceptions.”
•Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny handled a call on a mange bear in a carport. “The bear was extremely emaciated and though an adult female, only weighed in at roughly 50 to 60 pounds,” he said.
•Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb said it appeared some hunters continued to hunt deer even after harvesting a deer this past season. “In most cases, the problem was the first was illegal or the hunter shot the second deer without tagging the first one,” he said.
•Bradford County WCO Joseph Wenzel said two individuals pleaded guilty to a total of four misdemeanors and six summary offenses stemming from a late night poaching incident. “The men also were ordered to pay restitution for one deer and an additional fine as a reward for an individual who helped with information leading me to the location where the poaching occurred,” he said. “During a vehicle stop, my Deputy WCOs and I recovered three loaded handguns, a loaded rifle, a cocked crossbow with an attached quiver of bolts, along with assorted knives and an offensive weapon. Once the defendants cooperated, and lead us to a deer carcass they had killed unlawfully and another rifle that was involved in the incident.”
•Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy reports that an Oklahoma woman was found guilty of the unlawful taking of a 534-pound black bear and unlawful acts concerning licenses. “While checking the bear into the Shohola bear check station, questions arose as to the circumstances surrounding the taking of the bear in the Lakeville area of Wayne County,” he said. During the ensuing investigation, it was found that the woman never had taken the required HTE course here in Pennsylvania. A check with officials in her home state of Oklahoma also confirmed she never took the course, making her hunting license here in Pennsylvania void. She was sentenced to pay more than $1,700 in fines and costs and the bear was seized.
•Columbia/Montour/Northumberland Counties LMGS Keith Sanford said, while conducting pheasant flushing surveys in the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, a volunteer dog handlers found an injured short eared owl. Schuylkill County WCO Will Dingman was on hand and delivered the bird to a licensed raptor rehabilitator in his home County. Unfortunately, the owl had multiple breaks on one of the wings and couldn’t be saved.
•Montour/Northumberland Counties WCO County Rick A. Deiterich said a Washingtonville area man recently pleaded guilty to charges after an arrest warrant was issued for his failure to respond to the citation. This person was cited for failure to properly tag an antlerless deer he killed on PPL Property on the last day of the two-week firearms deer season. The man now will pay his fines and costs, and he has been banned, for life, from hunting or furtaking on any of the PPL properties in Montour County by the property owner PPL Corp.
•Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley recently confiscated a wolf-hybrid from a home in February. “The animal was about six months old and was living in the house with the residents,” he said. The canine was removed and taken to a licensed menagerie in Snyder County.
•Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that the bald eagles have returned to begin nesting on two islands in his district.
•Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that the opportunity arose to re-collar a New Jersey bear that has spent the summer between Bucks and Northampton counties with a Pennsylvania radio collar to assist with the urban bear study program being conducted by both states.
•Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that charges are being filed on a trapper with multiple violations.
•Lebanon County WCO Michael Reeder and Deputy WCO Brian Sheetz, while patrolling SGL 211, found several areas where individuals are driving four-wheel vehicles through spring seeps and streams.
•Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that another bald eagle nest has been located in the district. This brings the total number of known nests in the district back to two.