Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 16, 2018
From the Game Commission
Butler County SGW Randy W. Pilarcik reports four hunters were pheasant hunting on a local regulated shooting ground and one hunter shot the dog handler while shooting at a pheasant. The dog handler was hit with a load of BBs in the chest, neck and face. Charges are pending on the shooter.
Crawford County SGW Randy R. Crago reports picking up an injured barred owl and taking it to Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The owl was found along SR 27 and appears to have collided with a car.
Forest County SGW Frank E. Leichtenberger reports one of the most common violations encountered is having a loaded rifle in, on or leaning against a vehicle.
Jefferson County SGW Roger A. Hartless reports although the “official” deer seasons are over, some seem to think that deer season is year-round. The week after the close of flintlock deer season, he discovered evidence indicating a deer had been recently shot from a secluded township road. Anyone with information relative to a wildlife-related crime is asked to call the Game Commission region office serving their county, or call the Operation Game Thief’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001.
Mercer County SGW Donald G. Chaybin reports violations from start to finish in the late Canada goose season in the SJBP Zone. There was a report of illegal hunting the day before the season opened. Two hunters were found in Jackson Township near Lake Latonka, and not only were they goose hunting, they had already killed one goose. They were genuinely surprised that they were hunting a day early. Their problems began with assuming goose season returned with small game, which opened that day. But the Canada goose season reopened the next day. Citations were filed, and both hunters paid their fines. On the last day of the season, Deputy Thomas R. Jones checked two goose hunters at the Shenango Reservoir’s Game Commission Wildlife Management Area uncovering that one hunter failed to purchase a Pennsylvania Migratory Bird License and the other did not have a Federal Duck Stamp. Charges were filed.
Warren County SGW Eric M. McBride reports a case of littering on state game lands is being investigated.
Warren County SGW Eric M. McBride reports a bear with severe mange was found using a barn as a den site. The bear was euthanized.
From the Game Commission
Allegheny County SGW Dan Puhala reports the last week of the extended WMU 2B deer seasons ended with two separate illegal baiting cases. One case involved an individual hunting deer in a baited area with a borrowed antlerless deer license. The other case involved a deer being unlawfully killed in a baited area.
Allegheny County SGW Tom Kline reports a South Fayette Township resident was recently charged with unlawful taking of game or wildlife, shooting across a public road, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle and using a motor vehicle to locate game. The defendant shot a doe from his truck with a flintlock on a state route in Collier Township around 5:30 p.m. A witness heard the shot and saw the smoke coming out of the driver’s side window of the truck. He alerted the local police who quickly contacted the Game Commission. The defendant could potentially face a penalty of up to $1,850 in fines, one month of imprisonment and hunting license revocation.
Allegheny County SGW Douglas Bergman reports charges are pending against several people following an incident where a group of hunters were driving deer through multiple safety zones in McKeesport.
Allegheny County SGW Douglas Bergman reports a Pittsburgh man pleaded guilty to charges of killing and possessing a protected deer. Thanks to an anonymous tip from a concerned sportsman, enough information was gathered to allow game wardens to find the person responsible.
Beaver County SGW Matt Kramer reports he has received numerous reports of deer that seem to be on the small side or underweight. Deer are conditioned to eat browse at this time of year and will make it through the winter months by eating the ends off of woody vegetation and shrubs. As a reminder, it is not recommended to feed deer or other wildlife as it can lead to other health and disease issues.
Beaver County SGW Matt Kramer reports a Hopewell Township man was cited for unlawfully target shooting on state game lands. The man was shooting a paper target with some saplings as a backstop. The rounds were damaging the trees and the backstop was not sufficient to stop the rounds from going down range. As a side note, the wind chill was -20 degrees that day.
Fayette County SGW Brandon Bonin reports a local deer processor was recently found guilty of buying and selling game, and providing false statements to a game warden. Fines and costs exceeded $1,500, plus hunting license revocation. The processor was paying his employees with deer meat from deer that hunters were dropping off to be butchered. These violations were discovered during an investigation concerning the processor receiving an unlawfully taken deer.
Fayette County SGW Brandon Bonin reports a Greensboro man has pleaded guilty to hunting without purchasing a hunting license and killing a deer unlawfully. Fines and costs were $1,880, plus hunting license revocation.
Fayette County SGW Brandon Bonin reports charges have been filed against two ATV riders for riding on State Game Land 51. The offenders were caught while Bonin was conducting a foot patrol on the game lands. One ATV rider asked, “Why are you even down here walking…”
Fayette and Westmoreland counties SGW Andy Harvey reports a man was recently cited for shooting a white-tailed deer through the use of bait in his backyard. The individual had bird seed spread around the yard and a mineral block sitting on the ground. He was also charged with interfering with an investigation after he removed evidence from the scene.
Indiana County SGW Chris Reidmiller reports a recent investigation into a local deer processor resulted in several violations being discovered involving improperly tagged deer and failures to report harvests. Several individuals are being cited in the case.
Somerset County SGW Brian Witherite reports that, despite the snowfall in the Laurel Highlands area, complaints of property abuse by ATV riders continue to be reported.
Somerset County SGW Brian Witherite reports trapping violations have been on the rise for failure to check traps and for bait visible from the air.
Westmoreland County SGW Bill Brehun reports three individuals charged with unlawfully taking six antlerless deer in Derry Township face fines totaling $9,600, plus up to 28 years of hunting license revocation. The multiple charges against them were sparked by an anonymous tip.
Westmoreland County SGW Bill Brehun reports a Unity Township man was found guilty of the unlawful possession of a deer while trespassing on private property during the statewide rifle deer season. This incident was reported by a witness who observed the defendant stop along a public road before exiting his vehicle and firing multiple shots at deer standing in a cut cornfield. The witness watched the defendant get back in and drive down the road, turning onto another road before getting out and pursuing the deer he had just shot at previously. Game wardens arrived to find the defendant dragging an untagged antlerless deer from the field. The defendant faced fines totaling $500.
Westmoreland County SGW Bill Brehun reports a Unity Township man was found guilty at a summary hearing for negligently shooting and killing a protected antlered deer. The defendant tagged the deer and attempted to have it processed at a local deer processor. The deer processor would not accept the illegal deer.
Westmoreland County SGW Matthew Lucas reports an individual was found in possession of his used antlered deer tag and no other lawful harvest tag, while hunting deer during the opening day of the late flintlock muzzleloader season.
Westmoreland County SGW Matthew Lucas reports a decoy operation was set up in Sewickley Township in an area where multiple reports of road hunting had been received. Two individuals were stopped after they alighted from the vehicle and shot while leaning across the hood of the vehicle. They face minimum fines of over $800, plus court costs.
From the Game Commission
Berks County SGW M.P. Teehan reports the 2017 two-week statewide firearms deer season mirrored that of 2014, in violation numbers. There were 14 illegal-deer cases and numerous baiting, trespassing, license and damage to property cases.
Chester County SGW Matthew Johnson reports a common violation during this past regular firearms deer season was the failure to wear the required amount of fluorescent orange material. Hunters making this error were in most cases using archery equipment.
Lebanon County SGW Brian Sheetz reports on Christmas day a bear found its way into the outskirts of Lebanon. With the help from North Lebanon Police Department, the 250-pound bear was quickly found, darted and relocated without incident.
Lehigh County SGW Tyler Kreider reports range violations are constant problem at State Game Land 205 in Schnecksville. Range users are reminded to have a current and valid hunting or furtaker license or a Commission-issued range permit, whichever is utilized must be signed and carried by persons using the range.
Schuylkill County SGW Jason Macunas reports several investigations into illegal poaching activity are still pending. There have been several instances in the county where individuals have shot large bucks with either archery gear or rifles during nighttime hours. This activity was still taking place even after the close of the statewide firearms season. Anyone with information regarding illegal activity is urged to contact the Southeast Region Office.
Schuylkill County SGW Joel Gibble reports charges have been filed on an individual who shot two bucks during the rifle season and did not tag either one.