Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – August 16th, 2013
• Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace investigated several dumping incidents in July. Several individuals have been identified and charges have been filed with more pending further investigation.
• Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports that a bear was struck and killed by a car just outside Titusville. The bear was a yearling sow and weighed about 80 pounds.
• Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports that an immature bald eagle died near Canadohta Lake. A PennDOT crew watched the eagle fly into a power line and get electrocuted.
• Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports that a Titusville-area man was bound over to county court after a preliminary hearing for attempting to kill a bear in closed season.
• Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that there is a completely healthy female deer running around in the Erie Cemetery. The deer is not trapped but enters and leaves the grounds by the gate or jumping the fence at its leisure. There is no need to call the police or the Game Commission to report the deer, he said.
• Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark investigated numerous dumping cases this summer. He has successfully prosecuted one individual for dumping a truckload of garbage on state game lands and has charges pending on two other individuals for dumping a 19-foot fiberglass boat on state game lands. The individuals backed the boat up to a tree, tied the boat off and pulled the trailer out from under it. Using the make of the boat and a partial registration number, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission was able to establish the owner, which led to the two men who had last possessed the boat.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless has received reports that a fair number of people were unaware that WMU 2G split into 2G and 2H when they sent in for their antlerless deer license. Instead of applying for a license in 2H, where they want to hunt, they sent in for a license for 2G like they have done in the past. This mistake could end up being a costly one if they hunt for or take an antlerless deer in the wrong WMU.
• Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports that, during a recent special detail, 15 citations were issued for riding ATVs on property where they are not permitted.
• Warren County WCO David W. Donachy cited a New York resident for dumping household and construction refuse on land enrolled in the PGC hunter access program.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory said charges were filed regarding a dumping incident on the Allegheny National Forest. A Home, Pa., resident was charged and will be assessed a Summary 3 violation with a fine range of $250 to $500. This case represents one of several recently filed by officer Amory in an effort to combat illegal dumping on public land.
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a local man was recently found guilty of spring turkey hunting from a blind made of cut, stacked and lashed together branches. “The hunter stated that he knew this was against the rules but alluded to the fact that he had never seen a Game Commission officer in the area where he was hunting and that’s why he constructed the blind,” he said. “I explained that this was no excuse for violating the law and the safety concerns of this violation. The hunter went on to say at the District Justice’s courtroom – “you’d have never caught me if I didn’t get a late start that day …” He was assessed a $150 fine for the Game Law violation.
• Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns has received numerous complaints about violations on Agricultural Deer Depredation Areas (“redtag” farms) which will mean increased patrols until Sept. 28, when these permits expire.
• Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras has received several complaints of groundhog hunters not wearing orange hats. Hunters are reminded that it is required by law to wear a hat containing 100 square inches of solid fluorescent orange on their head while groundhog hunting.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that an individual unlawfully operating an ATV was apprehended in the Casparis caves area of State Game Lands 51. “In spite of continued and effective enforcement, this area continues to be a problem area for ATVs and off-road vehicles,” he said.
• Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that an individual recently pleaded guilty to his involvement in poaching three deer at night. Due to his role as the operator of the motor vehicle used in the crime, he received a $5,000 fine and revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges for 10 years.
• Washington County WCO Dan Sitler cited several individuals for a variety of charges including littering, disorderly conduct, operating a vehicle on closed lands and other violations. At a minimum, these charges will amount to over $1,000 in fines.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman reports that an individual was found guilty of permitting dogs owned by him to harass and injure a white-tailed deer. “A witness observed the dogs in the immediate area of the injured deer and at that time he called the local police department and the PGC. The dogs were gone when Bergman arrived. “I proceeded to investigate and collect evidence and ultimately found the owner of the dogs. “The photographs of the bloody dogs, significant wounds and injuries on the deer, and testimony from witnesses were very helpful in proving the case. The owner of the dogs was also cited by the local dog warden,” he added.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports that an Irwin man is facing charges for unlawfully killing protected birds. “A neighbor reported the activity and, when questioned, the man said he killed the birds because he needed a new hobby,” he said.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer encountered a local camp feeding bears intentionally on private property. Camp members were feeding the bears marshmallows and shelled corn for their own entertainment value. The camp received a written warning and was instructed to remove all the food enticements.
• WCO Tom Sabolcik is investigating the killing of a more than 500-pound bear near the village of Keating Summit in Potter County. The bear was killed in a remote area just east of the village and was causing no harm. Anyone with information is asked to call the Northcentral Regional Office at 570-398-4745.
• Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that one individual was charged with three counts of unlawfully purchasing hunting licenses over the past two years after an investigation showed that individual never attended a Hunter-Trapper Education course. If convicted, he could face upwards of $600 in fines.
• Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reports that charges have been filed on a Perry County man for shooting a yearling black bear out of season. The yearling was shot while it was in the neighbor’s burn barrel. The shooter is claiming to have shot the animal for protection of himself and the neighbor’s children. The children were in the home at the time of the shooting.
• Adams County WCO D.J. David reports that a man whose house was searched by local police and state parole agents was found to have multiple parts of deer which he could not fully account for. Not only is he facing penalties for parole violations and drug charges, but will be answering to game law charges as well.
• Bedford County WCO Salvadore Zaffuto reports two local individuals pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a raccoon. The individuals had the raccoon in their house and were caring for it for three weeks. The raccoon had to be euthanized for rabies testing.
• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports a woman was recently found guilty of littering on lands open to public hunting.
• Wayne County WCO Jim McCarthy reports that a Beach Lake man pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a large black bear that was in his yard. The man was sentenced to pay more than $3,000 in fines and replacement costs for the bear.
• Wayne County WCO Jim McCarthy reports that a Lakeville man was found guilty in Honesdale District Court of having a loaded shotgun in/on/or against a motor vehicle during the spring turkey season. The man was assessed over $150 in fines and costs.
• Columbia County WCO John Morack reports that a law enforcement detail was recently conducted at the PGC range on State Game Land 58 in Mifflin Township. The objective of the detail was to help reduce violations by those using the facility and to promote positive relationships between shooters and adjacent landowners. Seven violations were observed by officers resulting in two citations and five written warnings being issued.
• Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb reports that a case involving the illegal possession of an opossum was recently adjudicated. The individual took the animal out of the wild to keep as a pet.
• Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reports: “An individual in Greenwich Township decided to sight in his rifle and then try it out on a six-point buck across the road from his residence; killing the deer then moving it up the hill to be out of sight and leave it there.” As the result of a witness calling in information, officers responded and through their investigation found the actor, his firearm and the hidden deer. Charges of unlawful taking of big game in closed season as well as replacement costs of the deer and shooting across a public highway were filed.
• Chester County WCO Scott Frederick and Berks County WCO Eric Anderson assisted Bureau of Forestry personnel at SGL 43 on an investigation into a forest fire caused by a shooter on the rifle range. Based on witness statements and on-the-ground evidence, it appears that the shooter was using some form of incendiary round. The investigation is ongoing. “Range regulations forbid the use of such rounds for this very reason,” Frederick said. “Anyone caught using such a round can not only be prosecuted for the mere range violation, but also for any damages caused by the discharging of such a round. When you tally up actual property damages, cost of fire personnel to put out a blaze, etc., it can get very costly for the responsible party.”
• Dauphin County WCO Derek Daly recently received Tip-Line information on a potential poaching incident involving multiple species. “Unfortunately, the information was too vague to follow through with a thorough investigation,” he said.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that several individuals who requested hearings were found guilty of charges stemming from incidents of off-roading on state game lands.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that several treestands were found on state game lands 145, 156, 80. “All the stands were taken down and will be held for a time to see if anyone claims them,” he said. Treestands on state game lands can be placed out not more than two weeks before and must be removed no later than two weeks after any deer season. Also the treestand can not cause any damage to the tree.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that a trail camera was found on SGL 211 and was seized. “The camera was in a large metal case and was bolted to the tree,” he said. “Bait was also found in front of the camera. While trail cameras are allowed to be placed on state game lands, they cannot cause damage to trees and bait is not allowed to be placed on state game lands.”
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that several citations have been written at SGL 211 at “Box Car Rocks” for controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that so far this summer, three injured or displaced peregrine falcons have been recovered and transported to Pocono Rehabilitation. “One juvenile peregrine has already been released back into the wild at a recovery location,” he said.
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that all court cases from last hunting season have been adjudicated this month.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports several citations are being written for land abuse. These range from ATV trespass to garbage dumping and drug paraphernalia charges.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports a successful release of an injured juvenile bald eagle. “This eagle was injured when its nest fell from the tree during a storm,” he said. “After having surgery and rehab, the young eagle was returned to the wild were the adult eagles welcomed it back,” Clouser said.