Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – March 1st, 2013

NORTHWEST REGION

• Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that as of April 1, 2013 there will be a restricted area at Gull Point on Presque Isle State Park where no unauthorized persons will be allowed. This is provided for protection of the habitat and nesting areas for the piping plover and the common tern and any other threatened or endangered species that may arrive. This prohibition will be strictly enforced by various law enforcement agencies. The area will be well marked from both land and water. Anyone found in the restricted area or found disturbing the wildlife will be cited. The area at and near the waterline is especially vulnerable, so boaters and fishermen should be extra cautious not to encroach upon the shoreline.
• Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger reports a successful prosecution of two young men who shot an antlered deer last November. The incident occurred on the 29th at about 7:30 pm, well after the close of shooting hours. One of the violators pleaded guilty, and the other was found guilty after a trial. Each was fined $1,500 and will likely lose their hunting privileges for several years.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that turkey trapping and banding is continuing. Within two days, 27 turkeys were trapped, banded and released in northern Jefferson County. Officers in Elk County banded 26 turkeys. Hunters harvesting a banded turkey are asked to call the number on the band(s) and report the harvest. Also, anyone finding a dead turkey with leg bands or, just a leg band, is also requested to call and report the band number and location where the band(s) were discovered.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports citations are still being filed in cases of individuals illegally disposing of deer hides and carcasses.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

• Centre County WCO Dan Murray said charges were filed against two individuals for spotlighting after 11 p.m. in Bald Eagle State Park, Howard Township, Centre County. The two men were also charged with spotlighting while in possession of a firearm and for possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
• McKean County WCO Thomas Sabolcik recently filed charges against a Shinglehouse man for several trapping violations including bait visible from the air and setting traps for beavers within 15 feet of a beaver dam. Several warnings were also issued.
• McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reported 17 turkeys were recently trapped for research purposes utilizing a rocket net.  Three hens were fitted with radio transmitters while the rest of the birds were fitted with leg bands. All of the tagged birds were released on site and were in good condition.
• McKean County WCO Thomas Sabolcik reported all 25 citations filed from the 2012 deer and bear seasons have been successfully prosecuted with all of the defendants having pleaded guilty except for one who requested a hearing and was subsequently found guilty. Over 35 written warnings and numerous verbal warnings were also given to those cited for game law violations.  
• Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee assisted  in an investigation into an illegal bear taken on the last day of Pennsylvania’s deer season in the Mansfield area. A number of the suspects were questioned in Wellsboro, Mansfield and Elmira, N.Y. Charges will be filed for the unlawful taking and possession of an illegal bear.
• McKean County WCO Len Groshek reported a Smethport man pleaded guilty to various charges resulting from an investigation that began during deer season when a dead doe was discovered strangled in an illegal snare. Two other snares were found set in the area and the defendant was not checking a foothold trap he set which held a coyote for several days. Fines and court costs totaled nearly $1,000.
• McKean County WCO Len Groshek reported an Erie man pleaded guilty to killing two antlerless deer in WMU 2F during the early muzzleloader season. The defendant possessed only one antlerless deer license for WMU 1B, and the deer were killed in an area baited with corn and apples. Fines totaled $2,400.
• Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs said on Jan. 28, a Coatsville man plead guilty to charges stemming from an incident that occurred during the firearms season for bear. The incident took place in Cogan House Township, Lycoming County, on Nov. 17, 2012. The defendant shot and killed a bear while trespassing on the property of the Corn Hill Hunting Club. An investigation revealed that the defendant had never completed a required hunter-trapped education course and was therefore not entitled to purchase a hunting license. The defendant was charged with one count of trespass while hunting and one count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife. Magisterial District Judge James Sortman ordered the defendant to pay $1,200 in fines for the two offenses. Additional charges are pending in Chester County related to the unlawful acts concerning licenses.
• Elk County WCO Doty McDowell said a group of elk have decided to winter in the small community of Weedville for the past few years. The Game Commission has decided to trap and transfer the elk out of town. A public meeting was held to inform the local folks of its intentions. Within a few days after the public meeting, the elk left Weedville and haven’t returned. 

NORTHEAST REGION

• Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley  arrested a New Jersey man on a variety of charges including aggravated assault, felon not to possess firearms (two counts), simple assault, loaded firearms in vehicles, false imprisonment, terroristic threats, 28 felony counts of killing deer with a light at night from a vehicle and two misdemeanor counts for killing deer at night from a motor vehicle. The subject is incarcerated in the Wayne County Prison awaiting trial.
• Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reports that the cold weather hasn’t dampened  the spirit of shooters using the PGC shooting ranges in his area. However, violations continue on the ranges despite aggressive and constant patrols, and citations instead of warnings, are being issued, according to Kapral.
• Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reports that several citations were filed after a routine field check of two hunters revealed that both had purchased a hunting license without taking the required HTE course. Besides the license issues, neither hunter was wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange, and an unplugged shotgun with five rounds in the magazine was leaning against their vehicle.
• Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley reports having investigated several individuals for trapping violations along with a trapper reporting his traps being stolen. Kelley recommends when trapping in areas close to roads or near bridges to check your traps often and take extra care in placing and concealing your traps.
• Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb reports that many of this years wildlife crime cases have been adjudicated through the courts. Two individuals were cited for road hunting, shooting across roads, safety zone violations, and an illegal deer each. A call from the public with a vehicle tag number is directly responsible for the successful prosecution of this case.

SOUTHEAST REGION

• Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reports that the hunter education instructors will be receiving their updated training and then classes will begin to be posted on the website in mid to late March.   
• Chester County WCO Scott Frederick recently assisted West Brandywine Township police in finding track evidence of a man they had in custody that had wrecked a stolen truck and then was evading police in a suburban neighborhood. “While the subject may deny knowledge of being around certain homes or in direct contact with the stolen vehicle, his tracks tell the truthful and correct story,” he said. Criminal charges are pending on the individual from the West Brandywine Township Police Department.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that numerous individuals were cited for property violations at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Most of the incidents involved unlawful off-road operation of motorized vehicles. Increased patrols are planned to apprehend violators.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that bald eagles are active at five nesting locations in his district. One new nest is visible from several roadways and offers excellent viewing opportunities.
• Lebanon County WCO Michael Reeder has increased trapping enforcement efforts in the county.  “In doing so, we have detected multiple violations ranging from untagged traps, baiting with animal products and unlawful trap placements,” he said. 
• Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden recently wrapped up and an investigation which included a search warrant being executed in regards to unlawful buying and selling of game or wildlife.  
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that several wildlife violation cases from last hunting season will be adjudicated through the court systems, both at the district judge level and county court.
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that bald eagle monitoring has begun for the year and five nesting locations are being monitored for activity.

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