PA: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 25
Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that a recent deer
poaching case in which four charges were filed on the individual
has resulted in guilty pleas on all counts, including taking deer
out of season, and loaded firearms in a vehicle. Fines exceeded
$1,600 and a license revocation for three years.
Lawrence/Butler Counties LMGS Jeffery T. Kendall said the bear
check station at Moraine State Park had a 606-pound male bear come
in the first day. The bear had an estimated live weight of 714
pounds. The hunter shot the bear on a farm near the
Armstrong/Butler county line.
Erie/Crawford Counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander said 106 bears
were checked at the Tidioute bear check station on the opening day,
which was a new opening-day record for that station. “The check
station was moved from SGL 309 to the Tidioute Fire Hall, which is
larger and more accessible to the public,” he said.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala said a local individual will be
facing multiple game law charges for shooting an antlered deer with
a firearm the day before the close of the regular archery season.
“This individual said that he got frustrated missing deer with his
bow, so he decided to use a gun to shoot a buck,” he said.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns said poaching problems continue in
his district. “An antlerless deer with a research ear tag dating
back to 2004 that had survived seven hunting seasons did not avoid
the poacher’s spotlight and an eight-point buck with a $100 reward
tag also was senselessly killed and left to rot recently,” he said.
Any information on poaching activity should be reported to
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that a Brighton Township
resident reported having their home spotlighted several times in
the past few weeks. Patrols for illegal spotlighting activity have
been increased in the area.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer is investigating a North Sewickley
Township resident who purchased a resident hunting license in
Kansas and a resident hunting license in Pennsylvania. “The PA
automated license system (PALS) allows WCOs to quickly, and
efficiently search for information,” he said. “Previously, the
paper copies of the applications would have been searched for by
hand. With the new system in place, those who wish to cheat are
more easily caught. The Kansas resident now faces charges relating
to the unlawful purchase of a resident PA license.”
Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that an HTE course at the
Nanty Glo Firehall was held on Nov. 5-6, with 123 students
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin will file charges against five
individuals for unlawful deer poaching. Two of the individuals shot
a seven-point buck and a button buck at night with the aid of a
spotlight. When the suspect vehicle was stopped, officers found
four loaded rifles inside. The other three individuals are being
charged for aiding and abetting by transporting and hiding the
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that charges are being
filed against three individuals for operating ATVs on state game
lands. “Later that evening while checking archery hunters, all of
them complained about several motorized vehicles including a truck
running through the SGLs and disrupting their hunt,” he said.
Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh recently charged
two Springfield Township, Fayette County, men with several
violations involving the killing of two eight-point bucks. The deer
were shot at night using a spotlight. Both men face stiff penalties
and may lose their hunting privileges for many years.
Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh said a recent HTE
class held in Mount Pleasant certified more than 100
Greene County WCO Randy Crago said, for the second time this year,
a bear was killed on I-79 about three miles north of Mt. Morris.
“The bear was hit by a large vehicle and very little was left,” he
said. “The bear probably weighed more than 200 pounds.”
Washington County WCO Dan Sitler cited an individual for dumping
garbage on state game lands in the Burgettstown area.
Washington County WCO Dan Sitler cited an individual for damage to
a tree and littering. “This person was also placing corn and
planning to hunt the area,” he said. The area was shut down for 30
days because of the ongoing baiting.
Washington County WCO Dan Sitler filed several citations on two
people who were spotlighting after legal hours. Additionally, the
passenger was in possession of a loaded rifle while they were
Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs, on Oct. 1, cited two
individuals for hunting inside the Muncy State Correctional
Facility. “One of the individuals also was cited for the untagged
deer that he was dragging at the time of the encounter,” he
Centre County WCO Dan Murray cited an individual for late
spotlighting and spotlighting with a firearm in the vehicle. He
also cited several individuals for orange violations, and one
person for poaching a wild turkey just four days before the fall
turkey season opener.
Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn investigated a scene where a third
buck has been shot in the same general area. Two of the three bucks
had the heads removed while one was discarded with the antlers
Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn reports assisting neighboring Elk
County WCO Doty McDowell and the State Police on “one of the most
heinous and disrespectful illegal deer investigations” of his
career where individuals killed a deer, broke into va church, stole
some things, broke a window, shot into the ceiling then left the
dead deer on the alter. Fortunately it appears that all of the
suspects have been identified and enough evidence collected to
obtain a conviction once the charges are filed, he said.
Potter County WCO William C. Ragosta issued citations for multiple
fluorescent orange violations, safety zones, unlawfully taken deer
and trespass while hunting along with a dozen warnings.
Bedford/Fulton Counties LMGS Jonathan S. Zuck reports various
timber cuts are being planned on state game lands in Bedford and
Fulton counties to improve habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock,
golden wing warblers and a host of other birds and mammals.
Targeted areas will range from five to 15 acres in size and may be
regenerated (clear-cut), thinned, or released. Some sites will be
specifically improved for ruffed grouse (SGL 73) and woodcock (SGL
48), according to current wildlife and SGL management plans.
Cutting will begin this month and will be conducted by Food and
Cover Corps crews.
Berks County Deputy WCO Dan Lynch reports that on numerous days
this hunting season both he and fellow Berks County officers have
cited individuals for hunting unaccompanied. “If you take a junior
hunter with you afield, you must be close enough for verbal
communication in a normal speaking voice as well as close enough
for physical control of the junior hunter and his or her firearm,”
Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier responded to a call in Reading
regarding an antlered deer with its antlers stuck in a chain-link
fence. “Unfortunately, the deer died as a result of injuries it
sustained while struggling with the fence,” he said.
Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II received information on
individuals baiting deer. Upon checking several baited sites, he
found that some of the hunters had already harvested a deer from
them. Citations for hunting over bait, as well as unlawfully
harvesting deer have been filed.
Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II received information for a
tagging violation. “When we arrived on scene, we found an
eight-point buck with no tag that was shot on Friday and still was
not tagged on Sunday,” he said. Citations for an untagged deer and
unlawfully transporting an improperly marked deer have been
Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that hunters took several
bears from SGLs 210 and 264 in northern Dauphin County on opening
day of bear season. “It is very likely that some of these bears had
been trapped and relocated from the vicinity of Harrisburg,” he
Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated a case of hunter
harassment where a person drove his ATV back and forth near two
archery hunters’ stands in order to prevent them from getting a
large buck that had been seen in the area.
Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel said Deputy WCO James Wingler
responded to a call regarding shots fired at night and, with the
assistance of State Police Trooper Jared Fluck, apprehended a
suspect at the scene. The individual and his two accomplices will
be charged with unlawful taking of big game in closed season.
Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel, working with Deputy WCO Haines
Henry, filed two citations for damage to Game Commission property,
involving four-wheel drive trucks causing damage to fields.
Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster filed charges following a
complaint about a person shooting a trophy buck during closed
season. “The charges are extensive, ranging into the thousands of
dollars for the violations, including imprisonment,” he said. The
replacement cost for the trophy deer is $5,000. The actions taken
by this individual may result in the forfeiture of his privileges
to hunt for a period of five years.
Environmental Education Specialist Bert Myers reports that Nov. 15
marked the first day this year for the controlled waterfowl hunts
at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. “Sixty-nine hunters
filled 22 blinds,” he said. The total bag for the day was 23 Canada
geese and 21 ducks. Duck species included mallards, black ducks,
wood ducks, green-winged teal, northern shovelers, wigeon, gadwall
and ring-necked ducks.