Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – April 13th, 2012
•Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro recently investigated and prosecuted an individual for shooting into his neighbor’s safety zone while unlawfully shooting at crows from his deck in closed season.
•Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports there were a number of bags of garbage dumped along Old Lake Road on SGL 314 in the past two weeks. “This particular SGL is used by many people for wide variety of recreation,” he said. Anyone who might have seen someone throwing these bags from a vehicle is asked to report information to the Northwest Region Office at 814-432-3187.
•Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt investigated several cases last month. One involved a man stealing a trap and raccoon and another involved a hunter hunting in the fall for deer and bear without having the required licenses.
•Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that a person was observed illegally shooting a Canada goose in the Sandy Lake area. The witnesses were able to provide detailed information about the shooter, his companion, and their vehicle to the WCO responding to the incident.
•Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports the first black bear of the year was caught on March 13 in the district. “The healthy 173-pound male couldn’t resist the marshmallows and peanut butter used to lure him into the trap,” he said. “Now, he has a couple ear tags and one less tooth to remind him of the experience.”
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports several species of waterfowl have been observed in the district, including pintails, widgeon, redheads, ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, and northern shovelers, just to name a few.
•Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports hearing woodcock on their signing grounds on March 22.
•Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that the nice weather has brought out vandals once again to the SGL 203 shooting range. “Range users are encouraged to report such activities to the Southwest Region Office at 724-238-9523,” he said. “Also, as a reminder, range users must have range use permit (available through the agency’s website) or a valid hunting or furtakers license and a valid photo ID in their possession whenever using one of the commission’s ranges.”
•Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that peregrine falcons have been sighted in the area of the Rochester-Monaca Bridge. “With the assistance of PennDOT, a banding team will be examining the nest of the breeding pair in the near future,” he said. The information returned from banded birds provides data such a dispersal and survival.
•Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras recently assisted in the processing of radio-collared female bears. “We worked seven dens in Somerset and Westmoreland counties combined,” he said. Five of the females had cubs, and in all they totaled 12 cubs, 10 of which were males.
•Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that the two bald eagles at the Cheat Dam nesting site have returned, and appear to be incubating eggs.
•Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin filed four citations for possession of an alcoholic beverage and operating ATVs on SGLs. “One of the operators of the ATVs had popped open the lock on the gate, so that they could access the SGL,” he said.
•Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a female black bear was euthanized the first week of March in Cook Township, Westmoreland County, because of a severe case of mange. “The bear had been seeking shelter near homes and inside garages during the cold weather,” he said. “The bear had more than 80 percent of its fur missing and was in poor health.”
•Washington County WCO Dan Sitler received a report of several deer carcasses in a field behind a house in West Finley Township. “An investigation is ongoing with several deer being determined to be illegal kills, most from the past hunting season,” he said. Further interviews are being scheduled.
•Washington County WCO Dan Sitler said charges are pending on an individual for dumping a truck load of garbage on SGL 232. The investigation led to the suspect, who has since cleaned up the site and disposed of it properly, he said.
•McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik recently received a report that an otter had accidently been killed in a beaver set along Bells Run in northern McKean County. The otter was caught in a drowning set made by a young trapper.
•McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that at least two illegal dumps have been cleaned up by those responsible. In both cases the violators were prosecuted, one by the PSP and one by Game Commission officers.
•WCO Tom Sabolcik reports capturing a black bear that was suffering from mange, the bear weighed in at over 300 pounds in July of 2009 but was only at 150 when caught. He kept the bear in a culvert trap for 10 days treating the bear with Ivermectin, an antibiotic used to kill most parasites. The bear was kept in a garage and was fed and watered by WCO Sabolcik. After 10 days the bear was released and although it was still largely hairless, it was alert and seemed to be healthier.
•WCO Tom Sabolcik responded to a report of a dead bear located near Port Allegany, the report from a well-meaning citizen stated where the bear was located and gave an ear tag number of 99. When researched, it was discovered that the bear tagged with 99 was captured in 1979 making the bear possibly the oldest bear recorded in Pennsylvania. The regional office personnel were very excited and requested that the skull and jawbone be recovered. Upon discovery of the carcass it was determined that the skeletal remains were that of a domestic pig, not a bear. The plastic yellow ear tag was that of an auction house and not one of the metal tags used by the Game Commission.
•Centre County WCO Dan Murray said two individuals pleaded guilty to killing an antlerless deer out of season; spotlighting with a firearm in a vehicle; possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle; shooting on a public roadway; using a vehicle to locate and kill wildlife; and shooting at wildlife in a cemetery. “For their actions, one violator will pay $2,800, while the other will pay $2,500,” he said. Both face hunting license revocation for several years.
•Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs said a Williamsport man recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident that occurred during the fall black bear season. The man was found trespassing on the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority property in Limestone Township, he said. The trespasser was not wearing required fluorescent orange safety clothing at the time of the incident. He was ordered to pay $350 in fines for his violations.
•Bedford/Fulton Counties LMGS Jonathan S. Zuck said the fourth Annual Sportsmen’s Habitat Day was held at the Biddle Place on SGL 97 in Bedford County on March 3. “The 25 volunteers ranged in ages from 7 to 80 years old, and they constructed 21 brush piles, fenced 37 fruit trees, and transplanted and fenced 14 clumps of blackberry and raspberry canes,” he said.
•Blair County WCO Steve Hanczar was asked to bring a variety of wildlife mounts to the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home. This group of 30 women and men had a lot of stories and questions about our Pennsylvania wildlife during this fourth annual wildlife luncheon, he said.
•Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy reports that a Moscow man was found guilty of using a handgun to hunt with during the regular archery deer season. “The man used a .38 caliber revolver with laser sights to kill a small antlerless deer he had wounded with his bow and arrow,” he said.
•Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley has conducted several prosecutions for illegally killing deer and using the carcasses as lures to set multiple, unlawful traps to target coyotes and other furbearers. “One of the illegal traps caught a live crow that was attempting to feed on the carcass and another with a crow that had died in the set,” he said. Several individuals were cited and prosecuted for trapping with bait visible from the air, failure to tag traps, and failure to check traps every 36 hours.
•Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral is investigating a complaint from a development owner that someone is killing skunks and dumping them on the main drive in the development.
•Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa continues to investigate the unlawful taking of wildlife in his district. “The investigations are from this past hunting season and current incidents involving killing deer at night as the public continue to be involved with reporting suspicious activity,” he said.
•Bucks County WCO John Papson filed charges for unlawful trapping.
•Lebanon County WCO Michael Reeder recently filed charges on individuals for illegal camping and possession of drugs and alcohol on SGL 211.
•Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider says there have been numerous bald eagle sightings in recent weeks with two new nesting locations recorded for monitoring purposes.
•Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that they have received an increase number of calls concerning nuisance beavers throughout the county.
•Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that higher than normal temperatures for this time of the year has wildlife moving earlier, also increasing the number of road killed deer for the month of March.
•Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports that the first bear of the year has been trapped after causing damage to a local resident’s property.