Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – July 19th, 2013


• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that charges have been filed on a Knox man for operating his ATV on Hunter Access property. The man also did not possess registration or proof of insurance, and he was not wearing a helmet while operating the machine. All the regulations are citable and each carries a separate penalty.
• Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman charged a Treasure Lake man for possessing a firearm (during the rifled deer season). He was a convicted felon and also on probation and prohibited from possessing a firearm through the county probation department. This arrest came about after conducting a routine field inspection.
• Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that citations have been issued for multiple incidents of individuals unlawfully taking in juvenile raccoons as pets. Raccoons must be euthanized for rabies testing. Fines range from $100 to $200 per animal.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin states that reports have been received concerning illegal activities by people hunting groundhogs. Road hunting – using a vehicle to locate game – is unlawful regardless of the species hunted.  Safety zones still apply, as do the restrictions for “shooting on or across highways.” 


• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports a man recently capsized his boat while fishing in Game Commission-owned Brady’s Lake.  Fortunately, the boater was able to make his way to shore; however, he did spend nearly an hour in the water.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports a man from Dingmans Ferry was recently found guilty of possession of an illegal deer and an illegal turkey. The incident occurred this past November and a hearing was held recently. The man shot an antlerless deer which he did not have a tag for and a turkey that he failed to tag.  He was fined $1,800 and faces the loss of his hunting privileges for several years. 
• Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County resident recently pleaded guilty to dumping numerous bags of trash on State Game Land 307. The defendant paid a fine of over $400 including court costs.
• Lackawanna County WCO Kevin Moran reports that he and his neighboring officer have increased the amount of ATV patrols conducted within the county. “The increased effort is to try and stop the ever so increasing illegal activity of ATV use on public land open to hunting,” he said.
• Wayne County WCO Frank Dooley reports a joint investigation with WCO James McCarthy where a bear weighing in excess of 550 pounds was shot in late May, led to charges being filed on a man from the Beach Lake area of Wayne County. The subject was interviewed by both officers several days after the bear was found near the subject’s home. The bear had to be winched onto a state vehicle by a 4×4 vehicle due to its size.


• Allegheny County WCO Gary M. Fujak reports the bald eagle nest in Western Allegheny County along the Ohio River in Crescent Township has been successful this year. The adult mated pair of eagles raised three eaglets this spring and all three young fledged the nest at the end of June. It was just five years ago that the adults built the nest and then failed to have any young that year and the next.  The third year of the nest saw a single eaglet raised and fledged. Last year at least one eaglet was raised but the exact number is unknown.
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that two local men were recently found guilty of multiple game law violations involving illegal deer. “One individual was found guilty for an over the limit antlerless deer (he had no antlerless license) and the other man was found guilty of not tagging and therefore unlawfully possessing a 6-point antlered deer,” he said. Both deer were processed together at the first individual’s home. Thanks to an anonymous tip both men were assessed a total of $2,500 in fines and face a hunting license revocation.
• Armstrong County WCO Gary Toward reports that two Adrian area men were assessed more than $400 in fines and court costs for unlawfully possessing a live opossum. “Photos of the two holding the opossum and wrapping its mouth with electrical tape were posted on Facebook.  An anonymous informant forwarded the photos to the Game Commission TIP Line and the men were subsequently identified,” he said.  During separate interviews the defendants gave completely different stories of how they came to have the opossum in their possession, but neither could deny that they committed the violation.
•  Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports increased numbers of ATVs and vehicles have been found using roads behind closed gates and roads posted against motorized travel on state game lands. Several individuals received citations within the last few weeks.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that abuse of the SGL 50 range continues in his district. “Shooting more than the maximum number or rounds, utilizing the range without a permit, and littering all continue to occur on a regular basis, despite enforcement efforts,” he said.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer Reports that DWCO Robert Dempsey recently came upon an unusual case of poaching. “This case involved individuals gigging frogs out of season. While it is not often that officers happen upon this type of violation it’s important to note that there is a season on taking of frogs in order to manage their numbers and protect them during breeding seasons. The information was turned over to Fish & Boat Commission Waterways conservation officers for further action,” he said.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports that a father recently pleaded guilty to encouraging his son to shoot geese out of season. “The geese took up residence at a pond near their home. The defendants complained that the geese were defecating on their lawn, therefore they shot two of them and left them to float on the water,” he said. Citations for unlawful taking of wildlife and permit violations were filed with Unity Township Magisterial District Justice Mahady.


• Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reports that twice within the past month individuals were cited for unlawfully operating ATVs on property posted “Closed to All Motorized Vehicles” on Commission controlled lands. “Additionally, these individuals drove their vehicles on other people’s property without permission and down public roads illegally,” he said.
• Chester County WCO Scott Frederick and PF&BC WCO Robert Bonney, along with DWCOs John Klopp and Tom Clifford and other assisting officers from both agencies, conducted a nighttime detail at a PF&BC boat launch area that netted 25 arrests for a host of violations which included possession of alcohol on PF&BC property, littering and boating safety violations.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that unlawful activities on SGL 46 and the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area persist despite increased patrols in the area.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports recent prosecutions have been adjudicated for off-roading on game lands, alcohol possession, dumping trash and illegal entry into closed areas.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham responded to a call about a sick deer in a farm building. When he arrived the deer was on the resident’s porch and refused to leave. Close inspection revealed the buck had most likely been struck by a vehicle and was suffering from malnutrition due to its injuries. The animal was euthanized.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that citations were filled on individuals for camping and also drinking alcohol on SGL 211. 
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that the area known as “Box Car Rocks” on SGL 211 in Lebanon and Schuylkill counties, has been receiving its share of graffiti on the rocks and trees. Anyone witnesses this is asked to call the Southeast Region Office at 610-926-3136. 
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that the annual trek halfway up the 610-foot stack at Martins Creek Power Plant was successful, as Dr. McMorris and crew banded four peregrine falcon hatches. All four birds were weighed, banded, cleaned and returned to the nest box. 

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