PA: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 1
Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless said the number of
violations uncovered this rifle deer season was up substantially
over the past couple of deer seasons. Alighting and shooting from a
vehicle, loaded firearms in vehicle, tagging violations, and
hunting for antlerless deer in the wrong WMU or without an
antlerless deer license topped the list of violations. The number
of mistake kills was also up, with some people walking away from
deer that they had shot and not even attempting to report the
incident as a mistake.
Lawrence County WCO Jeffery T. Kendall caught an individual who
shot a protected buck and then shot the antlers off at the kill
site in an attempt to claim it as an antlerless deer. A concerned
hunter called his wife from his treestand to get the region office
number and called it in immediately. The quick call made it
possible to catch the violator dragging the deer out of the woods
and made it easier to collect the evidence.
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin said loaded firearms in
vehicles and untagged/improperly tagged deer were the most common
violations during the rifle deer season. There also were violations
for illegal deer, hunting without license, use of vehicle, shooting
from highway, and trespass that resulted in charges.
Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder cited several hunters on
the deer season opener for hunting in baited areas.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala said a number of individuals were
apprehended for not wearing the required fluorescent orange safety
clothing while in the field during the two-week firearms deer
season. They were wearing camouflage clothing in an apparent
attempt to get close to housing plans and business complexes
without being detected. In two incidents, six hunters were involved
in these activities. Each individual will face up to a $200 fine
for the fluorescent orange violation and possibly other
Fayette County WCO Jason Farabaugh said the most common violation
during the two-week deer season was improperly tagged deer. Many
hunters either failed to tag their deer before moving it or failed
to fully complete the tag with date and time of kill.
Fayette County WCO Jason Farabaugh said a Lemont Furnace man was
apprehended after fleeing on foot through the woods. He was hunting
without a license and was on state parole, which precluded him from
being in possession of a firearm. The man threw the firearm in the
woods as he ran and then attempted to hide inside a farm house.
Charges are pending.
Greene County WCO Rod Burns checked a hunter and found him to be
displaying his 5-year-old son’s MYHP permit. Burns recognized this
man, after citing him two years ago for killing two deer with a
spotlight and knew he currently was on hunting license revocation.
He now will face additional charges and most likely additional
Somerset County WCO Travis Anderson is investigating several areas
where deer parts were illegally dumped.
Somerset County WCO Travis Anderson cited several people for
illegally attempting to hide or failing to turn in mistake kill
deer that did not meet the antler restrictions. “Instead of doing
the right thing and paying a nominal restitution, they now face the
possibility of a large fine and the loss their hunting privileges
for not following the rules,” he said.
Washington County WCO Richard W. Joyce ran a deer decoy operation
in his district during deer season in an area with many complaints
of unlawful road hunting. One person was charged with shooting at
the decoy. The violator was a convicted felon and possessed a
concealed handgun as well as a rifle contrary to law. Charges have
Clearfield County WCO David A. Carlini and deputies issued more
than 50 citations and investigated a serious hunting-related
Clearfield County WCO David A. Carlini said a bull elk had to be
put down. It could not get to its feet and had been laying in the
same spot for a couple of days. The animal was taken to Penn State
University for testing.
Bedford/Fulton Counties LMGS Jonathan S. Zuck said during the
second week of the rifle deer season he was alerted to three
illegally dumped deer along Mosquito Hollow Road in Broadtop
Township, Bedford County. He found that only the hind quarters and
back straps were removed from two of them, and the third deer
appeared to be an illegal buck.
Perry County WCO Steve Hower charged several men with the unlawful
taking of a protected deer during deer rifle season. One of the
three shot a buck without the required three-points on one side,
and the other two took possession of the illegal kill and denied
the event had ever happened. Evidence and a witness said otherwise
and all three are facing penalties of up to $800 and the
possibility of a month in jail.
Cumberland County Deputy WCO Dennis Nickel investigated a dumping
incident on a public access property where someone discarded three
large bags of trash. He located the person responsible and filed
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich filed charges on two individuals
for hunting waterfowl over bait and unlawfully attempting to take
waterfowl along the Conodoguinet Creek in the Silver Springs
Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh found three of six bait sites that
held hunters, which resulted in citations being filed on the
opening day of deer season.
Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny said several individuals were
cited for hunting over bait.
Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz and WCO Cadet Matt Chipego
investigated an individual for allegedly killing deer out of season
with a small caliber rifle. The individual was a convicted felon
and not to be possession of firearms. When the elements of the case
where finally all put together, it resulted in a felony traffic
stop and other violations, including: felon not to possess a
firearm; drug and drug paraphernalia violations; and unlawfully
taken big game violations. Charges are pending.
Blair County WCO Steve Hanczar investigated multiple bear and deer
baiting areas. Concerned hunters provided specific baiting
locations and one landowner provided a key through a gated roadway
in order for our patrol units to access hunting cabins where
conservation officers are very rarely seen, he said.
Bedford/Fulton Counties LMGS Jonathan S. Zuck and Deputy WCO Ed
Mills, on the first day of rifle deer season, checked a man in a
truck overlooking a field and woodlot. Despite having a loaded
.30/30 rifle and a hunting knife beside him, the individual claimed
he was not hunting. Zuck also found a loaded .357 magnum revolver
the man had hidden under a towel on the seat beside him. Charges
Bradford County WCO Joseph Wenzel stopped two Texas men and two
local women who were spotlighting after legal hours. A
semi-automatic .308 caliber assault rifle with a 15-round magazine
and the safety off was discovered in the vehicle. It was determined
that the poachers had attempted to take at least one antlered deer
prior to being apprehended. One of the individuals spent the
weekend in the Bradford County Correctional Facility. Charges are
pending on the two female accomplices.
Lackawanna County WCO Mark Rutkowski said several individuals were
stopped in separate incidents. The first one involved a pickup
truck with deep tinted windows. Troopers from the Dunmore State
Police Barracks attempted to stop a truck after witnessing a
traffic violation on Interstate 84 in Roaring Brook Township. The
truck refused to stop for more than 1.5 miles. Finally, getting the
vehicle stopped, the officers found three occupants in the vehicle
possessing a rifle and a cocked crossbow. The three turned out to
be suspects in other road-hunting incidents from the past. All
information was turned over to Game Commission officers. Another
incident involved a suspicious vehicle in Dickson City. Dickson
City Police officers responded to a call for a suspicious vehicle
in a borough recreational park off Boulevard Avenue. When the
officer contacted the occupant of the vehicle, he discovered the
driver also was in possession of a cocked crossbow and a spotlight.
The operator turned out to be a suspect in an incident in Wayne
County a week before, involving a poached nine-point buck and
Bradford County WCO Vernon Perry investigated several road-hunting
Bradford County WCO Andrew Troutman said that on the first day of
the rifled deer season a hunter shot a protected buck. After
talking with the hunter and several other camp members, nothing was
said about the legality of the buck. When told it did not meet the
antler requirements, one camp member tried to help by stating that
he had 12 hours to report the “mistake.” That defense was squashed
when the shooter piped up and said it wasn’t a “mistake,” the bump
for the third point was long enough to hang a ring on it. A
citation will be filed.
WCO Cadet Eric D Erdman was assisting Wayne County WCO James P.
McCarthy when they received a call about an injured, immature bald
eagle. “We arrived to find a crowd concerned about the eagle being
on the ground, unable to fly,” Erdman said. “It was in rough shape.
With a little patience and a lot of luck we were able to catch the
eagle, wrap and secure it in the vehicle. The eagle to a
veterinarian and x-rays determined the injury was from a small
caliber bullet. Because of the extent of the injuries it had to be
Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy cited a Beach Lake man for
harvesting a black bear during the archery bear season through the
use of bait. The bear has been seized by officers.
Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy cited a group of hunters in the
Honesdale area for hunting deer on the first day of the regular
firearms season through the use of bait. Other charges will include
lending or possessing the license of another.
Bradford/Susquehanna Counties LMGS Richard J. Lupinsky Sr., to
clear up a seeming misconception, said that planting a food plot on
your property and hunting over it is not a baiting situation. “If,
however, you take some of the planted crop and pile it in front of
your stand now that is considered baiting,” he said.
Monroe County WCO Scott M. Malicky, during the firearms bear
season, received information about a bear that had been killed over
bait on the first day of the season. After contacting Deputy WCO
Mark Major to meet with the witnesses, Monroe County WCO Cory
Bentzoni and Malicky began heading to the scene of the violation.
Major had already met with the witnesses and taken statements from
them prior to their arrival. Upon arrival, Deputy WCO Major had a
second individual who had been hunting over the bait as well as the
individual who had shot the bear over the bait on the first day.
Charges are pending on both of these individuals for hunting in a
baited area as well as the illegally taken bear.
Luzerne County WCO James F. Jolley said that an 800-pound plus bear
was killed in Monroe County this archery bear season. This bear was
killed due to the fact that it was fed by humans and lost its fear
of humans and became dependent on them for food, he said.
Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral cited several individuals for
having loaded firearms in or on vehicles. “Most people think that
the law dealing with loaded firearms and vehicles only applies
while hunting, but that is not the case,” he said. Unless the
person has a permit to use the vehicle as a blind while hunting, or
is in possession of a permit to carry a concealed handgun, no
loaded guns can be in or on a motorized vehicle. Most of the
problems are occurring when shooters are target shooting in a
stripping area and are using the roof or hood of the vehicle as a
rest from which to fire.
Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan, during the first week of
firearms deer season, issued citations to individuals in three
townships for hunting in baited areas. Along with that, other
violations have been investigated and citations will be filed for
road hunting, poaching, untagged deer, false statements and loaded
firearms in vehicles. Several investigations are ongoing. Most of
these individuals were turned in with a phone call from concerned
citizens, who will remain confidential.
Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley said three individuals killed
black bears in baited areas during the recent bear season. Fines
and costs along with other related violations for the trio amount
to just over $7,000, not including a federal Lacy Act
Sullivan/Luzerne/Wyoming Counties LMGS William Williams said a good
number of deer utilizing several brassica food plots on SGL 57,
despite heavy hunting pressure during most of the regular firearms
Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier said there was a decrease in
reported violations during the rifle deer season. “Additionally,
proactive patrols revealed excellent compliance from hunters,” he
Chester County WCO Keith Mullin encountered several cases of
hunters not wearing any blaze orange in the opening week of the
firearms deer season. Charges will be filed for not wearing the
required amounts of orange.
Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that, in one day, three
bucks were killed illegally within a mile of the Game Commission’s
Harrisburg headquarters building: a 10-point, an eight-point, and
one whose antlers were taken and body left behind. Only the poacher
of the 10-point, who was hunting without a license, in a cemetery,
was caught by the Game Commission, he said. That also was the only
incident where the witness, a lawful hunter, called the Game
Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated cases of improperly
tagged big game, loaded firearms in vehicles, unauthorized vehicle
usage on state game lands, safety zone violations, littering and
failure to wear the required fluorescent orange while
Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel saw an increase in violations
this rifle deer season, with six deer unlawfully taken, two of
which were possessed and not reported as mistake kills. The arrest
for those two deer was made possible by concerned persons calling
in with information. There were six four-point (two-points one each
side) bucks turned in along with two spike bucks as mistake kills
Montgomery County WCO Chris Heil reports that, by the end of the
deer firearms season, many hunters had filled a tag or two. “I
checked many successful hunters in the field this year between
archery, early muzzleloader and firearms season and several had
harvested very nice trophies,” he said. “Violation numbers are down
this season, which I attribute to the increased penalties that took
effect in September and now are part of the Game Law.”
Montgomery County WCO Chris Heil reports that many baited areas
were investigated, as well as hunting on park properties and hunter
trespass violations. All violators have been successfully
prosecuted so far this season with more hearings scheduled in the
Schuylkill County WCO Will Dingman reports an increase in hunters
reporting illegal deer.