Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars - December 21st, 2012
•Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that citations are pending for unlawful possession of wildlife or their parts in the county this past month.
•Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak cited a number of people on the opening day of duck season for license violations, including three individuals hunting without a federal duck stamp and a non-resident hunting without a general hunting license.
•Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak filed citations on an individual for shooting an antlered deer with a rifle in archery season. The subject took the deer on state park property and was witnessed by other hunters in the area.
•Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak issued a citation for an individual possessing four wood ducks over the limit on the opening day of the season this year.
•Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky said the computerized license system is working well. “An individual went into the district judge to pay his fine that he had not paid since 2002,” he said. Earlier, when he tried to purchase a hunting license, he found that he was on revocation for nonpayment.
•Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman apprehended two individuals for shooting a buck out of season with a spotlight. When stopped, three guns were found in the truck: a shotgun with three rounds in the magazine, a .300 Weatherby Magnum loaded with two rounds in the magazine, and a .204 Ruger with the empty (that killed the buck) still in the chamber.
•Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that homes in South Pymatuning and Hempfield townships were struck by rifle bullets during the first week of deer season. “The home in South Pymatuning had a projectile pass through the front living room window and lodge in an interior wall,” he said. “In this case, the hunter fired two rounds at deer with a 45-70 at a distance of more than 650 yards and the bullet crossed the road just before striking the residence. The hunter was identified and made restitution for the damages, but still faces several charges for the violation. The Hempfield Township incident had a bullet strike an outside corner of the home and pass through a kitchen cabinet traveling across the dining room where it damaged a half dozen ornaments on the Christmas tree before hitting a wall. The projectile was recovered and the line of fire was determined. The incident still is under investigation.
•Crawford/Erie Counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander recently worked on a case with Deputy WCO Cory Turben and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation that resulted in tracking down two people who each shot a buck in Pennsylvania that did not meet the antler restrictions. Neither hunter had a Pennsylvania hunting license, and they transported the deer to New York, which is a violation of New York law.
•Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that Game Law and municipal ordinance charges recently were filed on a local individual. A number of processed deer carcasses were reported to and found by the Indiana Township Police Department along with a number of trash bags on a township road. Information was found leading to the individual who dumped the deer carcasses. Three deer remains were found on the scene – two were legally harvested and one was illegally taken and processed. Charges for the illegal deer were filed, and the Indiana Township Police Department filed dumping charges.
•Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns said two men were cited for driving around with a spotlight trying to kill a coyote.
•Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin said two bears are under investigation for being shot in a baited area.
•Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin said several charges are pending against hunters from the bear seasons and into the firearms deer season for hunting in baited areas. One hunter said he had been hunting over a mineral block for the past 18 seasons.
•Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin said charges are pending against a West Virginia hunter who shot an eight-point buck in Pennsylvania on the first day of the West Virginia deer season, which opens before Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season. The hunter gave a written statement that he knew he was hunting in Pennsylvania.
•Greene County WCO Randy Crago reports that three West Virginia men were caught attempting to shoot deer at night. A Greene County landowner heard shots from one of his fields and went to investigate. He discovered the three men and called authorities. The three men admitted to what they were doing. Charges are pending.
•Greene County WCO Randy Crago said four citations were issued at the SGL 223 rifle range.
•Indiana County WCO Cadet Brian Sheetz, said several citations were filed for unlawful devices and methods where hunters were using salt blocks as enticements for deer on the first day of the statewide firearms deer season.
•Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas, during an investigation of a fox taken out of season in Belle Vernon, uncovered two deer taken unlawfully. One antlered deer was taken through the use of a mineral or salt substance and one antlerless deer was taken without having the proper license. The individual is facing minimum fines of $1,650.
•WCO Cadet Byron Gibbs, currently on field assignment with Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas, said they found what appeared to be a road-killed deer about 20 yards from the road. The doe had a small caliber centerfire rifle shot. In the following few days, four more deer with the same wounds near the sides of roads in the area were found. Officials have a description of the poachers.
•WCO Cadet Pat Cull, while on assignment with Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer, said two raccoon hunters were cited. Charges were filed for an incident involving shooting into a safety zone and shooting directly in the direction of officers investigating their activities. “The two could be charged with shooting at human beings for firing in the immediate vicinity of us and officers from the Ligonier Township Police Department. The rounds went past officers and directly into a safety zone nearby. The hunters claimed to not know anyone was there despite having vehicle lights and spotlights turned on from two patrol cars. The pair also claimed that they were shooting at raccoons and not officers.”
•Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder cited two individuals for locating a bear from their vehicle and stopping and shooting at it from the roadway.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray cited a hunter with a bull elk tag for killing a cow elk and not tagging, reporting or retrieving it. Several charges have been filed.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray cited several individuals for locating game by vehicle, loaded firearms in vehicles, and shooting on or across highways when they were caught road hunting.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray cited several individuals for having loaded firearms in vehicles, others for hunting in baited areas and several hunters for not filling out and attaching tags to their deer.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray said several junior hunters were found to be hunting unaccompanied. “Once found, the adults were cited,” he said.
•Lycoming/Union Counties LMGS Thomas M. Smith said, on Nov. 15, a wild fire burned 50 acres of Lycoming County’s SGL 75 at the intersection of Route 287 and Lick Run Road. The fire started at about 3:15 p.m. from a hot ember emitted from a diesel truck’s exhaust and was extinguished several hours later.
•Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt cited an individual for hunting and killing an elk within two safety zones. The citations resulted in the forfeiture of the antlerless elk harvested, as well as the fines for the two violations.
•McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik recently cited two trappers for setting traps near bait visible from the air. The trappers had placed traps near the skinned out carcasses of foxes, raccoons and opossums. The case began when an archer scouting for deer in Otto Township discovered a red-tailed hawk in a foothold trap and called the Game Commission. The hawk was released, but later died of its wounds. While scouring the area for the bait, it was discovered that an additional three traps were placed near the bait. Additional traps were discovered with animal parts visible in the area. The trappers were apprehended the next day when they came back to the area and began to reset the traps which had been set off to avoid any additional hawks or owls from being trapped. Charges have been filed along with numerous written warnings.
•McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik had a hearing scheduled for three people caught operating ATVs on a Seneca Resource Property, which has nearly 100,000 acres open to public hunting through the agency’s Hunter Access Program. “Although all three were found guilty, it was somewhat apparent that the defendants did not appreciate the fact that Seneca allowed all forms of recreation on their property, but - for reasons of liability and vandalism - they did not want ATVs running amuck,” he said. “One defendant asked how was he to pay a $160 fine when he was making payments on his $10,000 ATV.”
•Adams County WCO Darren David filed charges on two men for offenses committed during the first week of the regular deer season. One brought in a protected deer to the CWD check station claiming it was a mistake kill, but his story did not make sense. The other had a loaded rifle mounted on a bipod on top of the trunk of his car. Both did not know their actions were unlawful because neither were ever certified in the required HTE course before purchasing their licenses.
•Adams County WCO Darren David was on a well-traveled roadway during the regular firearms deer season and discovered a man wearing no fluorescent orange, sitting directly below the road’s guardrails holding a loaded rifle. Around him were several beer cans, some full and some empty. Although it was determined he was not yet intoxicated, he is facing charges for not displaying the required fluorescent orange and littering.
•Bedford County WCO Chris Skipper reports opening day of rifle deer season produced arrests for baiting, loaded guns in vehicles, orange violations and untagged deer.
•Mifflin County WCO Jeff Mock said three Lewistown residents are facing multiple charges related to poaching deer, spotlighting after 11 p.m. and spotlighting with a gun in the car. The investigation was initiated after a domestic disturbance call that was handled by the Granville Township Police Department.
•Snyder/Juniata Counties WCO Harold J. Malhorn is completing an investigation on a trapper who did not check his traps in a 36-hour period and had numerous untagged traps.
•York County WCO officers apprehended two individuals from Maryland who did not have Pennsylvania hunting licenses. Both were taken into custody after a foot pursuit, and charges are pending.
•York County WCO Greg Graham filed seven charges on an individual, including a misdemeanor charge of possessing instruments of crime. Game law violations charged were hunting while on revocation, possessing a loaded firearms in vehicles, shooting on/or across highways, safety zone, unlawful taking or possession of big game and unlawful devices and methods.
•York County WCO Greg Graham reports that big game violations during the first week of firearms deer season have included untagged deer, unlawful devices and methods, baiting and no hunting license.
•York County WCO Shawn Musser filed criminal charges against an individual after a report came in about two people riding an ATV with rifles on their backs and dragging a deer behind the ATV on an elementary school property. After further investigation, two search warrants were applied for and executed. “Numerous deer parts were found as well as other evidence gathered from both properties that were searched. After speaking to his attorney, the one suspect gave us a written statement as to the accounts. For his involvement, he was charged with being a person not to possess firearms, charges for unlawfully taking three whitetail deer, and several violations of the Crimes Code (Title 18) and Game and Wildlife Code (Title 34),” he said. There were a total of 13 offenses resulting in 20 counts filed on him. He was remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail. Investigation into others suspects involved still is ongoing.
•York County WCO Shawn Musser, on the opening day of rifle deer season, received a report of people hunting over bait. “As I got out of my truck to check on the stand, I heard a shot that was very close,” he said. “I walked up to the treestand to find a father with his 16-year-old son. Dad said ‘my son shot his first buck.’ Unfortunately, his son wasn’t permitted to keep the deer as indeed there was a tube feeder strapped to a tree not 20 yards away with corn flowing from the open end. The father was cited for the actions of his son for hunting through the use of bait, and also the unlawful taking of the deer.”
•Juniata/Perry/Mifflin/Snyder Counties LMGS Steve Bernardi reports this past deer season several individuals were charged for untagged or improperly tagged deer. One individual was cited because he used is old license deer tag instead of the current year’s tag.
•Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley said warrants were issued for several New Jersey residents who killed three bears in baited areas and without being properly licensed. Penalties for these poaching incidents have been assessed in excess of $8,000.
•Montour/Northumberland Counties WCO Rick Deiterich said a Sunbury pleaded guilty to hunting deer without a valid and current hunting license and a Danville-area man pleaded guilty to violating posted signs on PPL property.
•Montour/Northumberland Counties WCO Rick Deiterich cited a Benton man in Columbia County for archery hunting without displaying fluorescent orange material, possessing another person’s license and allowing his mentored son to kill a gobbler and not tag the bird.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa cited a Northampton County man for hunting deer over bait. There was a deer feeder and salt blocks in the area where he was hunting. The individual faces fines up to $300.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa said a man faces charges of shooting a bear over bait during the archery bear season. The individual used sunflower seeds and barbecue sauce as bait. He faces fines of up to $1,300 and the possible loss of hunting privileges.
•WCO Cadet Aaron Morrow, working with Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa, charged an adult and a juvenile with three counts of the illegal taking or killing of big game. Two eight-point and one six-point bucks were shot and killed with a crossbow at night in October. Charges have been filed, and the two defendants each face fines up to $7,500, and multiple years of license revocation.
•WCO Cadet Aaron Morrow, working with Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa, filed charges on a suspect for killing an adult doe on the Sunday before the regular firearms season.
•Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports that the use of crossbows to unlawfully take deer at night has risen significantly, making detection more difficult.
•Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral received many reports of dead deer that were shot and left lying, or had the antlers or entire heads removed.
•Luzerne County WCO David P. Allen encountered numerous individuals on state game lands who are not involved in hunting or trapping and they were not wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange material.
•WCO Cadet Nathaniel Kimmel, working with Berks County WCO Matthew Teehan, reports that multiple charges are being filed on an individual for hunting in a propagation area, after legal hunting hours and under the influence of alcohol. •WCO Cadet Nathaniel Kimmel, working with Berks County WCO Matthew Teehan, reports that multiple big game violations were uncovered as a direct result from a tip received from two individuals. “A call into our Southeast Region Office reported a baited area and signs of a deer being killed in the vicinity of the bait site,” he said. “Upon further investigation, two non-resident suspects were confirmed to be directly involved with the baiting site. The suspects had killed one doe through the use of bait, without hunting licenses, and used firearms during the archery season.”
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II filed citations on an individual who harvested a buck and then used his son’s tag on it. He was cited for possession of another’s license tag and for attempting to take another buck.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II filed citations on an individual who was hunting deer in the two-week rifle/shotgun deer season over bait and for not purchasing his license. He was also cited for not wearing the required fluorescent orange.
•Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that mistake kills have been coming in two or three times a day during the firearms season.
•Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated cases involving junior hunters not being properly accompanied by an adult, failure to wear the proper amount of fluorescent orange, safety zone violations and restrictions on shooting.
•WCO Cadet Michael Greiner, working with Lancaster County WCO Denny Warfel, filed charges on seven individuals involved with off-roading and littering on Chester Water Authority Property, a cooperator with the Game Commission. All seven individuals were in their teens, including one juvenile who’s parents were notified.
•WCO Cadet Michael Greiner, working with Lancaster County WCO Denny Warfel, said 11 mistake kills were turned in after the first week.
•WCO Cadet Philip Kasper, working with Lebanon County WCO Mike Reeder, said citations will be filed for multiple violations throughout the firearms deer season. There were numerous tagging violations, several deer harvested unlawfully, as well as safety zone violations.
•Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster said during the first week of the rifled deer season violations included hunting with the use of bait, safety zones violations, no licenses, illegal deer, orange violations, property damage by gunfire and illegal dumping of carcasses.
•WCO Cadet Cory Ammerman, working with Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider, said officers dealt with several violations in the first week of deer rifle including multiple tagging violations and three loaded firearms in vehicles.
•Schuylkill County WCO Will Dingman reports several large racked bucks shot illegally in the district.
•WCO Cadet Ryan Gildea, working with Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser, checked a group of six small game hunters. Two of the hunters said they purchased their hunting licenses online but were unable to provide any proof. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the two did not have the required license. Citations were issued for hunting without a license.
•WCO Cadet Ryan Gildea, working with Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser, observed a group of hunters standing behind their vehicles with a deer ready to be loaded into their truck. “When checking to ensure the doe was properly tagged, we saw that the hunter failed to fill out any of the kill tag as required by law,” he said. The hunter was cited for failure to properly tag the deer.
•Environmental Education Specialist Bert Myers said, based on observations at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, it would seem waterfowl are still moving south. “As of early December, observations include a small number of tundra swans, a large number of migrant Canada geese and a wide variety of duck species,” he said. Duck species include northern shovelers, black ducks, mallards, ruddy ducks, ring-neck ducks, green-wing teal, buffleheads, hooded and common mergansers.