PA: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 6
Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro investigated violations
regarding an individual allowing his dogs to unlawfully run
uncontrolled, and ultimately injure a deer which had to be put
down, as well as individuals that unlawfully had a wild rabbit and
an opossum at their residence as pets.
Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that the bald eagles in the
area are starting to incubate. The public is encouraged to view the
birds, but they should do it from a distance so as not to disturb
Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder said charges were filed
against a Butler County man for the unlawful taking of a wild
turkey in November 2010.
Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports eagle watchers can
search “Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam” for a live view of an
eagle nest in Virginia. “It’s a great way to see what’s happening
inside the nest and for rainy day birding,” he said.
Clarion/Jefferson Counties LMGS George J. Miller reports of the 142
wood duck, mallard and goose nesting structures available for use
by waterfowl on state game lands in Clarion County, 49 percent
showed sign that broods were hatched successfully. Further
breakdown shows that 39 percent of the wood duck boxes, 71 percent
of the mallard tubes and 88 percent of the goose structures were
successful. Although the wood duck box success rate was down this
year, the numbers of eggs that hatched per box was up
Armstrong County WCO Gary Toward reports that the bat hibernacula
he has checked on during the winter have shown no signs of
white-nose syndrome. “With this deadly disease spreading around the
state, it is good news not to find it here so far, as there are
several very large hibernacula in the county,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Travis Anderson said officers in the southwest
have captured and banded more than 80 turkeys this winter as part
of the Game Commission’s hen study program.
Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt euthanized a bear in the village
of Driftwood. The bear was living under a camp porch and suffering
from mange. It was spotted eating at a corn feeder.
Elk County Doty A. McDowell spent much of February working with
elk. The first issue was supplemental feeding. He gave many written
warnings to folks feeding elk, and met with each of them to explain
the harms of this activity. Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Game
Commission’s wildlife veterinarian, spoke on this topic at the Elk
Country Visitor’s Center. February is also the month that new
collars are replaced on elk for the upcoming year.
Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn said the local wild turkey trapping
crew trapped, banded and released on-site 42 turkeys during the
month after spending many hours monitoring and maintaining the trap
locations as part of the ongoing hen mortality study.
Elk/McKean Counties LMGS John P. Dzemyan said that it was warm
enough on Jan. 1 for a timber rattlesnake to come out. “It left a
trail through the snow at one of our remote SGLs,” he said. “This
was confirmed by Fish & Boat Commission researchers Bob
Zumstein and Matt Wilson, who located and tracked the rattlesnake
with radio telemetry equipment.”
Elk/McKean Counties LMGS John P. Dzemyan reports that the Mount
Jewett Sportsmen and local Boy Scout Troop assisted with another
winter project to improve fish habitat at a duck pond on the
Allegheny National Forest. They built 20 structures and placed them
on the frozen pond surface where they will sink when the ice melts
and provide cover for small fish. “The weather that Saturday
morning was cold and windy with plenty of snow. At times the
blizzard was so strong one could barely see the other people you
were working with even though they were only 20 feet away. They
also had to hand shoveled a path through the snow to get the wooden
cribs out to the pond for a couple hundred feet. A tip of the hat
goes to this club. Last year on another similar pond they did the
same thing, and it never got above about 10 degrees that
Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn filed criminal complaints on
two individuals for killing/possessing two deer in a closed season,
loaded firearms in vehicles and using a motor vehicle to
Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn and his volunteer HTE
instructors held their first class of the year at Shade Mountain
Bowmen. “We had 17 first-time hunters enroll and four who were
taking the class to get their card for out-of-state purposes,” he
said. “Enrollment trends in Snyder County continue to be
Perry County WCO Steve Hower said a local man recently was found
guilty in court of unlawfully possessing three deer and for
trespassing while hunting. “These charges were filed after an
incident that occurred the last week of the deer rifle season in
Buffalo Township,” he said.
Huntingdon County WCO Richard O. Danley Jr. recently dealt with the
first bear complaint of the year. “A mangy bear had broken into a
shed and was taking up residence within yards of a home,” he said.
The homeowner contacted the Game Commission and the bear was
Huntingdon County WCO Richard O. Danley Jr. said there appears to
have been a fairly large winter kill of fish, specifically gizzard
shad, on Raystown Lake. “With the ice melting, many birds are
making good use of this windfall, gulls and eagles along with
several other birds have been feeding on the dead fish frozen in
the ice,” he said.
Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Snyder Counties LMGS Steven Bernardi said two
individuals recently were cited for riding ATVs on a state game
land. “They drove through the snow on roads closed, across fields,
tried to climb a couple of steep banks and drove through the
neighbor’s woodlot running down many oak and white pine seedlings,”
he said. They also had improperly registered ATVs, no insurance,
failed to display the DCNR registration plate and drove down a
township roadway. ATVs are not permitted to be ridden on state game
lands except under very limited, permitted circumstances.
Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz and his Deputy WCOs, during
February, completed a case where an individual killed a protected
four-point buck on a landowner’s property in the November archery
season. “The individual filled out his tag, but never reported the
mistake kill,” he said. “The following day, he went to a local
issuing agent and made a false statement to secure another antlered
tag with a replacement license. He stated that he wanted to go out
hunting again during the rifle season.”
Bedford County WCO Chris Skipper reports that recent court hearings
were held which resulted in convictions for illegal deer, license
violations, leaded firearms in vehicles, ATVs on state game lands,
baiting and orange violations.
Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan still is actively investigating
a case where three antlerless deer were killed and left lay on Dec.
30 near Lebo Road in Penn Township.
Adams County WCO Darren J. David reports more cases from the fall
season were wrapped up in February, including one of simple
possession of an unlawfully taken deer, where DNA evidence was
presented at trial in order to secure a conviction. Fines and costs
to the defendant in this case are close to $3,000.
Columbia County WCO George Wilcox said that 62 students attended an
HTE class at Central Columbia Middle School taught by Curt Turner
in early February. Dan Ottaviani assisted with the instruction, and
Columbia County WCO John Morack taught the Game Law portion.
Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb said this past year a local Rail
Trail signed up in the public access program opening hundreds of
acres to sportsmen. “Recently the Rail Trail reported observing
persons unlawfully operating snow machines on the trail,” he said.
“Subsequently, they requested we address these violations. What we
found was individuals operating these machines without proper
insurance, registration, and failing to display registration
stickers. Snow machines must be registered and insured with
stickers displayed on the outside of the machine.”
Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa investigated the unlawful use of
snowmobiles on SGL 57. While the Game Commission has designated
trails specify marked for use by snowmobiles at certain times of
the year, leaving the trails can cause several issues if not
observed by the user. “Getting lost or stranded is one such
example, as rescue personnel will find it difficult or impossible
to get to a location. In addition, disturbing wildlife can inflict
more stress or even death during this difficult time of the
Bradford County WCO Vernon Perry III recently filed charges for
littering on state game lands.
Montour/Northumberland County WCO Rick A. Deiterich said a
Watsontown man was found guilty in court for allowing his
11-year-old to hunt with a current hunting license during the deer
season. The juvenile does not turn 12 until May of 2011, and is not
entitled to use the hunting license until then, but his father took
him hunting with that license during deer season. The father was
fined $100 plus court costs.
Montour/Northumberland County WCO Rick A. Deiterich reports a
Columbia County man pleaded guilty to two counts of killing two
antlerless deer over the limit during the rifled deer season. The
person did not have any antlerless licenses, which made the button
buck and doe that he killed in the second week of the season
illegal and over the limit which for him was zero, he said. The
individual paid two separate fines of $1,000 each plus court
Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley reports two men from Susquehanna
County are facing fines and costs in excess of $7,000 for killing
deer in closed season, using a motor vehicle to hunt, shooting in
safety zones and possession of loaded firearms in vehicle. As a
result of the initial investigation, more charges will be filed for
additional unlawfully taken deer and license violations that were
Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated a case in which a
hunter trespassed onto private property and failed to provide the
landowner with identification, as required by Game Law.
Schuylkill County WCO Will Dingman reports rising interest in the
Hegins-Gratz Wild Pheasant Recovery Area. “Sportsmen need to read
the hunting digest for regulations in that area,” he said. “Small
game hunters and dog training are impacted the most.”
Environmental Education Specialist Bert Myers reports that, with
the beginning of March upon us, the waterfowl migration is well
under way at the Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management
Area. “You can check updates on the birds by going to the website
at www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on the Middle Creek icon. Updates
are posted weekly during this time of year.