Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 17, 2017

From the Game Commission 

Butler County WCO Chip L.  Brunst reports that, in a two-week span, he completed hearings for two people who failed to obey signs posted on state game lands, as well as another person who “rescued” two young raccoons from a basement after he killed their mother. He then unlawfully kept and raised the raccoons. More hearings from the hunting season are yet to come.

Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports that, by chance, both DWCO Scott D. Klopfer and DWCO Michael R. Turley were out walking their dogs at Moraine State Park when they happened upon a man hunting pheasants. This would not normally be a problem, except this was on Sunday. The man said he originally was from North Dakota and Sunday hunting is legal there. He also said he has hunted in Pennsylvania for a couple of years but hasn’t bothered to look at the digest to review the rules and regulations. He will be cited for the violation.

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports filing multiple charges against two teenagers who shot a deer illegally from a road, with a rifle, near the end of legal shooting hours on the opening day of muzzleloader season. The teens then returned after dark and drove onto private property with a loaded gun to search for the deer, at which time they were apprehended by a responding deputy wildlife conservation officer.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports that a Springfield Township man pleaded guilty to multiple charges of killing, processing and disposing of multiple antlerless deer on the first day of the antlered-only firearms deer season. Fines exceeded $3,000.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports handling two mistakenly killed otters in the past week. One was taken in Columbus Township, Warren County; the other in LeBoeuf Township, Erie County.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless and DWCO Jonathan R. Smith recently investigated a logging-operation-related illegal stream crossing on private property adjacent to State Game Land 244. While checking the game lands property line for possible logging encroachments, the two found evidence that indicated a log skidder was illegally dragging logs across a high-quality trout stream. The local conservation district was contacted and the logging company involved was identified. The conservation district is working with the logging company to remediate damage to the stream and streambank.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports charges have been filed against a Mercer County man for killing an antlerless deer without first purchasing an antlerless deer license. The deer was then unlawfully tagged with the man’s fall turkey kill tag.

Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports that a trapper accidentally caught an otter in one of his beaver traps.

Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports that citations were issued to each of four people riding on one all-terrain vehicle for possessing loaded firearms during deer season.

Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda reports that charges are pending against an Ohio resident for buying resident Pennsylvania hunting licenses for himself and his teenage children.

Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander assisted in prosecuting the unlawful harvest of a black bear.

From the Game Commission

Bucks County WCO Shawna Burkett reports an ongoing issue of partially butchered deer being dumped in the creek along the 1200 block Birch Road in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County. This has been ongoing since the early archery season and, to date, at least six carcasses and one full deer have been recovered from the creek, and half the deer likely were antlered deer. Officers believe someone is butchering the deer at their home and disposing of the carcasses unlawfully. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Game Commission’s Southeast Regional office at 610-926-3136.

Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports that a man residing in West Caln Township has pleaded guilty to dumping four bags of household trash on county property that is open to hunting. The investigation was completed in cooperation with Chester County park rangers. Fines totaled $290.

Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick reports closing cases from the recent hunting seasons, including a road-hunting case and a case involving the illegal taking of multiple big-game animals by several individuals in one episode.

Lebanon County WCO Brian W Sheetz said numerous charges have been filed for violations such as unplugged shotguns, hunting without license, failure to possess a federal duck stamp, and hunting within safety zones during the waterfowl season. Recently, WCO Sheetz was called upon to investigate a group of waterfowl hunters for unlawfully shooting at tundra swans at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Tundra swans are not a legal game bird in Pennsylvania.

Lehigh and Northampton counties WCO Tyler Kreider reports that all citations and cases from the hunting seasons have been adjudicated. For the district, hunting through the use of bait and failure to properly tag harvests remained among the most-prevalent violations.

Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that, during the last two weeks of the extended antlerless deer season in the special regulation areas, numerous violations have been investigated. Madden reports that hunter trespass is a violation in many of these cases.

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that one bobcat and one river otter recently were turned in by local trappers as accidental catches.

Schuylkill County WCO Joel Gibble reports that several investigations are underway for deliberate property damage by gunfire on multiple state game lands.

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