Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Sept. 15, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Butler County WCO Randy Pilarcik reminds the hunters who soon will be taking to state game lands to be sure to tag treestands placed there with their names and addresses, CID numbers, or a personalized number obtained from the Game Commission by contacting their region office. This information must be in a conspicuous place that is easily read. Owners of lands enrolled in the agency’s Hunter Access program also require that same information on stands placed on their properties.

Forest County WCO Frank Leichtenberger he has set three bear traps in his district in an attempt to catch bears with mange. There were a couple of instances of interference and sabotage of these traps. Worse yet, several property owners report they’ve had confrontations with neighbors who are angry that someone is trying to catch “their” bear. He warns those who decide to damage or interfere with the traps that they will be prosecuted.

Jefferson County WCO Roger Hartless recommends that, with archery deer season quickly approaching, hunters should take a few minutes to inspect their stands for loose or worn parts. Falls from treestands are becoming all too common these days, and most times can be prevented by using quality safety equipment, paying attention to proper stand placement, and preforming routine stand maintenance. Using stands that have been left out in the woods from one year to the next are accidents waiting to happen, as metal parts rust or suffer fatigue, and straps weather and weaken.

Mercer County WCO Donald Chaybin reports that an investigation is underway to identify the persons responsible for an illegal campsite and multiple other violations on State Game Land 270. The campsite was found strewn with litter along with the collapsed tent and other related camping equipment, clothing, cookware and food. Several receipts were discovered that should provide information on person or persons involved. Numerous empty beer cans and liquor bottles were among the trash left behind, adding the unlawful possession of alcohol on state game lands to the potential charges.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports that a Knox man was apprehended for leaving tangible property on state game lands and failing to conspicuously mark a treestand he left on State Game Land 63. Hunters are reminded that treestands are permitted to be left on game lands, but can be placed out no sooner than two weeks prior to the first deer season in the area, and must be taken down within two weeks of the final deer season in the area closing.

Erie and Crawford counties Land Manager Shayne Hoachlander reported that a new weed management cooperative is forming in Crawford County. This cooperative will help coordinate funding and efforts to control invasive species in the area to improve habitat. A similar cooperative in the Lake Erie watershed has been very successful in assisting with invasive species control on State Game Land 314 and many other properties open to public hunting.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports multiple citations have been filed as a result of a camera that was placed on State Game Land 129 to help deter ATV use.

Susquehanna County WCO Ben Rebuck reports citing an individual for removing a live groundhog from the wild to keep as a pet.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports, the Game Commission’s Operation Game Thief trailer appeared during the National Night Out event at the Governor’s Mansion and the Art Show at the Middle Creek Visitor Center, and afterward it was immediately sent to the Northcentral Region for another program. The trailer always attracts attention, and at both programs he attended, Doherty was struck by how many non-hunters asked questions about wildlife crime, poaching, and the like. The display brings home the agency’s mission to many people who had no idea of the scale of wildlife crime in Pennsylvania.

Dauphin and Lebanon counties LMGS Steven Bernardi reports, while walking on a section of State Game Land 264 in Dauphin County, he came across an area that had all the native trees, shrubs and wildflowers mowed off. It was obvious that it had been mowed for quite some time. Part of the area also was plowed, likely for planting. Citations are pending.

Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek reports citing an individual for the unlawful possession of a raccoon. Additionally, Veylupek is investigating an incident in Ephrata where individuals are shooting squirrels from a second-story window, within multiple safety zones.

Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel reports sportsmen hunting in Wildlife Management Unit 5B should be careful to review the 2017-18 deer hunting seasons and bag limits due to some big changes. During the first week of the firearms deer season, only antlered deer will be lawful to harvest in WMU 5B, unless the hunter is using an area-specific DMAP permit to take antlerless deer. Warfel also reminds there is a new three-day fall turkey season this year on Oct. 31, Nov.1 and Nov. 2.

Schuylkill County WCO Jason Macunas reports that there has been recent damage on Blackwood Inc. property in Reilly Township. Blackwood owns a large tract of land that is enrolled into the Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program, which allows access to the property for hunting and other recreational use. Recently, a metal access gate was cut off and individuals appeared to drive off-road vehicles onto the property. Various trees were cut down and empty beer cans also were left behind. Individuals with information are asked to contact the Game Commission’s Southeast Region Office at 610-926-3136.

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