Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak recently apprehended two
individuals poaching deer at night. “The defendants are both Ohio
residents who stated, ‘We hunt hard legally in Ohio and cannot get
anything, so we came here [Pennsylvania] to take an easy one,'” he
said. Charges are pending.
Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak, in the last several weeks,
made apprehensions in three cases where the defendants shot and
concealed a sandhill crane and two double-crested cormorants.
Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro has handled numerous beaver
complaints recently. “Trappers should contact local WCOs for a list
of locations encountering beaver complaint,” he said.
Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger reports someone damaged
two gates at Buzzard Swamp. “The evidence indicates that they used
a vehicle to push open a gate, drove through the foot travel-only
area, and pushed open a second gate to get out,” he said. Both
gates were badly damaged. Anyone with information is asked to call
the Northwest Region Office or the U.S. Forest Service Ranger
Station in Marienville.
Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless investigated a report of an
antlered deer found dead on a farm field. “The carcass of the deer
was still warm, and it appeared as though the deer had recently
died,” he said. An inspection of the carcass produced no arrow or
bullet wound. It wasn’t until the carcass was skinned that the
cause of death was discovered. Apparently the deer was gored in the
side by another buck which caused a rib to break and puncture a
Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder issued several citations
for archery hunters failing to wear the protective fluorescent
orange material during the overlapping firearms seasons.
Clarion/Jefferson Counties LMGS George J. Miller apprehended an
individual who was late spotlighting only to find out that it was
the same individual who had historically complained about people
doing that in the past.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala said a recent investigation
initiated by Deputy WCO Jack Candek resulted in three local
residents being charged with multiple game law violations. Among
the charges are an untagged deer, hunter trespass, and failure to
wear fluorescent orange violations.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns said there has been a rash of
illegal poaching of white-tailed deer in the Rural Valley area.
Poachers have been targeting bucks and, in some cases, removing the
antlers and backstraps. However, several instances have been found
where a nice buck has been shot and left to rot in the field.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Southwest Region
Office at 724-238-9723.
Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras cited individuals for shooting deer
at night with a spotlight in the Summerhill Township area. “We only
were able to apprehend these individuals thanks to receiving good,
timely information provided by several witnesses,” he said.
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin cited a hunter who shot a buck
during the October muzzleloader season for antlerless deer and cut
off the antlers in an attempt to hide the illegal deer.
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin cited a hunter who killed an
antlerless deer, even though he didn’t have an antlerless deer
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin filed several citations on
individuals for disorderly conduct on a Hunter Access Program
property, damage to a tree on game lands, hunting over bait and
hunting in soybean fields.
Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh said a
Springfield Township man recently pleaded guilty to killing a deer
without a hunting license on the first day of archery season. The
man was assessed $1,250 in fines plus court costs and will likely
lose his hunting privileges for three years.
Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas recently filed charges against
two men in East Huntingdon Township who were in possession of an
untagged antlerless deer. Each individual could face penalties with
fines up to $800.
Union County WCO Dirk B. Remensnyder said Deputy WCO William
Maxfield recently had to help a trapper release a bobcat that was
in his trap.
Potter County WCO Mark S. Fair said the Potter County Treasurer’s
Office received 24 unlawful attempts to apply for more than one
antlerless license during the first drawing. “These violations can
be tracked statewide,” he said.
Tioga County WCO Rodney P. Mee apprehended a DUI motorist while on
night patrol. “The man was driving drunk and nearly ran into my
vehicle,” he said. “After stopping the individual, he also was
discovered to have marijuana in the vehicle. The driver was also
DUI-suspended, and possessed no valid driver’s license.”
Tioga County WCO Rodney P. Mee filed several charges for hunting
through the use of bait and issued a number of notice letters to
landowners found to be in violation of the Game and Wildlife Code
in regards to the bait law.
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik investigated a report of an injured
immature bald eagle. “Several grouse hunters discovered the bird
near a beaver dam,” he said. “They took time out of their day’s
hunt to hike out to a point where they could make a phone call to
report the incident. They then went back to the beaver dam,
carefully captured the eagle and then met me as soon as I could get
there. Unfortunately, the eagle had to be euthanized after it was
determined that his wing was broken in 11 places after it
apparently hit a wire or branch while diving.”
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik is investigating the killing of
several deer in the Barden Brook area in Eldred Township. Several
deer were discovered near the roadway shot with arrows. “It was
apparent that someone was road hunting and jumping out and shooting
deer that were feeding near the roadway. One doe was shot directly
in the head well within two safety zones. No attempt was made to
retrieve the deer.”
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that several hearings were
heard by District Justice Rich Luther in Bradford concerning people
driving on roads posted against vehicular traffic. In both cases,
the defendants were found guilty. The defendants had driven through
open gates despite there being signs posted along the
Huntingdon County WCO Richard O. Danley Jr. and Deputy WCO Terry
Clevenger recently cited two individuals who were disturbing deer
with a handgun. “The evidence found that, while spotlighting, the
two shot a 9mm handgun into the ground to watch the deer run,” he
said. Several charges were filed.
Huntingdon County Deputy WCO Terry Clevenger recently apprehended
two individuals who were road hunting squirrels. The suspects were
apprehended; charges are pending.
Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh is looking for any information
regarding the attempted poaching of a deer on Mountain Road near
Fort Loudon. A red pick up truck was used in connection with this
incident. If you have information, contact the Southcentral Region
Office at 814-643-1831.
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich said patrol of the SGL 230
shooting ranges continues and there has been an increase in
unpermitted/unlicensed users at the range. “At least 40 written and
verbal warnings have been issued to this point for not having the
appropriate permit or license,” he said.
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich said officers encountered three
late spotlighting violations in the district during recent night
Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny recently trapped and relocated
two large beavers that were causing damage at Greenwood Furnace
State Park. The one beaver was between 40 and 45 pounds, while the
other was between 50 and 55 pounds.
Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn issued citations for individuals
hunting ducks in a closed season, and a DUI incident.
Adams County WCO Darren J. David reports that a large-racked buck
was shot at off of Zeigler Mill Road on Oct. 21. The deer was not
Adams County WCO Darren J. David arrested an intoxicated man
driving on game lands.
Adams County WCO Darren J. David responded to an incident where it
is believed a man illegally shot an 8-point buck with a scoped
rifle during archery season. “Immediately afterwards, the man died
of natural causes,” he said.
Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour said waterfowl enforcement in
the early duck season resulted in several violations being
discovered. One hunter also was cited for taking over his limit of
Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz, on Oct. 22, a six-point buck was
shot and killed adjacent to a State Police trooper’s residence in
Belfast Township just after midnight. The only bit of information
at the time was a vehicle description. “At about 1:28 a.m. the next
morning in the same general area, we made a vehicle stop on a
different vehicle spotlighting while in possession of a loaded
firearm. The driver owned another vehicle that matched the
description of the car that was used the morning before. During the
investigation, a confession was obtained giving the details of the
killing,” he said. As a result of both incidents, two Pennsylvania
residents and three Maryland residents were charged with 28
separate Game Law violations along with several vehicle code
violations. Fines and cost could surpass $13,800.
Perry County WCO Steve Hower apprehended two individuals after they
stopped their vehicle, illuminated several deer with a spotlight
and shot two shots at the deer with a rifle from inside the car.
Hower witnessed the incidents while staking out the area after a
report of poaching had been called in the week before.
Bedford County WCO Chris Skipper reports recent arrests for
baiting, late spotlighting, driving on closed roads and failure to
wear required amounts of orange have been made.
York County WCO Greg Graham said an individual was cited for
killing a deer with a .270 rifle during the muzzleloader
Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reported a protected deer (4
point) that was taken, baiting, and shooting across roadways, have
been investigated and the culprits all have plead guilty.
York County WCO Shawn Musser said an incident of late spotlighting
included a loaded Ruger Mini14 in the vehicle.
York County WCO Shawn Musser said a landowner contacted the PGC
about several baited treestands on his property. Upon
investigation, the three out of the six stands were found to be
occupied. In addition to being cited for baiting, they were also
issued citations for trespassing while hunting as well.
York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that an individual has been
cited for driving on game lands and causing damage to property. The
person not only drove through PGC property but also through an
adjacent landowner’s business, and then wrecked his truck into a
culvert. Thanks to the business owner, the driver was caught when
he returned with a tow truck in an attempt to pull the truck out.
The tow truck got stuck as well and had to be pulled out by another
tow company. The driver of the truck was also under suspension of
his driving privileges.
Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy said two brothers from Lake
Ariel are facing charges in connection with an incident where the
brothers shot a deer from their truck in the Indian Country
development in Gouldsboro.
Luzerne County WCO David P. Allen and deputies recently apprehended
eight individuals who were shooting deer at night. “All indications
are that they were just shooting them and letting them lay,” he
said. This incident was a direct result of citizens reporting
violations in an area.
Columbia County WCO George Wilcox said that Scott Township Police
Sgt. Michael Grassley, while patrolling on a midnight shift,
observed tire tracks going into a private field, so he followed
them. “He soon saw a small pickup with a spotlight shining at 12:36
a.m.,” Wilcox said. “Upon inspection of the now parked vehicle,
Sgt. Grassley found two Bloomsburg residents, age 18 and 19, with
three firearms, one of which was loaded and thrown out the window.
While no animals had been shot at by the pair, one of the suspects
admitted to looking for deer with the spotlight to take a nice
buck. The biggest buck they saw was an eight- or ten-point, but it
wasn’t big enough for them. The individual admitted to seeing close
to 30 deer, and had all the intentions of killing a deer that
night. Numerous charges were filed by the Game Commission WCOs and
Scott Township Police.
Bradford County WCO Joseph Wenzel is investigating several deer
poaching cases and night-time shooting incidents. In one case, two
adult males and a juvenile male were apprehended in a pick-up truck
after killing one doe and attempting to kill two other deer while
in possession of two loaded rifles, three loaded handguns and a
cocked crossbow. An assortment of knives and other firearms were
removed from the vehicle.
Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb, while recently on patrol,
encountered a vehicle stopped in the middle of a public roadway at
an intersection. “The driver appeared to be under the influence of
drugs or alcohol,” he said. “After the local police arrived, drugs
were removed from the driver, who subsequently was arrested for
DUI. A Canadian citizen also was cited for an untagged deer. The
man said he did the same thing last year, and apparently thought he
deserved a warning and not the citation I issued him.”
Bradford County WCO Vernon Perry III said that the end is in sight
after a long and labor intensive poaching investigation involving
several individuals from Maine.
Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports several deer have been
unlawfully taken at night over the last several weeks. The public
is encouraged to contact the Northeast Region Office with any
information, he said.
Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan said several violations have been
observed for failing to wear sufficient fluorescent orange
Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley said a violation phoned in by a
concerned hunter has resulted in the successful prosecution of two
men for road-hunting and killing deer in closed season. The fines
and cost amounted to $4,500, and hunting and trapping privileges
revoked for the next five years for the two.
Berks County WCO Matt Teehan’s routine patrols have resulted in
citations for several violations on SGL 106. During the snow storm
on Oct. 29, four separate investigations resulted in seven
violations. “Later, we also conducted interviews at the Lehigh
Valley Hospital about a shooting that took place in Schuylkill
Bucks County WCO John Papson filed charges in a case involving the
unlawful taking and possession of a deer. “I’ve also issued
numerous warnings for hunters not having ID while hunting,” he
said. Other citations were filed for untagged deer, unplugged
shotguns during small game along with various other violations.
Night patrol also netted one late spotlighter.
Chester County WCO Keith Mullin received two calls for deer unfit
for consumption. “In both cases, the deer had been shot and
survived but then developed infection that spread through the
body,” he said. “Both hunters had properly tagged the deer and
followed the proper procedure for getting their tag replaced for
the opportunity to harvest a deer that they could eat.”
Lebanon County WCO Michael Reeder cited several individuals for
spotlighting after hours and while in possession of firearms.
Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports the opening day of
pheasant season was busy. “We checked many hunters on SGL 205,” he
said. “During that day, I encountered many safety violations,
including unplugged shotguns.
Montgomery County WCO Ray Madden said, with winter and the deer
hunting seasons coming up, people from his district who could use
extra deer meat can contact the agency and get on his “deer list”
for whenever he gets illegal, mistake or crop damage kills. If you
would like to be put on the list, call the Southeast Region Office
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that the limited number
of deer that died due to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is no longer
an issue since the area has experienced a good hard frost, not to
mention the recent October snow storm.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider indicates that there have been
numerous road-killed bucks with their antlers cut off reported by
officers in county. “It’s still illegal to remove antlers or cut
off the head to get the antlers,” he said. Those interested in
purchasing antlers need to call their appropriate Game Commission
Region Office to have an officer issue a sale of wildlife receipt
for lawful possession of road-killed deer antlers.
Southeast Region Wildlife Education Specialist Dan Lynch said Eagle
Scout candidate Teddy Rizzo, from the Boy Scout Troop in Robesonia,
Berks County, built a portable hunting blind that can be used by
disabled and wheel-chair bound hunters,” he said. The blind can be
taken apart and transported in the back of a pickup truck. For more
information on borrowing the blind for free, contact Dan Lynch at
the Southeast Region Office at 610-926-3136.