Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – March 30th, 2012
•Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that guilty pleas were entered in a case from rifle deer season, involving multiple illegal deer, resulting in fines of more than $2,800. Hunting license revocation will be assessed for each violation.
•Crawford County John A. McKellop processed two river otters that were accidently caught by beaver trappers in eastern Crawford County.
•Jefferson County Roger A. Hartless reports that scrap metal theft has escalated to the point that state game land gates are now being targeted by the metal thieves. Recently, two gates were removed on SGL 54.
•Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman recently concluded a case that started on the first day of the antlerless rifle season in 2010. Two defendants were in possession of a hide and legs of a small deer. After questioning the men, neither one could give a reasonable answer. Later, a third defendant came forward and said it was his deer. After sifting through the inaccuracies, samples were sent to the wildlife lab. Blood on the tag did not match DNA from the deer hide. Fines and costs for the three defendants totaled more than $2,700.
•Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports another incident of vandalism on SGL 130 resulted in considerable damage to the gate off Triple Link Road on the old railroad grade.
•Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports illegal dumping continues on property signed up in the Hunter Access Program.
•Mercer/Venango Counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports bald eagles can be seen daily hovering overhead in the Shenango River Lake area.
•Mercer/Venango Counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli said agency biologists currently are attempting to catch and band black ducks in the Shenango River area.
•Allegheny County WCO Beth Fife reports that the Pitcarin-Monroeville Sportsman’s Club had its first HTE class, with a turnout of 29 students.
•Allegheny County WCO Beth Fife handled injured deer calls involving bucks. “Each one had dropped its antlers and had a growth of at least one inch or more of new antler,” she said.
•Allegheny County WCO Beth Fife has received numerous calls involving sick wildlife.
•Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a gray fox that recently attacked two people tested positive for rabies after it was put down.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that, because of testimony from concerned citizens, he and his Deputy WCOs successfully prosecuted several road-hunting violations where deer were shot from the vehicle and off of a traveled road.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns said a black bear suffering badly from mange had to be euthanized. “This bear had made a den in a round hay bail and the farmer called with his concerns about this bear and mange,” he said.
•Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer is investigation the killing of an antlerless deer during a closed season. A report indicated that a deer had been shot along Brown Road in North Sewickley Township in mid-February. The deer was left to rot in the field. Anyone with information is asked to call the Southwest Region Office at 724-238-9523.
•Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that the Beaver County Sportsmen Conservation League’s annual youth field day is scheduled for July 21, at the Midland Sportsman Club. “This annual event attracts more than 100 young men and women for a day of shooting, canoeing, and other outdoor pursuits,” he said.
•Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that, at the end of the rifle deer season, Deputies Bob Turner and Dave Johnson, of Somerset County, caught an individual who illegally shot two deer. “The poacher shot one deer at night and the other from the road, out of the vehicle, and without a hunting license,” he said. The case resulted in nearly $3,700 in fines and 60 days in jail for the defendant.
•Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports two separate eagle sightings in one week in Fayette County. The first sighting was a mature bald eagle soaring over Greenlick Reservoir. The second sighting was an immature bald eagle soaring over the Walmart parking lot near Connellsville.
•Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports four ATV riders were recently apprehended on the Hanson Aggregates property near Connellsville. “This property, which is enrolled in the Hunter Access Program, consists of 1,000 acres,” he said. While the land is open for public hunting and trapping, it is closed to all off-road and ATV use, and will be strictly enforced.
•Indiana County WCO Jack Lucas recently met with a landowner to discuss why he posted his property. “I was concerned for the hunters that enjoyed the privilege of hunting there for decades,” he said. “The landowner said it was not the hunters he was worried about, it was the fishermen. Bait containers, candy wrappers, coffee cups and old fishing line were the reasons for posting.”
•Washington County WCO Dan Sitler received a call from a conservation officer in the state of Indiana concerning a Charleroi resident shooting a seven-point buck in that state. “The person had shot the deer the day before he purchased his non-resident license and reported the deer to a check station an hour after purchasing his license,” he said. After meeting with the individual, he admitted to his wrongs and provided a written statement.
•Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas investigated several trapping-related incidents in the past month. Each involved individuals locating the traps and reporting the violations. One incident involved an unlicensed individual having set a body gripping trap outside a watercourse.
•Clearfield WCO Christopher P. Ivicic said that on Jan. 1, 2012 – only six hours into the New Year – he already received a phone call from a trapper turning in a beaver trapping violation. The individual was cited and has already paid a fine.
•Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder reported that, during 2011, he issued permits for more than 30 deer and five bear to individuals who needed the meat.
•Lycoming County Kristoffer A. Krebs said a Salladasburg man recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident that occurred on Nov. 30, in Eldred Township, during the fall firearms deer season. The violator sighted a buck in the backyard of a home on Lick Run Road, and fired a shot from inside his vehicle and injured the deer while it was within a safety zone. The offender pleaded guilty before District Judge Whiteman in Montoursville and was ordered to pay $1,800 in fines for game violations. In addition, the offender pleaded guilty to seven traffic violations stemming from the incident and was ordered to pay additional fines for these offenses. The defendant also was ordered to spend 30 days on an electronic ankle monitoring bracelet for driving while DUI suspended during the commission of his offenses.
•Tioga County WCOs Rodney P. Mee and Robert Minnich assisted in apprehending two Mansfield men involved in a 72-hour poaching spree. Both individuals are facing felony charges for shooting seven deer near several homes, with spotlights and from a vehicle. The ongoing investigation may result in the individuals being charged with illegally killing additional deer. One of the suspects was taken directly to the Tioga County Prison for probation violations connected with the game law violations.
•Potter County WCOs Mark S. Fair and William Ragosta, along with Deputy WCO Ted Pavicic, are investigating the apparent killing and dumping of a mature, banded bald eagle. The carcass was recovered along Pine Creek in the Germania Station area and was found in an area where other trash items were present. Testing is being conducted to help determine the cause of death. Anyone with information should contact the Northcentral Region Office at 570-398-4744.
•Adams County WCO Kevin Anderson recently filed charges against a group of young men who spent an afternoon on SGL 249 destroying state property and shooting song birds. Eventually, the culprits were tracked down and admitted to their crimes. They admitted to shooting at and killing song birds to, as they claimed, “see if they could hit something.” They also admitted to destroying Game Commission signs and bird boxes.
•Adams County WCO Darren J. David charged a man with shooting and injuring his brother during the regular deer season. “There was evidence of negligence and carelessness involved,” he said. “Ironically, the victim was likely shooting at the same deer when he was shot through both arms.”
•Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour said a York County man was found guilty at a summary trial stemming from a November 2011 incident where he shot an antlerless deer out of season. “The individual was apprehended while spotlighting after midnight with fresh parts from the deer in the bed of his truck, and there were several firearms in the vehicle,” he said. He was fined more than $1,800.
•Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan recently filed charges on two individuals for poaching a deer, while charges are pending in a second case involving an illegal deer and related violations.
•Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz said 11 hens were trapped and banded for the agency’s ongoing hen turkey study during February. “Two birds were fitted with transmitters in order to monitor their movement, of which, one hen had a 7-inch beard and the other sported a 4-inch beard,” he said.
•Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny has been fielding numerous complaints about a large group of black vultures in Huntingdon. “Hazing techniques are being employed to try and drive the vultures off their roost areas through the use of scare shot,” she said. The flock is estimated to be in excess of 300 birds.
•Perry County WCO Steve Hower currently is investigating the theft of timber by several individuals on SGL 256 in Wheatfield Township. The damage was extensive.
•Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn filed citations on three individuals for driving on a closed road on a game land.
•Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn is working on poaching case where a deer was shot at night, in two different safety zones and from the roadway. The deer was left lying where it died.
•York County WCO Greg Graham reports a bald eagle was found dead near Codorus State Park in late February. An observant property owner found the bird and reported the discovery. There were no apparent injuries to cause death so a local veterinary hospital took x-rays, which also proved inconclusive. Toxicology tests are pending.
•Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa is investigating allegations of the unlawful taking of wildlife. “The investigations are from this past hunting season, and current incidents involving killing deer at night,” he said.
•Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral is investigating a complaint from a development owner that someone is killing skunks and dumping them on the main drive in the development.
•Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley reports several prosecutions for illegally killing deer and using the carcasses as lures to set multiple, unlawful traps to target coyotes and other furbearers. “One of the illegal traps caught a live crow that was attempting to feed on the carcass and another with a crow that had died in the set,” he said. Several individuals were cited and prosecuted for trapping with bait visible from the air, failure to tag traps, and failure to check traps every 36 hours.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II has a hearing coming up for an individual who was cited for improperly tagging their deer.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II has been handling a number of beaver complaints. “We trapped six out of the Delaware Canal, with the biggest being 58 pounds,” he said.
•Chester County WCO Scott Frederick said a Schuylkill County man pleaded guilty to the taking of an illegal deer through the use of a centerfire rifle in the central part of the county. Deputy WCOs Tom Clifford and Jeffrey Steen responded to the call from Chester County park rangers, conducted an investigation, interviewed the defendant and a hunting companion and made the arrest. “The judge set the maximum fine amounts for this case, and the defendant paid more than $1,000 in fines and costs,” he said.
•Chester County WCO Mullin reports that the new eagle nest in the district is active with eagles confirmed to be incubating eggs. “That makes a total of five eagles nest in the district,” he said. “The Glen Rose nest is active this year, after a couple years of inactivity. All nests are showing activity but incubation is not yet confirmed in every nest.”
•Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek said, with the recent warm weather, he has encountered a number of violations in the “Rocks” area of SGL 156, resulting in multiple citations. Violations include possession of controlled substances and disorderly conduct.
•Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster said violations are on the rise at the SGL 205 rifle range. Several citations have been filed for shooting over the limit of three, not shooting from a designated shooting station, using mid-range targets and others.