Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 13, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports multiple farmers have encountered problems with ATVs driving through fields and destroying crops. One farmer had thousands of dollars in damage to his soybean field. Most of these properties are open to public hunting. However, the farmers said they are rethinking things and are considering posting their properties and not allowing recreation there at all.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith thanked  the many goose hunters who took the time to seek out problem sites with nuisance geese. Several groups worked with landowners, who kept livestock inside, and the hunters were able to reduce these local flocks.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless is investigating a littering violation on State Game Land 54 around Labor Day. Someone apparently purchased a new shotgun, then used the cardboard box it came in for target practice and left the shot-up box in a parking area. The shotgun’s make, model and serial number were on a label attached to one end of that box, which could be used to identify the person who purchased the shotgun.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman reports dealing with a rash of incidents concerning people taking baby raccoons out of the wild and raising them as pets. Not only is this very dangerous to people, it seals the fate of the animal, as well.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports an Ohio resident was charged for shooting down a 25-inch circumference tree on a Mercer County farm where he used to hunt. The tree fell on a tractor path, blocking access to a cultivated cornfield.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports a Jefferson County man was cited for placing a mineral block on State Game Land 31, which is within the Disease Management Area 3. Although it is unlawful to place any bait on state game lands, placing bait to congregate deer within a DMA carries a separate penalty, as well. Chronic wasting disease, which is always fatal to deer and elk, is transmitted from deer to deer through direct and indirect contact. When food, minerals or urine-based attractants are placed out – causing deer to congregate at those sites – it increases the chances of the disease spreading. That’s why none of those attractants are permitted within DMAs.

Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander reports that someone in a dual-wheel truck dumped a load of tires and building-renovation refuse on Morgan Road within State Game Land 191 in Erie County. The case is under investigation.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports warning a Woodland man for setting a leg-hold trap to target a neighbor’s roaming chickens and dog, which he ended up catching. The dog ended up with a bruised paw, but the owner did not want to pursue charges.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a motorcycle operator refused to stop after being caught in an area closed to motorized vehicles. The 17-year-old operator fled the scene, but was tracked down through numerous interviews with area residents who observed him speeding away.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports an individual from Kersey was encountered dumping approximately 50 pounds of shelled corn and various minerals on State Game Land 34 on Aug. 26. The subject was ordered to remove all the enticements from the site and a citation was filed for his placing food on Game Commission property.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a person was encountered spotlighting with a .17 caliber rifle inside a vehicle after 11 p.m. Charges have been filed.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports a dog got into a fight with an approximately 400-pound bear near Osceola Mills. The dog sustained multiple lacerations, its owner received an $800 vet bill. Two bear traps were set in the vicinity to capture the animal.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports a recent increase in complaints of dogs chasing big game.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports numerous sportsmen complaining of finding baited areas while scouting prior to the hunting seasons.

McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble reports that, while patrolling State Game Land 62 along with WCO Jeffrey Orwig, four individuals were discovered driving on closed roads and being in possession of controlled substances. Citations were filed against them.

Lycoming County WCO Jonathan M. Wyant reports many farmers are calling about and participating in deer-control programs. Some have reported fields totally destroyed by wildlife.

Lycoming and Union counties Land Management Group Supervisor Rodney Mee reports that one of his Habitat Management workers had his personal vehicle stolen when an escaped convict broke into the game lands building on State Game Land 252. The escapee drove the stolen vehicle to a gas station near his hometown and abandoned it. Habitat workers had to repair the building doors and windows damaged in the break-in.

Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports an individual recently was cited for the unlawful possession of two raccoons that were removed from the wild.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister reports that a Bedford county man pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of rabbits in a closed season.

Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister reports that ATV use has picked up, and he reminds riders to stay off game lands.

Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn filed charges against two individuals, each for possessing a red fox as a pet.

Mifflin County WCO Amanda M. Isett reports that several people have called to report crop damage caused by both deer and bears.

Adams County WCO Darren J. David reports that a man was cited for a safety-zone violation, hunting without a license, and without a required orange hat while hunting woodchucks in an orchard near Chambersburg. Within hours after the citations were filed, he was found in the same area hunting woodchucks again. Although this time he had his hunting license, orange hat and was not within any safety zone, he had been drinking beer and was in possession of illegal drugs. An arrest was made, and additional criminal charges are pending due to his being under the influence.

Perry County WCO Steven Brussese reports that an individual pleaded guilty to shooting, from a vehicle that was stopped roadside, at a groundhog within a safety zone. Additionally, the individual didn’t possess a valid 2017-18 hunting license.

Perry County WCO Kevin P. Anderson Jr. reports that visual tracking was used to assist DCNR in a marijuana growing operation on state forest land. By identifying the routes used to access the operation, DCNR was able to gather enough information to execute a search warrant on the suspect’s home. Approximately 1,000 plants were collected from the woods and the suspect’s home. The suspect faces a long list of charges for production of a controlled substance and for damage caused to the state forest property.

York County WCO Justin Ritter reports that an individual was charged for the unlawful possession of a raccoon. The raccoon was taken from the wild in York County and kept in a home as a pet.

York County WCO Kyle A. Jury reports several citations being filed after Northern York County Regional Police discovered a vehicle stuck in a state game lands pond in Franklin Township. Jury later interviewed the vehicle operator who confessed to taking a “joy ride” through the game lands, unaware of the pond. The driver is now facing several charges and could be responsible for damage. The vehicle has been recovered and the operator was uninjured.

Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem II reports citing a gas company for allowing an employee to drive a UTV on roads closed to motorized travel.

Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that an individual has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence alcohol and controlled substances. The individual was sentenced to 72 hours to six months prison and faces a multitude of fines.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Columbia County WCO Jason Kelley reports seeing an increase in shooting-range usage on State Game Land 58 and encourages everyone to read all posted signs before using the range.

Montour County WCO Michael College reports that several individuals were encountered and cited for underage drinking and drug possession during a combined patrol with Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission officers.

Wayne County WCO Frank Dooley reports citing 20 underage persons on State Game Land 159 for consumption and possession of alcohol. Each violator has paid a $300 penalty, for a total of $6,000 in fines and costs.

Wayne County WCO Frank Dooley reports three individuals received warnings for operating ATVs on state game lands, and four persons were warned for littering.

Wayne County WCO Frank Dooley reports filing a citation against one individual for dumping trash on state game lands and five juveniles were cited for possession of alcoholic beverages and for camping in a restricted area.

Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow reports that an individual received a warning on state game lands for hunting woodchucks without a current hunting license in his possession.

Pike County WCO Robert Johnson reports a Philadelphia area gun shop owner recently was found guilty in Pike County court for killing a bear over bait during last year’s archery bear season. The man had scattered a 50-pound bag of corn near his driveway and killed the bear as it came into his yard to feed. Fines and costs totaled over $2,900 and his hunting license privileges were suspended for three years.

Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly reports an individual has been charged for attempting to sell waterfowl mounts.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports two adults and six juveniles from Staten Island, N.Y., recently were cited for littering on the state game lands. They were camping illegally and left bottles and cans at their campsite. They were given warnings for camping illegally.

Susquehanna County WCO Ben Rebuck reports participating in law-enforcement details over the Labor Day holiday in Pike and Wayne counties. The details were performed to detect unlawful activity on state game lands.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Schuylkill County WCO Jason Macunas issued an early reminder for motorists to watch out for deer as movement increases over the coming weeks and months. Individuals who wish to obtain a permit for the consumption of road-killed deer may do so by contacting the region office within 24 hours. Individuals who wish to obtain keep the antlers of a deer accidentally killed by a vehicle can purchase them at the discretion of the local WCO.

Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that a truck was parked on state game lands for an extended period. Halbfoerster spoke to the owner, who said the vehicle broken down, but he’d move it immediately. After more than a month, the owner was hand-delivered a letter that stated the vehicle must be moved within 10 days, or he would be cited and the vehicle impounded. When the 10 days were up, the vehicle indeed was impounded and the driver was cited $500 for not moving it.

Dauphin County WCO Michael Doherty reports that DWCO Anthony Cummings discovered a bag of garbage and empty liquor bottles in a parking lot on State Game Land 246, including a partial credit-card receipt. With the help of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and Chase Visa, the owner of the receipt was identified and is now facing charges for dumping trash on game lands.

Southeast Region Information and Education Supervisor Dustin Stoner reports that two separate hunting-related shooting incidents were reported on Sept. 1 in Lancaster County. Both incidents are believed to be a result of dove hunters shooting in the direction of non-hunting bystanders. The two victims were struck with pellets. Neither was seriously injured. Both investigations are ongoing.

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