Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – April 27th, 2012

NORTHWEST REGION

•Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal said several treestands had to be removed from state game lands and will be held for 30 days before being disposed of. “These treestands were placed on SGLs before the 2011 rifle deer season and left in place until their removal in April 2012,” he said. “Hunters are reminded that they may place treestands on SGLs no earlier than two weeks before the first deer season and that they must be removed two weeks after the last deer season. If not removed, they will be treated as abandoned and will be removed by Game Commission personnel.”
•Butler County WCO Chip L. Brunst said several locations have been investigated for dumping.
•Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky was assisted by the Conneaut Ohio Police Department in an investigation of littering on SGL 314. “The culprits were residents of Conneaut who removed a large number of bags of garbage from the dumpster at the Dollar General store,” he said. “When they found nothing of value, they threw them out over a mile stretch of Old Lake Road on SGL 314.”
•Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless and deputies patrolling in the district have encountered three individuals fishing without licenses prior to the opening day of trout season, and two individuals unlawfully fishing in closed trout waters.
•Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman recently concluded a case involving six individuals. “On the last day of the regular archery season, at about 10:20 p.m., a rifle shot was heard about a mile up the road from where I was patrolling,” he said. “While looking for the person who fired the shot, the six defendants, two males and four juvenile females, were found in a field. In the car were three firearms: one shotgun, one .22 rifle and one loaded 30-06. They were out spotlighting deer when a coyote crossed the road in front of them. The males jumped out and shot and the females held the spotlight. No animals were found to have been hit.” 
•Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports several citations were issued in late March for various violations, including littering, closed road violations and alcohol on state game lands to name a few.

SOUTHWEST REGION

•Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala, who also is covering a vacant district in Westmoreland County, reports that a new bald eagle nest has been discovered in the western portion of Westmoreland County not far from the Allegheny River. “Thanks to information provided by a local resident, I was able to confirm an active nest in the area,” he said. “This new nest is in addition to two other confirmed active nests in Westmoreland County. It is exciting to see the eagles making a comeback in the area.”
•Armstrong County WCO Gary Toward said eagle nest observations indicates that a pair of nesting eagles along the Allegheny River is doing well so far this spring. “The unusually mild weather has made it a little easier for the adults to get the nest off to a good start,” he said.
•Armstrong County WCO Gary Toward said the testimony of Leechburg Police Officers enabled him to successfully prosecute three Leechburg area men for the unlawful killing of a white-tailed deer and several other additional violations. The trio was collectively fined more than $6,100 for their actions under Act 54, which is the increased penalties for poaching law that went into effect last year. In addition, hunting license revocations will range from three to five years for each offender.
•Cambria County WCO Shawn Harshaw has confirmed a bald eagle nest at Prince Gallitzin State Park in northern Cambria County. “This is the pair’s first attempt at nesting, and the area close to the nest will be posted prohibiting entry to ensure the eagles are not disturbed during the critical nesting period,” he said.
•Fayette County WCO Christopher Bergman reports that three Fayette County individuals unlawfully dumped a truckload of shingles on SGL 51, in Dunbar Township.  “A passerby witnessed the violation and informed Game Lands Maintenance Supervisor Paul Will and Game Lands Management Group Supervisor Steve Leiendecker, resulting in charges being filed,” he said.
•Fayette County WCO Christopher Bergman reports that two individuals from Washington County were charged with “four-wheeling” in a Jeep on SGL 296 in Perry Township. “The individuals also were in possession of a cooler that contained alcoholic beverages,” he said. Increased patrols for unlawful ATV and four-wheeling activities on SGLs 296 and 51 will be in effect during the spring and summer.
•Somerset County WCO Wade Kramer reports that 41 students from the Meyersdale Area School district completed HTE classes and were certified.
•Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports that a successful bear den tagging season has ended. “We successfully worked on two dens with last year’s yearlings and four dens with newborn cubs in the district,” he said. “The four dens produced nine cubs. The litters consisted of a sow with one cub, a sow with two cubs, and two litters of three cubs each. The interesting discovery found during the research was that all nine cubs were males.”

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

•Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer A. Krebs said a Williamsport man recently pleaded guilty to an outstanding charge from the firearms deer season. Magisterial District Judge Kemp, of Muncy, accepted the man’s guilty plea and assessed a $100 fine for having a loaded firearm on a vehicle.
•Tioga County WCO Rodney P. Mee conducted investigations into unlawful trapping in Tioga County. “The violations detected included bait visible from the air, unmarked traps, unlawful cable restraint devices and cable restraints set for entanglement,” he said. The individuals were found and citations were issued.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

•Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that a raccoon that had attacked two dogs in the backyard of a home has tested positive for rabies.
•Franklin County WCO Justin Klugh reports that two more eagle nests have been discovered in Franklin County.
•Mifflin County WCO Jeff Mock reports a Lewistown resident was apprehended for unlawfully hunting squirrels. “A Lewistown Borough police officer was dispatched to a residence where a subject was dressed in camouflage, carrying a rifle walking around the complainant’s backyard,” he said. “The subject was carrying a pellet gun and indicated that he hadn’t eaten in three days and was out to get some squirrels.”
•Snyder/Juniata Counties WCO Harold Malehorn reports that he filed four citations for individuals camping on state game lands. “I gave four warnings for maintaining a fire, and turned over five other violations to the Fish & Boat Commission for individuals fishing in approved trout waters during a closed season,” he said.
•Fulton County WCO Kevin Mountz recently investigated a dumping case on SGL 128 near Amaranth. “Bags of household trash were dumped on the game lands. If convicted, those who were involved could pay up to $300 in fines, plus $10 per item for transported litter, as well as the cost of the cleanup.
•York County WCO Greg Graham confirms the loss of the male bald eagle that was the mate of the female bald eagle that has produced offspring at Codorus State Park for the past eight years. “Since the death, another sub-adult eagle has taken up residence at the park, and it is believed to be a male,” he said. “Although the female was incubating at the time of the adult male’s death, it is highly unlikely to be a successful nesting attempt this year as the newcomer male is not regularly providing fish to the female on the nest. My most recent observations indicate the nest is already a failure. I saw the nest unoccupied for a 20-minute period, which is not consistent with active nesting activity. Hopefully the pair will mate and raise a clutch next year.”
•York County WCO Greg Graham reports that the pair of ospreys that made their first attempt of nesting last year is back and displaying courtship activity at Codorus State Park. “Unfortunately the nest failed last year and there are high hopes for success this year,” he said. A protective barrier of buoys and signage marks a buffer zone surrounding the nest structure on the edge of Long Island in Lake Marburg. This restricted area is important to prevent disturbance of the ospreys during the nesting season and will be rigorously enforced.

NORTHEAST REGION

•Montour/Northumberland Counties WCO Rick A. Deiterich said that charges were delivered to the Montour County District Attorney for approval in the Thanksgiving eve deer poaching case that involved three adults and one juvenile. The suspects are being charged on criminal complaints for the killing or attempted killing of at least 16 deer from this one incident. The shooting spree started in Montour County and ran into Lycoming and Columbia counties.
•Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley received a tip from a former WCO that illegal trapping was occurring in the southern portion of the district. An investigation of the area revealed several illegal beaver sets with beavers left in traps to rot. The subjects of the investigation were contacted, and charges have been filed for failure to tag traps, failure to check traps and wanton waste of wildlife. Fines and costs exceed $575.
•Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan said reports of late spotlighting and shots fired at night are still coming in. “It seems like these poachers just don’t give up,” he said. “Luckily State Police and DCNR Forest Rangers are willing and eager to help Game Commission WCOs stop this activity. In March, I received information from State Police in Bradford County that led to the arrest of two individuals that were spotlighting after midnight with a cocked crossbow in the back seat.  Citations were filed on both occupants of the vehicle,” he said. On another occasion, information was provided that a deer was dumped in a DCNR parking lot and there was some personal information found at the scene. This investigation is ongoing.”
•Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley is investigating dumping of deer carcasses in several areas around the county. He also reports investigating shots being fired at night in Little Mahanoy and Mayberry townships. Anyone with information regarding any violation is encouraged to call the Northeast Region Office.
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa reports a Milford man recently pleaded guilty and paid a $150 fine and court courts for hunting with buck shot in the regular firearms deer season. 
•Pike County WCO Mark Kropa reports with the warmer late winter and early spring temperatures there has been an increase in the legal and illegal use of the game lands. “The shooting range at SGL 183 is being used extensively and the dumping of litter in the parking lots has increased,” he said.
•Wayne County WCO James P. McCarthy reports that a Moscow man was found guilty of using a handgun to hunt 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.
•Bradford County WCO Joseph Wenzel said an act of vandalism by unknown actors resulted in a large wooden SGL welcome sign being stolen from the site of a maintenance building just outside of Warren Center. “Also, several new road signs recently erected by Warren Township were taken,” he said. “Anyone with information that would help with this investigation is encouraged to call the Game Commission or municipal police.”
•Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports several incidents have occurred with individuals attempting to save sick or injured wildlife. “The risks associated with possible exposure to potentially life-threatening diseases is simply not justified to save an animal,” he said.

SOUTHEAST REGION

•Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier is continuing to monitor the active eagle nests in his district. “It appears there are young in two nests,” he said. 
•Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier has been addressing a nuisance bear situation in northern Berks County.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II assisted officers from the Fish & Boat Commission and New Jersey Fish and Wildlife with three people who were on the Delaware River poaching stripers and herring. One of the individuals had five outstanding warrants and he was taken to jail.
•Bucks County WCO Richard Macklem II has been investigating an incident that occurred in January. “A person was seen hunting and shooting at deer and left the scene,” he said. “The individual came back later to pick up the deer and the local police pulled the person over and discovered an untagged deer in the back. He will be issued citations for transporting an improperly marked deer and not having the required license.”
•Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that urban wildlife is always a challenge for the Game Commission and the public, but one Harrisburg resident decided the best way to get rid of a skunk and a squirrel was to live trap them in a box trap – which is legal – and then burn them to death while still alive, which is not,” he said. She was cited for disposing of game or wildlife in an unreasonable manner. The case is pending.
•Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek was patrolling SGL 156 during a recent warm spell and discovered a group of young men throwing bowling balls into the “Rocks” area to watch them break. Multiple charges have been filed.
•Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that approximately two pickup loads of trash were recently dumped on a SGL 205 parking lot off of Scheirers Road. The investigation revealed that the individuals involved placed an advertisement on Craigslist indicating cheap trash removal. After confronting the individuals about the incident, they admitted to the dumping and have since cleaned up the lot. Citations have been filed.

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