PA: WCO Field Reports Issue 24
Crawford County WCO Mario L. Piccirilli said one group of eight
hunters did quite well the first day of archery season harvesting
five antlerless deer and a buck, however the buck was illegal, he
said. “The hunter who shot the protected buck was subsequently
reported by another concerned sportsman to Crawford County LMGS
Jerry Bish. Upon speaking to this hunter, he immediately knew why
LMGS Bish and I were at his residence, and promptly stated, ‘I know
why you are here. It’s the illegal buck I shot; I’ll go and get it
for you.’ The buck was a six-point with a 19-inch spread, shot in a
four-point minimum area. The hunter said he was going to say he
shot the buck in WMU 2F, but realized he would be caught.”
Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports trapping a large black
bear that was damaging a farmer’s large round bales of hay. “The
bear was tearing open the white plastic shrink wrap that protects
the bales from the weather and then eating a small amount of the
contents,” he said. “The large bruin damaged about 10 of the bales
before being caught. The farmer said once the white shrink wrap is
damaged, the bales must be used within a couple of weeks or they
will not be good for feeding cattle. I give the farmer credit for
not killing the bear and allowing the Game Commission to remove the
animal via trapping,” he said.
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin said several hunters were cited
for hunting without any orange during the early muzzleloader
antlerless deer season. “The hunters admitted that they remembered
that the orange was required after they left home, but did not
bother to return home for it,” he said. “Unfortunately for them,
that decision will result in a penalty.”
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin said an archery hunter was
checked without any orange as he walked along the highway shortly
after sunrise. “The hunter stated that he was in his stand when he
realized it was the opening of muzzleloader season and he did not
have orange on, so he got down and headed home,” he said. “This
hunter made the right decision and was not cited, even though he
said he was wrong and was willing to pay a fine. It is refreshing
at times to deal with people willing to accept responsibility for
their actions, regardless of the consequences.”
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin and WCO Cadet Chris Bergman,
investigated reports of a partially harvested marijuana patch that
was discovered in northern Mercer County during the early
antlerless deer rifle season for junior and senior hunters. The six
mature plants remaining were pulled and turned over to State
Police. The investigation of the site determined that there had
been about 50 plants present at one time.
Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports several
individuals were cited for fluorescent orange and baiting
violations during the muzzleloader/archery seasons overlap.
Mercer County WCO Hergenroeder and WCO Cadet Brandon Bonin recently
checked several traps, with some of them being untagged. “Trappers
should double check all their traps before making sets,” he said.
“The tags should contain the trapper’s name and current address –
or trapper ID number that is registered with the Region Office –
and must be attached to the trap or trap chain.”
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that complaints have been
coming in about road-killed deer being found with their heads cut
off and left laying on the side of the highway.
Armstrong County WCO Gary Toward received a call from a Sugarcreek
Township woman stating that an injured osprey was sitting at the
edge of her pond. The bird was captured and taken to a
veterinarian, who took x-rays of the bird and found that there were
no broken bones or other injuries and is administering care for
dehydration and malnutrition. The bird will be released near where
it was found.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer said a Hookstown man was found to be
hunting for deer in a closed area of Raccoon Creek State Park. The
man was spotted by one of the park rangers as he was checking the
boundary of the closed area. In addition, the hunter was not
displaying the required amount of fluorescent orange. Finally, the
area in which he was hunting was baited with several piles of corn
and grain. Citations have been filed.
WCO Cadet Greg Graham, working with Greene County WCO Rod Burns,
reports that two trophy bucks have been harvested in Greene County
during the current archery season. Both green scored at more than
WCO Cadet Greg Graham, working with Greene County WCO Rod Burns,
filed citations on a variety of violations including baited
treestands and damage to trees.
Indiana County WCO Jack Lucas reports that nearly 30 students of a
local technical training school were issued citations for
four-wheeling with trucks and SUVs.
Washington County WCO Dan Sitler has written several citations for
late spotlighting. He also is investigating deer taken illegally
over a baited area in the early antlerless archery season in WMU
Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt cited two Elk County hunters for
using a motorized vehicle to locate game, alighting and shooting at
deer during the October antlerless rifle season. One individual was
charged for the unlawful killing of an eight-point buck. Both
individuals held disabled person permits and were incapable of
following up on the shots fired, due to the steep mountain
Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt was forced to close an area of the
Elk State Forest along Montour Road because of apples being dumped
there as bait. “Unfortunately, some careless person in an attempt
to feed wildlife, raked their apple yard, transported and dumped
two truckloads of apples just prior to the opening of archery deer
season,” he said.
Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder said charges are expected to
soon be filed on four individuals who shot a buck using a spotlight
and also shot at two does on the same night.
Tioga County WCO Rodney P. Mee coordinated a deer facsimile
operation with DCNR Rangers Brian Caldwell and James Losinger on
state forest property to curtail road-hunting. The operation netted
four residents of Maine and one Pennsylvania resident.
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik and Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta
are investigating the unlawful possession of a deer by two
individuals who claimed the deer was a roadkill. However, a .22
caliber bullet was removed from the deer’s head and both
individuals claimed that the deer was not shot.
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik picked up a 320-pound female black
bear killed on Route 6 just west of Port Allegany. The bear’s
stomach was full of black cherries.
Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs cited three individuals for
spotlighting violations last month.
Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs said acts of vandalism have
been reported on SGL 252. These incidents include graffiti, driving
on closed roads, destroying signs, gates and destruction of lands
by vehicles. On Oct. 29, an individual was cited for driving on
lands when he took the vehicle he operated and began doing
doughnuts around the SGL 252 maintenance building.
York County WCO Chad Eyler reports that the officers of the
southwestern York County district have handled numerous violations
in since the beginning of small game season. “Examples of the types
of violations we’ve encountered were road hunting pheasants on
several occasions, loaded firearms in vehicles and several
fluorescent orange clothing violations,” he said. Mostly all of the
violations occurred on SGL 416.
York County WCO Michael Reeder investigated the alleged illegal
killing of a large-racked buck said to be killed in the Dillsburg
area. “After receiving pictures of the deer, I could see it was
marked with last years tag,” he said. “After talking to the
individual who harvested the buck, he admitted to paying to kill
the deer in a high fence hunt and placed the tag on the ear to make
it look like he harvested it in the wild,” he said. No game
violation was committed.
York County WCO Michael Reeder and deputies found several
individuals on the state game lands smoking marijuana, in
possession of alcoholic beverages and spotlighting after
York County WCO Guy Hansen and Maryland Department of Natural
Resource Police recently worked on several non-resident license
Perry County WCO Jim Brown said three individuals were cited in
October for possessing loaded firearms in vehicles.
Adams/Cumberland/Franklin Counties LMGS Barry Leonard and Food and
Cover Corps crews released 404 crates of pheasants on state game
lands and cooperator’s ground where suitable habitat exists. This
includes birds released for the youth pheasant hunt as well as
preseason and the first in season stocking.
Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn, in October, filed charges on
individuals for the following violations: shooting on or across
highways; spotlighting after 11 p.m.; spotlighting while in
possession of a firearm; loaded firearms in vehicles; killing a red
fox in a closed season; attempting to take over the limit of deer;
hunting over bait; and unlawful taking/possession of a deer.
Fulton County WCO Kevin L. Mountz, during the youth antlerless
season, received a report from a concerned sportsman who witnessed
a youth shoot a large eight-point buck. The sportsman immediately
called State Police in McConnellsburg, who contacted Mountz. “I
responded, with WCO Cadet Jeremy Coughenour, to Sideling Hill
Mountain near the scene of the violation. Once in the woods, we
found the fresh drag marks that led us to a pick-up truck parked
near a barn. When contact was made, we found the processed carcass
and the antlers in the truck bed. As a result of several
interviews, we found that the 13-year-old shot the deer with his
rifle and then placed an archery tag on the ear. The entire act was
supervised by his father.”
Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Snyder Counties LMGS Steven Bernardi said
someone started a fire on SGL 107 in the middle of the night. A
passing motorist noticed the fire and reported it. The
Bedford County WCO Chris Skipper reports several individuals have
been arrested for late spotlighting. “Patrols have increased to
curb late spotlighting, as well as several poaching incidents that
have occurred throughout the county,” he said.
Adams County WCO Darren J. David received a complaint of a hunter
and his young son being harassed by a neighboring property owner.
While investigating the situation, the offender was caught on his
own property hunting illegally over bait and without the required
fluorescent orange. Multiple charges for both incidents have been
Adams County WCO Darren J. David is investigating several
jack-lighting incidents that occurred in October.
Adams County WCO Darren J. David said a man has pleaded guilty to a
charge of dumping an old couch on state gamelands. Two teens also
were cited for an incident in which they drove through game land
fields, sped on game land roads, and fled an officer upon signal to
Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny received several beaver
complaints and is in the process of trapping and transferring them
to a location that will allow them to thrive without conflicting
Huntingdon County WCO Richard Danley and WCO Cadet Wade Kramer
responded to a trapper who had caught a small black bear in a
foothold trap. “The bear was about 70 pounds, and was caught across
four toes in a 1.75 coilspring trap,” he said. The bear was
Huntingdon County WCO Richard Danley and WCO Cadet Wade Kramer
responded to an individual who had recovered an injured owl. The
owl was determined to be a short-eared owl, which is endangered
species in Pennsylvania.
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich said there has been an increase
in dumping incidents during October. One case was resolved, and
three remain under investigation.
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich and deputies trapped and
transferred a nuisance bear that was getting into a chicken coop in
Middlesex Township. Deputy WCO Dennis Nickel picked up another bear
that was struck by a vehicle in North Middleton Township.
Mifflin County WCO Jeffrey G. Mock said that on Oct. 23 individuals
driving a green SUV or truck were observed shooting from the road
at deer that were on the road, killing an eight-point buck.
“Hunters in the area saw the violation, yelled at the criminals,
and reported the violation,” he said. Anyone with information is
asked to call the Southcentral Region Office at (814)
Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh is looking for any information
regarding the poaching of six bucks at night in South Mountain area
last month. Contact the Southcentral Region Office.
Bradford County WCO Andrew Troutman said numerous baiting and night
shooting cases were handled last month. Eight citations were
written for baiting and investigations continue on the night-time
shootings. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the
Northeast Region Office at (570) 675-4311.
Luzerne County WCO David P. Allen is investigating a rising number
of complaints involving spotlighting with bows. A recent call
resulted in the apprehension of two individuals who were spotlight
hunting on a regular basis. They were responsible for killing and
not retrieving a mature eight-point deer.
Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan said several concerned Columbia
County residents have been calling in about shots fired at night in
Jackson and Sugarloaf townships. Confidential information can be
called into the Northeast Region Office at (570) 675-1143.
Pike County WCO Mark Kropa said three Pike County men recently
pleaded guilty to shooting two antlerless deer in August. Fines
totaled nearly $6,000, plus court costs. In addition, each man
faces revocation of their hunting privileges.
Pike County WCO Mark Kropa reported a Hawley man recently was found
guilty of dumping construction material in a parking lot off
Satellite Road on SGL 183. Total fines were $730, plus court
Pike County WCO Mark Kropa and Wayne County WCO James McCarthy are
investigating a deer that was shot illegally in a safety zone and
from a vehicle on Ledgedale Road near Lake Wallenpaupack on Oct.8
at about 8:30 p.m. The description of the vehicle involved is a
full-size four-door pick-up truck, silver or gray in color, with a
cover on the bed,” Kropa said. Anyone with information is asked to
contact the Northeast Region Office at (570) 674-1143.
Columbia County WCO John A. Morack cited two individuals, in late
October, for the unlawful killing of an antlerless deer (a button
buck) on SGL 58 in Main Township. Other charges filed include:
hunting without first securing the proper antlerless deer hunting
license; shooting on/across highways; using a motor vehicle to
locate game (road hunting); and failing to wear the required
fluorescent orange colored material. Fines and costs assessed
totaled more than $3,000, if convicted of all charges.
WCO Cadet Matthew Lucas reported a violation in Buckingham
Township, Wayne County. A ten-point deer was taken from a blind in
a baited area. Further investigation found several other treestands
with bait in the immediate area. “In addition, the subject
committed a federal Lacey Act violation by transporting the deer
across state lines into New York to a taxidermist,” he said.
Prosecution is pending.
Bradford County WCO Vernon Perry is investigating several poaching
Bradford County WCO Vernon Perry said a recent poaching case, which
involves an eight-point buck that was killed at night with a light,
could prove to be costly for the individuals who committed the act.
“This violation occurred just after the new fines and penalties
took effect in early September,” he said. “These new fines and
penalties carry quite a punch.”
Wayne/Pike/Lackawanna/Susquehanna Counties LMGS John C. Shutkufski
said the PCC crew at Wayne County had rebuilt the shooting benches
at the state game land range in Dyberry and painted them. The PCC
crews also painted gates and the above ground fuel tank.
“Unfortunately, the PCC group was later disbanded due to career
changes within the leadership of the group, with many of the crew
going to other groups to finish out their term,” he said.
Berks/Lehigh Counties WCO Matt Teehan reported Lehigh County
incidents included a hunting-related shooting incident and multiple
other violations with the opening of small game season. In
addition, officers are investigating two large littering cases. One
is on SGL 217 and another is on SGL 205.
Berks/Lehigh Counties WCO Matt Teehan said that, in his Berks
County district, about a dozen violations have occurred resulting
in citations. “We are working on investigations from information of
on-going poaching incidents,” he said.
WCO Cadet Shawn Musser, currently assigned to Buck County, reported
baiting cases are being investigated. “We also are investigating an
incident involving an eight-point buck being shot, field dressed
and left along a Middletown Township road,” he said. “This would
have been a very nice legal buck for someone, and it is a shame it
was just left there to go to waste the way it was.”
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reported that charges have been
filed for a hunting-related shooting incident. It involved two
teenagers who were dove hunting.