Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars - January 31st, 2013
• Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt filed a citation on a man for disturbing the traps of legal trappers.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless responded to a report of two individuals road hunting pheasants. An individual operating a pickup truck dropped off a second individual along a public roadway where several pheasants were milling around less than 20 yards off the roadway. The individual that got out of the pickup shot from the road while the operator of the truck drove off, returning a few minutes later to pick up the shooter. No pheasants were killed, although charges are pending for alighting and shooting at game while within 25 yards of the roadway and using a vehicle to hunt.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports several cases were adjudicated from violations stemming from the past firearms deer season. Many of the violations included loaded firearms in vehicles, damage to property and illegal taking of big game.
• Warren County WCO Dustin M. Stoner and deputies received several complaints concerning safety zone violations by trappers.
• Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports that violations continued into the late deer season. One individual shot a deer out the window of his vehicle, with a 30-06, and in a safety zone. Fines could range up to $1,8000.
• Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that two Freedom-area men were involved in the killing of a turkey the first week of January. The duo was driving down the road when they spotted a flock of turkeys in a field. They parked their vehicle and walked into the field and shot three times into the flock of birds, killing one turkey. When a neighboring landowner approached them about their misdeeds, they tossed the turkey in the brush and left the area. Thanks to the information provided by the landowner, the poachers were tracked down and both admitted to the violations. Citations are pending.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a Mill Run man recently pleaded guilty to killing a 10-point buck with a rifle during archery season. The man also did not have a hunting license.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that numerous trapping violations have been encountered during the last month. Violations include failure to check traps every 36 hours and setting traps with bait visible from the air. Charges are pending in three separate cases.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh filed littering charges in a case involving the dumping of four deer carcasses in plastic bags. “A kill tag was discovered on one of the carcasses that led to the offender,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin updates a previous report. “Earlier, I reported on a case involving a bear being killed in September, during closed season,” he said. The has finally been adjudicated, and the individual who shot the bear pleaded guilty and was fined $3,000, plus $1,500 in restitution, and five years loss of his hunting privileges. His friend, who took possession of the bear, was found guilty, and fined $1,000, and faces revocation of his hunting privileges for three years.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that two individuals have pleaded guilty of taking deer that they did not have a license for. Each person was fined $1,000, plus $800 in restitution, and each face loss of their hunting privileges for up to three years.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin filed charges against two deer hunters. The first harvested an antlerless deer on Dec. 1, but failed to tag the deer, and had his antlerless license in his possession when field checked on Dec. 26. The second hunter was hunting with an in-line muzzleloader during the flintlock season.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports a charge is pending against a trapper for placing body-gripping traps outside an established watercourse.
• Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that incidents involving road hunting were up this year. Road hunting was such a problem that within one week two individuals were cited multiple times for separate offenses of road hunting and shooting deer from a vehicle.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman filed charges against a local man for unlawfully driving his truck on a state game land.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports two individuals pleaded guilty to taking antlered deer through the use of a bait in South Huntingdon Township. “Detailed information received through the Turn in a Poacher [TIP Hotline] led us to the violators,” he said.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas charged an individual with taking an antlerless deer unlawfully in Hempfield Township. The deer was located from a vehicle and the shooter shot from the roadway after alighting from the vehicle, killing the deer.
• Cameron/Clearfield Counties LMGS Colleen M. Shannon, while on routine patrol during the fall hunting seasons, had two occasions where she observed a vehicle whose occupants appeared to be road hunting. In the first case, after observing the vehicle for 3.2 miles, the driver alighted and shot at turkeys on the roadway. In the second case, during rifle deer season, she saw a rifle barrel come out the passenger side window and witnessed the shot being fired from the truck at a deer.
• Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs, through the fall hunting seasons, encountered a number of violations that involved individuals who purchased hunting licenses without completing a basic HTE course.
• Elk/McKean Counties LMGS John P. Dzemyan said illegally-killed or road-killed deer are disposed of on SGL 62.
• Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Snyder Counties LMGS Steven Bernardi reported that an adjacent property owner recently was warned for having placed “No trespassing” signs on an access road to SGL 88 in Juniata County. “The Game Commission has legal right-of-way on this particular road,” he said. “Placing private property signs on Game Commission property is a violation of the Game and Wildlife Code.”
• York County WCO Greg Graham said an individual was apprehended for road-hunting during a deer decoy operation.
• Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz reports that, in mid-December, Deputy WCOs Robert Strait and James Fittry conducted a vehicle stop on a pick-up truck that was spotlighting after hours near Burnt Cabins. “Two Huntingdon County actors had a loaded .270 rifle covered by a garment between the front seats,” he said. There were fresh deer parts and visible blood in the bed. After a written statement was taken, the driver revealed that they missed a doe and killed a six-point buck three nights before during the same criminal episode near the same location. Multiple game law charges, including four misdemeanor counts, are pending.
• Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn filed charges on three individuals recently. One shot a bear and did not have a bear license. Another put his tag on it and a third helped them get the bear out of the woods and transport it. Officials are investigating another related incident.
• Adams County WCO Darren David said a citizen reported a road-hunting incident in Menallen Township during the last week of the regular deer season, and obtained the offender’s license plate number. “While investigating the matter, not only did I find evidence at the suspect’s home that confirmed the report, but while there I uncovered yet another unlawfully taken deer shot from the road, from a different day and involving another suspect,” he said. Both confessed. Multiple charges will be filed against the two suspects, which will involve thousands in fines as well as revocation of their hunting privileges.
• Adams County WCO Darren David, while investigating an unrelated violation in Letterkenny Township in Franklin County on the last Saturday of the regular deer season, saw a vehicle parked along a roadway. After first discovering a loaded rifle in the vehicle, the occupant was soon arrested for both hunting and driving under the influence of alcohol.
• Perry County WCO Steve Hower cited two individuals for a recent incident involving hunting through the use of a vehicle. One of the men also was charged with trespassing and the unlawful killing of a deer after he shot the deer and then entered posted property. Once they realized they had been seen by a witness they fled the area, leaving the deer behind.
• York County WCO Kyle Jury cited two individuals from Wellsville after they posted a deer on Facebook that was taken through the use of hand-thrown spears. Both individuals, as well as another person involved, have been charged with Unlawful Taking or Possession of Game or Wildlife, Prohibited Devices and Methods, as well as Unlawful Acts Concerning Licenses. The deer was killed with two spears just outside of Dillsburg, on Dec. 28, and confiscated by the Game Commission the next day. Spears are not a legal hunting device in the state of Pennsylvania.
• York County WCO Shawn Musser filed charges against an individual who fell from his treestand. It was found that the individual was hunting during the last few days of archery season with a rifle. The individual did not have a current hunting license for the past two years and his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit. He also admitted to shooting at two deer while he was in his treestand.
• Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour checked several deer in Bedford County that had the previous year’s tag attached.
• Adams County WCO Kevin Anderson is investigating a case in which a home was struck with a bullet in early December. “The homeowner was sitting in his living room when a bullet came through the front window, went through the head rest of another couch and came to rest in the wall,” he said. During an interview with the homeowner, it was learned that his wife normally sits on section the couch that bullet went through. Luckily, she was not home at the time. A suspect has been identified; a rifle was subsequently seized and is waiting ballistic testing at the PSP forensic lab.
• Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich reports that additional cases have been adjudicated from the hunting seasons, including unlawfully taken deer, hunting through the use of bait, hunting in a safety zone, spotlighting violations and SGL and shooting range violations.
• Wayne County WCO James McCarthy reports that a Simpson man faces several charges after he shot an antlerless deer on the last day of the regular deer season without having a valid antlerless deer permit. The deer was found in the basement of his house in the process of being butchered.
• Columbia County WCO John A. Morack recently cited an individual for unlawfully failing to report taking possession of a road-kill deer. Fines and costs for taking a road-kill deer without securing a permit totaled $169.
• Bradford County WCO Joe Wenzel reports that night-time deer poaching incidents continue to occur, even after the rifle deer season. One incident occurred late at night following the last day of the rifle season. “Homeowners confronted four teenagers while they spotlighted a field next to their home well after legal spotlighting hours. A dead doe was found gut shot the following morning in the field where the teens were confronted. In another incident, which occurred in the same township, two different homeowners were awakened by what they thought to be rifle shots. Upon investigating, they saw someone spotlighting from a truck by their homes in the early morning hours. One of the homeowners got a license plate number. Neighboring Tioga County WCO WCO Rob Minnich has had similar incidents on our border.”
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that small numbers of snow geese have been showing up and then leaving the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, only staying for short periods of time. “Weather conditions greatly affect the snow goose migration,” he said. “Cold temperatures, frozen impoundments and lakes, winter storms and warm southwesterly winds all determine the numbers of snow geese that will utilize MCWMA as a stopover during the northward migration. Hunters should pay close attention to weather reports from the south to help schedule their hunting excursions for snows. And, be sure to obtain the necessary Conservation Stamp for the late season.”
• Lebanon County WCO Michael J. Reeder received a call on Christmas night from State Police-Jonestown about two deer that had just been shot. A witness was obtained a vehicle plate number. Charges are pending against the individuals.
• Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that charges have been filed in district court for a case that occurred the Monday after deer season closed. “An individual was found to be in possession of two unlawful deer, one of which was shot with a .22 rifle,” he said.
• Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that on Christmas Eve day a report came in about a group of individuals who had just shot two wild turkeys out of season on a state game land. The culprits were found and citations have been filed for the unlawful taking of big game out of season.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports citations were filed on a group of hunters that harvested deer, using shotguns in place of muzzleloaders.