PA: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 7

NORTHWEST REGION

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro and Mercer County WCO Don
Chaybin investigated a hunting-related shooting incident in
southwestern Crawford County. The incident occurred on regulated
shooting grounds while the individuals were hunting for
pheasants.

Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt has seen several bald eagles
along the Allegheny River, and checked three existing nests along
the river with only one of them being occupied. “I did find a new
nest not far from one of the unoccupied older nests,” he said. “The
new nest had a mature eagle perched nearby.”

Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger said trapping/banding
of wild turkeys continues, but with limited success. “The warming
weather has caused changes to the birds feeding habits, and bad
road conditions have limited access to some trapping sites,” he
said.

Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger said a new class of
WCOs has been announced. Applications will be accepted until April
7 or until 1,000 applications are received. Applications can be
made online at the State Civil Service Commission’s website:
www.scsc.state.pa.us.”

Venango County WCO Rodney E. Bimber said recent flooding appears
to have been a bonus for some wildlife, as he recently witnessed
two different eagles feeding on fish caught in pools left by high
water.

Warren County WCO Dave W. Donachy reports Warren County Council
of Sportsmen recently hosted the 34th Annual Landowner Appreciation
Dinner. “Warren sportsmen’s clubs and hunters sponsored landowners
to a dinner of roast buffalo and a program on kestrel nest boxes as
a way of saying thank you for allowing hunting on their land,” he
said.

Mercer/Venango Counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports recent
heavy rains coupled with higher temperatures on the snow-covered
landscape caused a lot of creeks to flood over into surrounding
fields and washed out secondary roads on some of the game
lands.

Mercer/Venango Counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli said designated
routes for horse and bicycle riders on SGL 284 was closed
temporarily as a culvert washed out due to heavy rains and
flooding.

Clarion/Jefferson Counties LMGS George J. Miller reports
participating in taking Boy Scout Troop 64 on a tour of the elk
range. “We were camped in Penfield and our original plans were
hampered by continuous rains,” he said. “We loaded up into the
vehicles and made our way to Benezette. We saw 10 bull and more
than 40 cow elk and visited both the new visitor’s center and the
Game Commission elk viewing area.”

SOUTHWEST REGION

Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala said multiple incidents of
vandalism have occurred at the SGL 203 rifle and shotgun ranges
over the past month. Anyone with information about the recent
issues or if you happen to witness individuals vandalizing the
ranges call the Southwest Region Office at 724-238-9523.

Indiana County WCO Jack Lucas reports that farmers are looking
for deer hunters in his area. Hunters should consider hunting “red
tag” agricultural deer depredation areas. Dozens of farms located
in Indiana and Armstrong counties are enrolled in the program.
“Interested hunters may obtain tags from the landowners enrolled in
the program to harvest antlerless deer on their properties. Farmers
are hoping hunters will reduce deer numbers on their farm which in
turn minimize crop damage this year,” he said.

Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reported several new bald eagle
nests. “Indiana County WCO Patrick Snickles and I investigated two
of the nests recently to see if the birds had returned,” he said.
“We were happy to see a mature eagle sitting on one nest but,
sadly, the second nest had fallen from the tree that it was in.
Unfortunately, the eagles do not appear to be rebuilding in the
same tree but it is hoped that the nesting pair will find a
suitable home in the same general area.”

Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that bald eagles have
been sighted routinely in and around Johnstown. “Although the
presence of the eagles has been confirmed, there has been no
positive identification of a nest in the surrounding areas as of
yet,” he said.

Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh said a Mount
Pleasant man was charged with killing a squirrel out of season. The
man shot and wounded the squirrel at his backyard bird feeder and
then let his dog out to kill the squirrel. “When confronted
regarding the incident, the man claimed he just wanted to give the
dog something to do,” he said.

Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that
misdemeanor charges were recently filed on two adults and one
juvenile for the now infamous Super Bowl deer feast. “The three
individuals went out the evening before the Super Bowl and killed
two deer. The deer were butchered and used to feed a Super Bowl
party the next day,” he said.

Washington County WCO Dan Sitler reports that several HTE
courses have been scheduled for Washington County over the next
several months. “Those interested in attending need to register
through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs said a Williamsport man
recently pleaded guilty to killing a female black bear unlawfully
on Oct. 25, 2010, in Hepburn Township. The defendant in this case
approached a bear lying beside a tree, assuming that the animal was
dead. “While he was standing about 30 yards from the bear, the
animal stood up,” Krebs said. “The bear climbed a tree in order to
get away from the defendant. The defendant shot at the bear twice
with a compound bow, killing the animal and causing it to fall from
the tree. The defendant then observed two cubs in a nearby tree and
fired an arrow at them, missing,” he said. The defendant was
ordered by the court to pay fines and restitution totaling $2,800,
and will face the loss of his hunting and trapping privileges.

McKean County WCO Len Groshek recently received information from
the public regarding problems with the winter-feeding of deer. In
one case, several deer were hit by vehicles while crossing a road
to get to a feeder. In another instance, coyotes became frequent
visitors to an artificial feeding station.

McKean County WCO Len Groshek, Elk County WCO Doty McDowell and
Elk/McKean Counties LMGS John Dzemyan captured and tagged a 5×5
bull elk that has spent the winter in central McKean County. “The
animal was fitted with a radio collar, and its movement will be
watched by Game Commission personnel,” Groshek said.

Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder recently checked on two
bears he found in dens. One was a large male estimated to weight
400 pounds, and the other was a female with at least two cubs.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Blair County WCO A.G. Zellner said an individual recently was
found guilty of sale of wildlife. Fines and costs totaled more than
$2,500, because DNA and expert local veterinarian testimonies, as
well as undercover WCOs, were used in the case.

Blair County WCO A.G. Zellner said a case was resolved in
cooperation with Canadian wildlife officers in Saskatchewan. The
case resulted in guilty convictions in Canada with fines in Canada
of more than $2,150. Charges are pending in Pennsylvania.

Blair County WCO A.G. Zellner said that 12 HTE courses are
scheduled in southern Blair County with everything from basic HTE
to cable restraint and bowhunting courses.

Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh said illegal dumping has
increased on state game lands.

Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich and deputies are monitoring
the status of our nesting pair of bald eagles in the district which
appear to be actively nesting.

Mifflin County WCO Jeffrey G. Mock is investigating the recent
poaching of several deer in Granville Township.

NORTHEAST REGION

Pike County WCO Bob Johnson reports that the Fish & Boat
Commission’s information regarding approved trout waters boundary
at Shohola Creek is incorrect. “The boundary is currently listed
from the Route 739 bridge to the confluence of Birchy Creek,” he
said. “But, Birchy Creek joins the Shohola within the SGL 180
propagation area, and is not open to fishing. Those who fish in
this area must be aware of the propagation area and not fish or
enter in this area,” he said.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reports that with the large number
of snow geese this year, safety zone complaints are on the rise, as
well as reports of road hunting.

Lancaster County WCO Derek Daly reports that, since the snow
melt, the snow geese have returned to Middle Creek. “On a recent
visit there were as many as 80,000 snow geese and 3,000 tundra
swans there,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for people to go
and observe them.”

Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that bald eagles
have come back to the area, and both nests in the western part of
the county have mature eagles nesting on them again. “With both
nests being successful in producing young last year, this year
should be no different,” he said. “It is a great thing to see these
spectacular birds thriving and doing well year after year.”

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that bald eagles are
nesting at three different locations in Northampton County. “A
fourth pair of eagles is hanging around a nest site but to date,
there is no evidence of incubating eggs,” he said.

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that officers in
county have attended several hearings for cases originating from
this past hunting season. “One notable case involving bear and deer
baiting has finally been adjudicated with five guilty pleas
entered,” he said.

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that bear calls have
started coming in which is early compared to other years.

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that snow geese have
been migrating through the area by the thousands. “Many goose
hunters have been taking advantage of the extended conservation
snow goose season,” he said.

Chester/Lancaster/York Counties LMGS Linda Swank reports that
the Food and Cover Corps crews have been doing timber stand
improvement work on SGLs 83 and 43.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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