West Virginia woman guilty of poaching in Washington County, Pa.
Harrisburg — Trishelle
Barish, 22, of Weirton, W. Va., recently pled guilty to 10 charges
related to a poaching incident in mid-January in Hanover Township,
Washington County, according to the Pennsylvania Game
Barish pled guilty to six counts of unlawful use of lights
while hunting; one count of resisting or interfering with an
officer; one count of damage to property; and two counts of loaded
firearms in a vehicle. She pled guilty to all charges on March 23,
and was ordered to pay more than $6,000 in fines and restitution,
plus court costs.
In addition to $3,100
in fines, Barish was ordered to pay $2,400 in restitution for the
three deer she killed, and $506 in costs to repair a light that she
shot out. Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Daniel
Sitler Sitler also issued 10 written warnings for various other
On Jan. 16, Officer Sitler received a call regarding shooting
and spotlighting deer the previous night in Hanover Township by
someone in a dark-colored Chevy car. The witness observed the
spotlight and shots coming from this vehicle near a field by his
“During the initial investigation, I discovered a deer that had
been shot further up the road at a different location,” Sitler
said. “The deer had a small caliber hole near the back of the head.
This was confirmed while talking with residents at this next house.
I then set up on night patrol that night.
“At around 10:45 p.m., I heard the distinct sounds of a rim
fire rifle. I began driving towards that location and then ducked
into a driveway when the headlights of a vehicle were
vehicle passed my location, at which time I observed a spotlight
come out of the passenger side and two shots were fired at deer. I
maneuvered my vehicle behind the car and engaged my emergency
lights, and the driver sped away.”
After following the vehicle, Officer Sitler radioed the license
plate of the car to the Game Commission’s Southwest Region Office
“I was unable to follow the vehicle when it reached Route 18,”
Sitler said. “The vehicle was last seen heading north in Beaver
County. I then went back to the scene and recovered two empty .17
caliber casings, and requested assistance from the Weirton Police.
“We went to the address
listed from the license plate search, and found the car parked in
the driveway. The owner of the car would not admit to anything at
that time, but she did give me permission to search her car, in
which I found an empty box of .17-caliber Federal ammunition that
was the same brand found at the scene.
“I also found out that
her boyfriend’s parents live in Beaver County near where I lost
sight of the car on Route 18.”
Over the next week, Beaver County Wildlife Condservation
Officer Matthew Kramer assisted Siter with the investigation, and
they were able to find several spent .17-caliber Federal casings
and .22-caliber shorts on the same road. These matched up to
witness accounts from Jan. 15.
“I contacted Hanover Police and found a report of shots being
fired on another road on Jan. 16 at around 11:30 p.m.,” Sitler
said. “I spoke with the witness at this location and found
additional spent .17-caliber Federal casings along with .22-caliber
short casings at two different locations on this road.
“I also dispatched a
deer at this location because of an injury. Upon examination, I
located a small caliber hole located in the head of this deer. I
then checked on the complaint of a light being shot out on the same
night. A spent .17-caliber Federal casing was found at this
After securing a search warrant for the boyfriend’s parent’s
house in Beaver County, officers Sitler and Kramer located and
seized one .17-caliber rifle and one .22-caliber rifle belonging to
the homeowner’s son.
“I received another call regarding a dead deer found in another
field further down the road from the initial shootings,” Sitler
said. “We located another .17-caliber casing along the road in line
with the dead deer. In total, we found six locations with
.17-caliber and .22-caliber ammunition. Of these six locations,
three deer were found to have been shot.”
Officers Sitler and Kramer met with Barish at the Hanover
Township building, where she confessed to shooting at and killing
deer at various locations, along with shooting out the light and
fleeing Sitler’s attempt to stop her.
“However, she would not tell us if anyone else was involved in
the poaching incidents,” Sitler said. “She also admitted that the
shootings were for fun and that there was no interest in recovering
“This is a prime example of why the Interstate Wildlife
Violator Compact is needed. As Barish is a nonresident and will
have her hunting privileges revoked in Pennsylvania, she will be
able to hunt in her home state.”
Senate Bill 1200, sponsored by Senate Game and Fisheries
Committee Chairman Richard Alloway II (R-33), recently passed the
Senate by a unanimous vote, and presently is awaiting further
action in the House Game and Fisheries