Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars Report – January 6th, 2017

From the Game Commission 

Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports a hunter had been walking down a road during the firearms season, looking for a deer he’d shot at earlier, and noticed it bedded down in a brushy ditch about 15 yards off the road. He shot the buck, loaded it up and drove off. The deer was within the safety zone of three houses, the closest only 62 yards away. The occupants of the homes witnessed the offense and called State Police and the Game Commission.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports that charges are pending against several waterfowl hunters who had unplugged shotguns while hunting waterfowl at Presque Isle State Park.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports charges are pending against an Erie man who shot and killed an antlerless deer during the bucks-only portion of the firearms deer season. The investigation determined he had another antlerless deer in his possession, as well. Both deer were butchered and the remains thrown over a bank.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman he is looking for information about a vehicle that was shot near the O’Donnell Bridge on State Game Land 244 on the first day of the firearms deer season.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports charges have been filed against a man for making a false statement, killing a sublegal buck, and for hunting over bait.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin previously reported warning goose hunters whose decoy spread was within a safety zone. Several months later, one of the hunters was among a group that again had decoys within a safety zone, and also had shot into the safety zone. Charges are pending.

Venango County WCO Jason R. Amory reports citations will be filed against an individual who used his vehicle to locate a black bear, then quickly drove to a location where he illegally harvested it.

Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda issued a number of citations and warnings for possessing licenses with tags belonging to others, or expired licenses or tags.

 From the Fish & Boat Commission

Sgt. Brook Tolbert & WCO Jeff Giardina were conducting late night steelhead patrols in Erie County when they received a tip from U.S. Border Patrol Agent Mooney that he had observed two lights in Walnut Creek south of the Manchester Road Bridge at approximately 1:30 am which was closed to fishing at the time. The officers watched  the suspects. Two persons were using  large landing nets to illegally take steelhead trout from commonwealth waters. The officers made contact with the individuals who admitted to the violations.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

Indiana/E. Armstrong Counties WCO Matt Colian investigated a pollution to Dutch Run (a tributary to Plum Creek – Stocked Trout Water) in Armstrong County.  A mining company did allow sediment and coal dust from one of their settling ponds to be deposited in to Dutch Run, which ultimately ran in to Plum Creek. A settlement agreement was reached between the PF&BC and the mine, where the mine agreed to pay $1,000 in lieu of criminal prosecution.

Cambria County WCO Al Colian settled an ongoing case against EQT Corp. for pollution of waters. Colian initially opened the investigation in November 2015 for a discharge of bentonite into an unnamed tributary and Laurel Run in Cambria County which resulted from EQT drilling operations.  Drilling operations continued in the area and subsequently, five additional days that bentonite was discharged into the streams by EQT were documented. EQT entered into an agreement and agreed to pay the commission $18,000. EQT had previously entered into an agreement with the PF&BC for the same violations in September 2015.

From the Game Commission 

Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta said citations during archery and firearms deer seasons wre unlawfully taken deer, road-hunting violations, baiting violations, orange violations, and loaded guns in vehicles.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that two bears were killed illegally in Covington Township during the four-day firearms bear season. Charges were filed.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports an individual was cited for shooting a large 10-point buck out of season with an AR-15 rifle, then coming back after dark to finish it with a crossbow.

Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that several individuals have been cited for having loaded firearms in their vehicles during the black bear and firearms deer seasons.

Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee reports that three of the four archery bear kills in his southwestern Tioga County district were killed illegally through the use of scent or bait. Two of the cases involved junior hunters being directed by parents to kill bears in baited areas.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that charges are pending for various game law violations including late spotlighting, spotlighting with firearms in vehicles, untagged big game, license violations, loaded firearms in vehicles, road hunting and shooting on or across roads open to public travel.

McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble said citations were issued to two individuals for  loaded firearms in their vehicles.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that, since the beginning of the big-game seasons, over a dozen citations have been issued to hunters for possessing loaded firearms in, on or against motorized vehicles.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig said  four individuals were cited for illegally operating a UTV and littering on Hunter Access property and charges were filed against an individual for late spotlighting.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports that two individuals recently were cited for failing to tag bears they harvested.

Potter County WCO Mark Fair reports investigating two elk incidents during the first day of the firearms deer season. Both incidents occurred in Leidy Township, Clinton County, and involved two different mistaking elk for deer. One individual killed a trophy-class bull, the other a small cow elk.

From the Game Commission 

Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports an individual was cited for unlawfully taking a big-game animal above established legal limits, and failure to possess a current and valid hunting license. The investigation stemmed from a report of an adult hunter in possession of a 4-point buck. The individual could face upward of $2,000 in fines, loss of hunting privileges, and have to pay $800 restitution on the deer.

Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that several properties were closed to hunting after multiple bait sites were found to be occupied by hunters on the opening day of the firearms deer season. Several of the hunters in the baited areas also were cited for not wearing any fluorescent orange.

Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports several deer poaching incidents happened in November – one where a hunter was found to have shot two bucks this season and the one prior.

York County WCO Kyle A. Jury reports a recent antlered deer case being adjudicated after WCOs found an individual in the Goldsboro area who shot a buck without having a hunting license. The individual shot and injured a buck with a crossbow in the morning on Oct. 14. The individual then purchased a hunting license at the local Walmart and searched the rest of the day for the deer. Neither the charged individual nor officers were able to recover the deer.

From the Game Commission 

Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports a hunter was found archery hunting without a hunting license. His hunting license was already revoked for a previous violation of unlawfully taking game.

Bradford County WCO Blake Barth cited multiple people for unlawfully spotlighting from vehicles after hours and being in possession of firearms within vehicles while spotlighting. All claimed they were unaware of it being unlawful to spotlight with a firearm in a vehicle.

Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports an Orangeville man pleaded guilty to killing a black bear out of season. The man killed the bear two days prior to the extended bear season in WMU 4E.

Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports a Northumberland County man was cited for putting his fully loaded gun on top of his car’s trunk while in a game lands parking area.

Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports multiple charges were filed between the archery bear season and the end of the firearms deer and extended bear seasons. Finnegan reports eight bears were confiscated for being shot in baited areas, before the season began or by hunters who didn’t have valid licenses.

Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley reports citing several individuals on the State Game Land 58 shooting range for possessing a firearm containing more rounds of ammunition than permitted, firing from position other than the designated firing line, and possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly said charges are pending against two after a large buck was shot on the Saturday prior to the opening day of the firearms deer season.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports investigating a bear shot illegally during the extended bear season. The hunter purchased a hunting license and never took the required hunter education course. During the investigation, it was discovered that the bear, and two deer shot by other hunters, were shot through the use of bait. The defendants face multiple charges.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports DWCO John Sivo investigated a baited area at a local hunting club. A man and his 16-year-old son face charges of hunting through the use of bait.

Wayne County WCO Jim McCarthy reports that a Welcome Lake man pleaded guilty to hunting in a baited area and killing a black bear in a baited area during the archery bear season. The man paid over $1,000 in fines and will lose his hunting and trapping privileges for several years.

Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow reports that charges were filed against a Lackawanna County man for unlawfully killing a black bear in a baited area during the archery bear season.

Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow said a Monroe County man was charged with hunting in a baited area during the rifle deer season. It was his 11th game law violation in the past decade.

Susquehanna County WCO Ben Rebuck cited an individual for shooting a deer with a rifle during the archery deer season. Another person was cited for providing the shooter with the rifle and helping drag the deer and load it into a vehicle.

Lackawanna County WCO Jared Turner reports that, on the opening day of the firearms deer season, seven citations and 28 warnings were written in the district including violations for baiting, improper tagging, failure to comply with safety zones, possessing loaded firearms in motorized vehicles, and the unlawful taking of-tailed deer.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

While off duty and traveling through his neighborhood, Wayne County Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Andrew Panessa saw smoke billowing from a house as he passed. After dialing 911, Panessa knocked on the door to see if anyone was in the home. After hearing someone inside, he entered the house and helped the man outside as fire and ambulance crews arrived.

Susquehanna County Waterways Conservation Officer Chad McKenrick, while traveling on SR 1009, came upon a car sitting in the middle of the roadway. The car had its turn signal on and the wipers were on high speed. It was not raining. The driver was slumped over the steering wheel and it took a while to wake him up. Once awake the driver seemed confused. McKenrick called the State Police to investigate a possible Driving Under the Influence violation. It was found that the driver was taking prescription medication which may have made him drowsy.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

Berks County WCO Mark Pisko and representatives of the state Department of Environmental Protection investigated a substantial fish kill in the Little Northkill Creek in Upper Tulpehocken Township recently. After spending time attempting to determine a cause, Pisko and the DEP officials were able to determine that the fish kill was the result of manure entering the creek from leaks in the manure storage facilities at a local farm.

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