Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – May 25th, 2012
•Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik received information that a lady in Evans City had a black bear cub in her possession. “I went to the residence and found that the lady did indeed have a bear cub that she was keeping in her travel trailer,” he said. “She reported that while staying at her camp in Lycoming County, her dog came into camp carrying the cub in its mouth. Instead of reporting the event to the Game Commission’s Northcentral Region Office, she brought it home, and was attempting to raise it,” he said. Charges have been filed for the illegal possession of a bear taken from the wild.
•Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak currently is investigating a dumping case on game lands. “In this case, the defendant threw out a State Police violation notice that contained all off the defendant’s personal information, easily leading the officer to his residence,” he said.
•Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro, while on patrol during the first week of spring gobbler season, approached a pickup truck parked at a gravel pit. “After making contact with the driver, it was revealed that the individual was not hunting; rather, he had just finished loading gravel into the back of his pickup,” he said. Allegro discovered a loaded rifle, shotgun and handgun in the vehicle, all unlawfully possessed.
•Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith said a small, male bear was hit and killed by a car in Greenfield Township. “While assisting fellow Erie County WCO Darin Clark with a bear complaint, we caught an 300-plus pound male in a live trap the same day,” he said.
•Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless, while patrolling during the early morning on the second Saturday of the spring gobbler season, came upon a pickup truck in the process of being pulled out of a ditch along the road. “The occupants of the truck, one male and two females, had spent the night in the truck waiting for someone to stop and pull them out,” he said. All three individuals were under the legal age to be possessing or consuming alcohol, and there was a cooler with several unopened cans of beer in the bed of the truck. The male admitted to consuming alcohol at a party prior to getting stuck in the ditch while driving home. State police were contacted, and charges against the driver are pending.
•Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin investigated a report of a hunter with a turkey killed the morning before the spring gobbler season opened. It was a legally harvested gobbler taken in Ohio, where the season had already started, he said. “The hunter had the bird properly tagged and provided more than enough information to validate the exact location of his trophy harvest. He was surprised that someone would report him for poaching, until it was explained that the caller was aware that the turkey season didn’t start until the next day and saw him with the gobbler in the driveway.”
•Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder said a New Castle man was cited for possessing alcohol and drug paraphernalia on state game lands.
•Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala said two juvenile raccoons had to be taken from a local man recently and submitted for rabies testing. “Information about the raccoons came in from a concerned parent who saw the animals being handled by some children at a school bus stop one morning,” he said.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns said illegal off-road vehicles continue to be a concern for his district and patrols continue. “Citations have been issued in the last month for off-road use and failure to stop at the request of an officer,” he said.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns has three active eagle nests in his district and, on March 29, observed a young eagle in a nest near Keystone Dam.
•Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer said 30 students successfully completed the HTE course recently held at the Ambridge Sportsmen Club.
•Fayette/Greene Counties LMGS Stephen Leiendecker said many schools and conservation-minded organizations have assisted with several cooperative access and state game land improvement projects recently. “Students from the Greene County Career and Technology Center constructed several nesting boxes and bat boxes that have been erected on SGL 223, while 20 Belle Vernon Area High School students are assisting with converting a historical garbage dump into an SGL access and parking area, as well as planting several hundred seedlings in an area on SGL 51,” he said. Also, during a recent Earth Day project organized by Alpha Natural Resources, 95 students from three Greene County School Districts planted 3,000 tree seedlings and erected 10 bluebird nesting boxes on a Hunter Access Program property in Greene County. The students were assisted by the Game Commission, DEP and the Greene County Conservation District.
•Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh said four separate dumping investigations recently were conducted with charges pending for each case, and that several other dumping investigations are on-going in his district.
•Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reported that a 185-pound female black bear was caught in Saltlick Township, Fayette County, after causing nuisance issues with a homeowner. The bear was relocated to a remote area of a nearby state game land.
•Somerset County WCO Wade Kramer said bear complaints are increasing in his district. “Complaints have included the normal trash and bird feeders problems and one bee hive getting damaged,” he said. “A tip for keeping bears out of your trash is to spray or pour straight ammonia on you trash can lids and take your bird feeders in at night so as not to attract the bears.”
•Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas said four HTE courses were held in March with a total of 101 students certified. Three courses are scheduled in June.
•Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas is investigating littering resulting from an overnight party near Hutchinson. “I was given information from hunters who intended to use the public access property on the opening day of the spring gobbler season and discovered the trash,” he said.
•Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder said three cubs that were caught after the adult female was hit and killed on the road by a car were successfully transferred and adopted in to other females.
•Potter County WCO Mark A. Fair said a York County man recently was successfully prosecuted for possessing a set of deer antlers he claimed was from a lawfully harvested deer from last year’s deer season. “When checking his hunting license, I found that he still was in possession of the prior year’s unfilled antlered deer tag,” he said.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray said increased patrols in northern Centre County are having a positive effect. “Concentrated efforts include decreasing ATV activity and alcohol/drug possession on SGLs, as well as an increased night time presence in areas popular for the illegal taking of wildlife,” he said.
•Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs said a Williamsport man recently pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia on state game lands, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $200 by District Judge James Sortman. The incident occurred on SGL 133 in the parking area off Susque Road on March 24.”
•Adams County WCO D. J. David said two unrelated December 2011 arrests resulted in lengthy prison sentences for two felons due to their possession of firearms while engaged in multiple game law violations.
•Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich captured a wayward hen pheasant in Camp Hill, recovered and injured vulture in Mechanicsburg, replaced an almost-fledged great horned owl, transplanted 12 mallard ducklings whose mother was hit by a car in Mechanicsburg, and recovered four baby opossums whose mother got hit by a car in Enola.
•Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich reported that the disposition on recent cases include a defendant found guilty for baiting, another pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm in a safety zone, and others pleaded guilty to a variety of game land violations.
•Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich said 10 students were certified after completing an independent study Hunter Education course and passing the examination at Mount Holly Fish & Game.
•Perry County WCO Steve Hower reports, “Toward the final days of the trapping season a utility worker discovered a raccoon in a foot hold trap and notified the land owner who, in turn, called us.” This led to a young man being charged for the violation of failing to check his traps within the required time period (36 hours). He has since paid the fine and now faces possible revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges.
•Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn filed two citations for an individual operating an ATV on game lands. He also is investigating garbage that was dumped on a public access cooperator’s property.
•Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn trapped and released two bears on SGL 107 for research purposes. One was caught in the same spot in the same trap last year.
•Bedford/Fulton Counties LMGS Jonathan S. Zuck successfully prosecuted an old littering case from a previous district. “When I cited the individual in 2004 for littering on SGL 156 in Lancaster County, little did I know that it would take eight years to find him guilty. The courts were eventually able to track him down after he failed to respond to the citation and changed residences.
•Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Snyder Counties LMGS Steve Bernardi reported, “We recently closed a roadway to vehicular travel that runs through SGL 281 in Perry County. The road had been abandoned by the local township. The reason it was closed to vehicles was due to constant dumping that occurred in this remote area. Since then there have been several occasions where someone has removed the barriers and driven on the road in spite of the warnings.” Prosecutions are pending.
•Adams/Cumberland/Franklin Counties LMGS Barry Leonard said members of the Northern Piedmont Retriever Club and the Susquehanna River Waterfowlers are responsible for the refurbishing, cleaning, and installing of waterfowl nesting structures on SGLs 169 and 249.
•Monroe County WCO Cory A. Bentzoni said he was in court several times this month to finish cases that had started as early as August of 2011. One individual waived his right to a preliminary hearing for a felony crimes code charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, and several game law violations. Another individual was found guilty of unlawful taking of big game during a closed season. A third individual was in court for unlawful hunting over bait during the opening day of the firearms deer season.
•Montour County WCO Rick A. Deiterich filed charges against three adults and one juvenile in for a Thanksgiving eve deer poaching case. The suspects were charged with about 66 counts each, including felony and misdemeanor charges, and summary counts for the killing or attempted killing, late spotlighting and spotlighting while in possession of a firearm, of at least 16 deer from this one incident. The shooting spree started in Montour County, and carried over into Lycoming and Columbia counties. All three were arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Marv Shrawder in Danville and each was placed on $20,000 unsecured bail with preliminary hearings set for this month.
•WCO Frank J. Dooley also reported an investigation dating back to the 2011 black bear season has uncovered numerous violations where several bears were illegally killed by unlicensed hunters, in baited areas and unlawfully transported out of state. Charges are pending.
•Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reported incidents involving shooting at night are still coming in from Bradford County residents. One case is being investigated involving a possible shot from a vehicle near the Canton/Leroy area. Unnamed residents called in this violation after obtaining a license plate number from the suspected vehicle.
•Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reported two black bear dens were processed recently in his district. Seven cubs were processed from the two sites. One of the sows had four cubs that ranged from 2 pounds to 7 pounds in weight. She was denned up right on the edge of the parking lot at a busy trucking business.
•Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reported that a bald eagle nest was located along the Susquehanna River in Plymouth Township. While he and DWCO Rick Stefanides were locating and confirming the nest location, they observed two mature eagles, and at least six immature bald eagles in the immediate area. The nest site seemed like a rather odd location, being that it’s right along the very busy South Cross Valley Expressway bridge, and close to an active top soil and nursery business.
•Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley reported seeing many bald eagles in the district. Several of the mature eagles are tending nests and eggs for which the hatch should come soon.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa said three men from the Philadelphia area and three men from New Jersey were recently caught shooting clay birds on the game lands in an area not designated for shooting and possessing alcohol. Several citations were filed.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa reported a man from Milford was recently caught by Eastern Pike Regional Police shooting a rabbit from his vehicle with a pellet gun in a town park. Multiple citations will be filed.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa reported he recently had three hearings for various violations stemming from the archery bear season and bear and deer seasons. In all cases, the violators either pleaded guilty prior to the hearing or were found guilty by the magistrate. All of the charges were related to baiting and possession of illegally-killed game. Fines totaled more than $3,000 and one individual’s loss of hunting privileges for several years.
•Bradford County WCO Joseph Wenzel said law enforcement activities and violations continue with untagged turkeys, traps set after the close of season, road hunting, and hunter trespass.
•Columbia County WCO George Wilcox said 23 new hunters were certified at a basic hunter/trapper education class held at Little Fishing Creek Rod and Gun Club the first week of April.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II assisted the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission on the Delaware River with a striper detail. Between 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. there were multiple arrests for over the limit and catching outside the slot of 20 to 26 inches – fish too small or too big, he said. About 100 stripers were confiscated.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II had a call about a black bear wandering around and finally it ended up in a tree. “We were able to tranquilize the bear and remove it safely,” he said. It was a young male that weighed about 149 pounds.
•Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated an incident in which a vendor at a country market was unlawfully selling wildlife parts. The investigation is continuing.
•Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster has been hearing about sightings of bald eagles in various parts of the county. “I am surprised that I have not had any reports on any nesting pairs of eagles,” he said. If anyone is aware of any nesting pairs in Lehigh County, please report them to the regional office. “Then I can keep watch on the nest and report information to our biologists,” he said.