Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 25, 2018

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a Mercer County juvenile pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded firearm while in a moving vehicle. The juvenile was in a coyote hunt using hounds and observed driving on a public roadway with his rifle pointed out the driver’s window.

Cambria County Game Warden Seth Mesoras reports a case has been adjudicated involving multiple illegally taken deer last fall. Two defendants each pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful taking of big game. The charges resulted in $4,000 in fines, $5,000 restitution and 15 years’ revocation of their hunting privileges. Another defendant was found guilty of attempting to take two deer unlawfully and was fined over $2,200. 

Cambria County Game Warden Seth Mesoras filed charges on a man who illegally shot a crow in a safety zone. He was hunting with a group participating in a crow-hunting tournament when he shot a crow about 25 yards from an occupied structure. Appropriate charges were filed, and the other participants were warned.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports on the opening morning of the statewide spring turkey season, two individuals were driving down a road and shot a gobbler in a clover field. The incident was reported, and the investigation led to two persons who have a game-law violations’ history. Charges are pending.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports charges were filed against  three individuals who were camping, consuming alcohol and maintaining an open fire on State Game Land 104 in Fairhope.  

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports two individuals have been cited for two separate instances of causing damage to property, as well as littering. On two occasions, the individuals traveled to a Great Allegheny Passage Hiking/Biking Trail parking lot in Meyersdale and began discharging firearms into the parking lot’s constructed signage. Both long guns and handguns were discharged. Spent casings and empty ammunition boxes were discarded in the parking lot. 

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports a Salisbury man has been charged with unlawful killing of big game after he harvested an antlerless deer on April 9. The man observed the deer behind his father’s residence, retrieved a 16-gauge shotgun and shot it. He then finished off the deer in a neighboring field with a baseball bat. The individual has never held a Pennsylvania hunting license. He faces fines up to $1,500 and loss of hunting privileges for three years.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael Papinchak reports an individual has pleaded guilty for having a loaded gun in a vehicle during the firearms deer season. As Papinchak approached the vehicle, the individual attempted – with the safety off – to unload the rifle. The muzzle was pointed into the armpit and face of the hunter. Commands were given to stop handling the rifle more out of concern for the individual’s well-being than the preservation of evidence.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael Papinchak reports a revocation was upheld in an administrative hearing for a case in which someone illegally killed a turkey. The man had located and shot the turkey from his vehicle while in multiple safety zones. The witness was in his line-of-fire.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael Papinchak reports he encountered a boy and his father taking an antlerless deer to the processor. The pair were excited to tell how it was the boy’s first deer. However, it was discovered the boy did not have an antlerless tag, the tag on the deer belonged to the father. Extra time was spent with father and son so as not to discourage them from continuing to hunt. Dad was charged with transferring his tag and pleaded guilty. 

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Johnstown man has been charged with violating state game lands shooting range regulations. These violations consisted of failure to produce a license or range permit, having more individual shooters than allowed per licensed person, and discharging over the maximum allowed amount of ammunition at one time. 

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Derry Township man has been charged for littering on lands open to public hunting. While patrolling on Army Corps of Engineers property, a deer carcass wrapped in plastic and cardboard was found dumped over an embankment. While sorting through these items, a shipping label with a name and address were found. The person responsible for this dump has pleaded guilty, paid fines and cleaned up the debris.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Adams County Game Warden Cory Ammerman reports a search warrant conducted on a South Mountain area individual yielded one illegal trophy-class 9-point and six unlawfully possessed guns. The individual entered a guilty plea agreement to one felony for persons not to possess firearms, one misdemeanor for an unlawful deer, and one summary for hunting while on license revocation. The individual will be receiving a minimum of 48 months jail time, and must pay $5,000 for restitution on the trophy buck and $500 to Operation Game Thief for the reward given to the person who reported the violations. 

Adams County Game Warden Darren David reports a man killed a doe on the 2017 firearms deer season opener. Two other hunters assisted, or conspired with him in the violation. When the hunters thought they might be caught, the carcass was dumped along a road and left to rot.  Many charges are pending.

Adams County Game Warden Darren David says on the last day of the firearms deer season, a report of late shooting led to the apprehension of several hunters. Among the violations uncovered were two deer tagged improperly, at least one deer shot after closing time, shooting within safety zones, an unlawfully obtained license and carrying expired licenses with big game tags.

Adams County Game Warden Darren David reports a year after a convicted criminal was charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm when he accidentally shot his brother while they hunted pheasants, he was found hunting with a muzzleloader. He again is facing a felony charge for unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports three men from Maryland and New Jersey are being investigated for the unlawful taking of bucks over multiple years, transporting deer across state lines and unlawful tagging.

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports four individuals were charged with loaded firearms in a vehicle and unlawful taking of a deer. 

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports two men have been charged with unlawfully harvesting a deer outside of a DMAP area.

Bedford County Game Warden Jeremy Coughenour reports two out-of-state hunters pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a firearms deer season incident. One hunter had killed an antlerless deer, even though he didn’t possess a valid antlerless tag. He then conspired with his friend to illegally tag the deer. Both hunters were field checked by wardens just after the deer was shot and before they could illegally tag the animal. They both also possessed multiple deer tags from previous years. 

Blair County Game Warden Salvadore Zaffuto reports a Tyrone resident pleaded guilty to dumping three loads of rubbish on Tyrone Water Authority property.  

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy Wenrich reports the adjudication of a case in which an individual unlawfully killed or possessed multiple deer. The two-month investigation involved game wardens and waterways conservation officers from two counties.

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy Wenrich reports firearms deer season incidents included damage to property by gunfire, hunting over bait, hunting without a license and fluorescent orange violations.

Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports a few February waterfowl violations. Not having a federal duck stamp and state migratory bird license were the most prevalent. Since the display regulation was discontinued, many more hunters forget to take licenses afield, which leads to inconveniences for all involved.  

Fulton County Game Warden Justin Klugh reports two persons who were assisting with the illegal taking of a deer at night with a spotlight during closed season were found guilty at a hearing and assessed $2,000 in fines.  

Huntingdon County Game Warden Amy Nabozny reports there were numerous cases over the past hunting season in which hunters were apprehended for shooting multiple bucks. These cases were prosecuted with information passed along by folks who are fed up with this greed for resources and disregard for laws.  

Mifflin County Game Warden Amanda Isett reports several hunters were cited for having loaded firearms in or against their vehicles during the firearms deer season.

Perry County Game Warden Steven Brussese reports two Perry County residents have been charged with killing an antlerless deer at night over the Christmas weekend. One of the violators was on revocation for past game-law violations. The charges, including taking a deer in closed season and safety zone violations, resulted in $3,500 in fines and a combined 11 years’ revocation for both violators.  

Perry County Game Warden Kevin Anderson Jr. reports a Perry County man recently pleaded guilty to shooting antlerless deer without a valid doe tag during the firearms deer season. Large fines have been assessed, and he will lose his hunting privileges for several years.

Snyder County Game Warden Harold Malehorn filed a criminal complaint on an individual for possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended/revoked driver’s license and game lands violations.

Snyder County Game Warden Harold Malehorn filed a citation on a man for throwing garbage from his vehicle into a State Game Land 212 parking lot.

York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports a local deer processor pleaded guilty to selling game meat. The charges included misdemeanor and summary charges and $3,000 penalty.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County Game Warden Blake Barth reports investigating multiple incidents of deer carcasses being dumped along Kuhnlee Road in Springfield Township. Evidence suggests the deer carcasses were disposed in separate incidents, but still within weeks of each other. 

Bradford County Game Warden Eric Kelly reports charges are pending against an individual who was hunting spring turkeys over bait.

Columbia County Game Warden Rick Deiterich cited a Bloomsburg woman for attempting to sell bald eagle feathers and for possession of protected bird feathers. She was trying to sell 10 feathers through an internet yard sale. Her brother also was cited for possession of protected feathers and parts. Both pleaded guilty and paid fines and costs.

Pike County Game Warden Bob Johnson reports a Lackawaxen man recently pleaded guilty to hunting bears over bait. The same investigation revealed he’d previously killed a 10-point buck at the same location through the use of bait, for which he also was charged. Fines totaled over $1,000 and loss of his Pennsylvania hunting license privileges.

Pike County Game Warden Bob Johnson reports two Lackawaxen men recently pleaded guilty to killing and possessing an antlerless deer on the 2017 antlered deer rifle season opener. The men paid fines and costs totaling over $1,000 and loss of Pennsylvania hunting privileges for one year.

Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports a juvenile was found guilty of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession stemming from a vehicle stop that also involved assistance from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources forest rangers. The juvenile’s mother was driving and admitted to putting the windows down to “air out the car” so her son didn’t get in trouble.

Susquehanna County Game Warden Mike Webb reports deer numbers have increased in recent years, but so have closed-season deer-poaching violations. Webb also reports he’s had plenty of questions about chronic wasting disease. “It is good to know people are interested in learning of the devastating effects of CWD and how to stop its spread,” said Webb.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports a maintenance crew foreman recovered in early April a 14-foot boat from the State Game Land 196 propagation area, off Ridge Road. Anyone with information regarding the boat’s owner is asked to contact the Southeast Regional Office at 610-926-3136.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson, who is currently covering parts of southern Berks County, reports a doe was killed unlawfully with a bow Feb. 18 within Birdsboro. Time-of-death analysis and testimony indicate the deer was shot during daylight hours. If you know something more about this case, contact the Game Commission’s Southeast Region Office or report it through Operation Game Thief. A monetary reward is available for information that leads to successful prosecution. Tipsters remain anonymous. 

Dauphin County Deputy Jeff Kawich and Game Warden Scott Frederick were checking turkey hunters on SGL 211, when Kawich noticed two people hiding in the woods. Turned out they weren’t hunters, but a man and a woman with a bag of marijuana who thought state game lands would be good place to get high. Charges are pending. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports neighboring Game Warden Matt Johnson and he apprehended numerous individuals while they spray-painted rocks on State Game Land 43 in Chester County. Several also were cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Open to the public, state game lands also receive visitation by those seeking to avoid law enforcement. Please report any suspicious behavior to your closest region office.

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