Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars - February 15th, 2013
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports a guilty plea has been entered in a case that involved an individual unlawfully killing a sublegal buck. The defendant stated that he had not looked at the hunting digest since the four-point antler restrictions were in place. He killed a 3x2 buck including the brow tines.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports several Ohio residents were cited and entered guilty pleas for hunting during the flintlock season without securing a muzzleloading license. They argued that the licenses cost enough and did not want to spend any additional money to get the required license.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that during the recent snowfalls snowmobiles have been illegally operating in areas that are closed to such activities and many complaints from other outdoor enthusiasts, such as trappers, hunters, and birdwatchers have been received. Multiple citations have been issued to those snowmobile operators who fail to follow posted signs and who failed to maintain the required registration on their machines.
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that an Indiana Township man was recently found guilty for an illegally taken deer and hunting license violation. “The individual was charged for shooting the deer, a 10-point buck, and putting his daughter’s Youth Mentored permit kill tag on the animal. During the investigation we discovered that the young girl had never practiced with or fired the crossbow prior to the incident.”
• Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that a New Sewickley Township man recently admitted to shooting at a squirrel in his yard on a Sunday. The man was practicing shooting his shotgun when he noticed a squirrel in the yard. He then took aim at the squirrel and shot at it, but did not hit the squirrel. The man was also in a safety zone of a neighboring house. Citations will be filed at the local district justice office in reference to this incident.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that charges are pending against an individual for dumping deer carcasses and other assorted trash on lands open to public hunting.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that several illegal ATV operators were apprehended on Hanson Aggregates cooperative access property recently. “Illegal ATV and off-road vehicle usage on this property continues to be a problem. This area will remain a targeted enforcement area in the future,” he said.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that 21 turkeys were recently trapped and fitted with leg bands in Fayette County in conjunction with an on-going hen mortality study.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman reports that charges are being filed on individuals for riding ATV’s on State Game Lands 296. “The mild weather we experienced during a weekend in January brought out the “fair weather” riders and one of the individuals also had a cooler full of beer and will be charged for transporting alcoholic beverages on state game lands,” he said.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman is investigating a dumping case in Forward Township, Allegheny County, on a Hunter Access cooperative property.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports on a case from rifled deer season. “On the final day of the regular firearms season, a group of hunters located an antlerless deer with a motorized vehicle and shot from and into a safety zone in Rostraver Township. The deer was standing approximately 60 yards from a house in the front yard and the individuals shot from the vehicle,” he said. An eye-witness got the license plate. Township police assisted in the investigation. Charges are pending with fines up to $1800.
• Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy reports that a search warrant was served, and a young Capuchin monkey, has been seized from a Lakeville couple. The investigation is ongoing. Importing or possessing exotic wildlife in Pennsylvania without the proper permits is a crime.
• Luzerne County WCO David P. Allen reports he is encountering numerous trapping violations involving bait visible from the air. It is not lawful to have any bait, part or parts visible from the air when trapping. This is designed to prevent the capture of birds of prey or other birds that may see the bait from the air. Allen has had cases where turkey vultures and crows have been captured in these unlawful sets. Anyone with information on this, or any other unlawful activity, is asked to contact the nearest Regional Office at (570) 675-1143.
• Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports that a joint investigation with a WCO from Tioga County led to the finding that a Canton man had killed numerous turkeys illegally in Maryland over the past few years. Citations have been filed for possessing these birds in Bradford County. Many other charges were filed in Tioga County relating to this investigation involving many illegally taken deer.
• Bradford County Joe Wenzel requests that anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of Charles Daniel Cochrane, who was last using a Troy, Pa., address, should contact Bradford County 911 Center, Bradford County Sheriff’s Department, or the Northeast Regional Office of the PA Game Commission. Cochrane is wanted on a felony arrest warrant stemming from charges filed as a result of an incident with WCOs in Wells Township in November 2012. Cochrane, who also uses a Texas address, is wanted in other states as well, but primarily in the state of Indiana. Cochrane is 31 years old and has several contacts in the Austinville, Millerton, Nelson and Gillett areas as well as in Savona, Painted Post, Horseheads and Elmira, N.Y.
• Monroe County WCO Philip White charged a Philadelphia man with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of unlawful devices and methods for using bait as an enticement for game or wildlife. A guilty plea was accepted in Monroe County court on both charges which carry a misdemeanor penalty and fine amount for the drug paraphernalia and a summary with fine for the baiting violation.
• Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier recently filed charges on an individual that removed a raccoon from the wild and allowed it to be handled by the family for many months.
Chester County WCO Scott Frederick along with WCO Cadet Christopher Reidmiller successfully prosecuted cases at the District Court level for multiple game land range violations. Reidmiller wrote multiple citations for six people at the SGL 43 range in a matter of two hours.
• Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty prosecuted two separate violators this season for hunting with bait, hunting without a license, making false sworn statements, and killing trophy bucks illegally. Even worse, each one of them had a young teenage girl, a new hunter, assisting them in their crimes. “One of these young ladies still had her new HTE card with her when she and her criminal uncle were caught,” he said.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek issued citations for waterfowl hunting without the required Federal Duck Stamp and for unlawfully hunting through the use of a motor vehicle.
• Lancaster County WCO Dennis R. Warfel reports that one of the nesting pairs of bald eagles in southern Lancaster County has already set up housekeeping and is incubating their eggs; others have paired up and are getting ready.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that charges have been filed against a juvenile for not tending his traps. When asked about the last time he checked his trap, the juvenile responded, “About three days ago.” Halbfoerster informed the juvenile that a raccoon was caught in his trap which is required by law to be checked within 36 hours.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports an otter was accidently taken in a beaver set in Butler Township.
• Environmental Education Specialist Bert Myers reports that with the Middle Creek Visitor’s Center seasonal reopening on Feb. 1, the staff is receiving a lot of inquiries regarding snow geese and tundra swans. Typically, the peak of the migration occurs during the end of February or early March. During this period, updated numbers will be posted on the Game Commission website. Also, keep in mind, weather permitting, the tour roads will reopen March 1. So, for those who want to come to Middle Creek to enjoy the annual spring migration, early March can be the best time to visit for best access.