Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – August 2nd, 2013

NORTHWEST REGION

• Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports that he and Pennsylvania State Police are investigating two break-ins at the SGL 330 building/fence. These break-ins occurred between June 19 and June 28. Anyone with information is asked to call the Game Commission’s Northwest Region Office.     
• Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports charges were filed against a Saegertown man for unlawfully killing a deer that was allegedly feeding in the man’s garden.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that there have been a couple cases lately involving individuals picking up injured bear cubs and transporting them in a vehicle. In one case, someone got bit and the cub had to be put down so it could be tested for disease.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin is investigating a report of dogs chasing deer. The incident occurred in West Salem Township and involved dogs described as a black Great Dane and a brown mixed-breed dog about half as large with longer hair. The witness was concerned about the immediate threat these dogs posed to the deer, and also the welfare of the dogs. Additional information is being sought to identify the dog owner(s).
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports a Pulaski man was cited for operating his ATV on Hunter Access Property in Shenango Township. The area is well marked as Closed to All Motorized Vehicles and the individual even admitted seeing the signs but choosing to drive by them.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports, multiple people are facing charges for importing and possessing juvenile raccoons.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

• Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee reports that three individuals have pleaded guilty in the Mansfield Magisterial District Court to unlawful bear possession charges. The charges involved a Wellsboro woman who shot a bear on the last day of the 2012 deer season as a result of fearing for her well-being as a bear ran in her direction.  Instead of reporting the killing was in self-defense and turning the bear over to the Game Commission, two of her hunting companions butchered the bear and took the meat to New York. Each was assessed a $1,000 fine for their role in the violation.
• Elk County WCO Doty McDowell reports that four individuals from Elk County killed four deer at night in the fall of 2012. All four were charged and pleaded guilty in court and the fines totaled more than $5,000 with each person losing his privilege to hunt or trap in Pennsylvania for several years.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that all charges filed during the spring turkey season resulted in defendants pleading guilty to their offenses. Some of the violations involved hunting through the use of bait, loaded firearms in vehicles while in motion, failure to possess hunting license while hunting, and operating ATVs on lands closed to motorized vehicles.
• WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports that deputies found six marijuana plants on state game lands that were planted and being tended to.
• Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs said a Montgomery man pleaded guilty to a charge from the fall deer season. The defendant was found hunting on SGL 252 and was in possession of a hunting license and kill tag belonging to another man. He was cited for one count of unlawful acts concerning licenses. The man did not respond to the citation in a timely manner and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The defendant entered a guilty plea on June 4 and was ordered to pay a $150 fine and additional court costs.

NORTHEAST REGION

• Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley cited a young man from Sunbury for dumping trash on SGL 84. The contents of the trash were two couches and several boxes of clothing.
• Bradford County WCO Jeffery Oleniacz reports illegal drug manufacturing sites have been located on SGL 12 and SGL 36. The public is warned not to disturb any suspicious containers and to avoid any areas with a strong chemical odor. Anyone who observes suspicious activity on game lands is encouraged to report it as soon as possible.
• Luzerne County WCO Philip White and deputies apprehended several individuals riding ATVs on state game lands. The riders received multiple citations, including registration violations.
• Luzerne County WCO Philip White, along with Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer Rich Stefanides, cited several individuals as part of an ongoing enforcement effort of our public shooting ranges. Violations included lack of licenses and or permits, as well as regulations infractions.

SOUTHWEST REGION

• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that several individuals have been found shooting steel plates, clay birds, and other items at the SGL 203 shooting range in recent weeks. 
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that a Greene County man has pleaded guilty to charges of shooting two geese during the closed season.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that charges have been filed against a West Virginia man after he operated his ATV on lands enrolled in the Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program. Multiple warnings have been given on another property that has seen an increase in ATV activity.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that a Fayette County man was cited for discharging more than three rounds from a semi automatic rifle at the PGC range in Greene County. “This person was given a warning for this same offense 30 minutes prior,” he said.
• Fayette/Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that two Somerset County men were recently cited for several game lands violations in the Casparis area of SGL 51. The violations involved illegal camping and possession of alcoholic beverages.
• Fayette/Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a Connellsville man was cited for dumping burn-pile debris on the Connellsville Sportsmen’s Association cooperative access property.
• Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports a case recently where a report came in about two individuals who were seen placing a live fawn in the back seat of their car. “Assuming that the individuals may have been attempting to help the fawn, I kept an open mind when I started the investigation. Those assumptions proved to be in vain upon arriving at the individual’s residence,” he said. He found a gut pile in the yard that belonged to the fawn as well as a bag containing choice cuts of the deer placed in a freezer. Charges are pending against the two individuals.
• Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that a recent dumping case on SGL 153 in Burrell Township has been resolved. Five bags of trash were thrown along the roadside and all mail and other personal effects had all names and addresses removed to hide the criminal’s identity. A receipt from a local department store proved to be the key to the identity of the perpetrator. Charges are pending against one individual.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports a Youngwood woman pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of several protected birds. Total fines and costs were more than $500 as well as the forfeiture of all birds.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

• Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that one individual pleaded guilty to hunting with an unplugged shotgun during the spring gobbler season. Also, Ammerman is looking for any information pertaining to an illegally killed buck near Gettysburg around June 21. The deer and a spotlight were dumped outside of the Gettysburg area.
• Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reports that a local high school student was recently cited for possession of drugs and paraphernalia. When the student did not respond to the charges filed against him, a warrant was issued. As the student was leaving high school after graduation practice, a state constable served him with the warrant. When searched, the student was found to be in possession of drugs and paraphernalia yet again. More charges are being filed.
• Blair County WCO William Brehun reported that, after arriving to his new district, there were many tasks to accomplish. One of them was to go through the files of the previous officer. While doing so, he found a case folder of an illegally taken deer. That violation had occurred in November 2011. Inside the folder he found everything he was hoping to find. There were photographs, shell casings, and written statements from the individuals involved. Everything was complete except for the charges had not yet been filed.WCO Brehun filed 12 citations in total on the four defendants involved with this late night jacklighting of deer. Only one of the many deer shot at that night was found dead.
• Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that information from the public was received regarding at least two deer taken illegally. The deer were killed at night in a cemetery earlier this spring. The crime occurred in a populated area outside of Bedford. Charges on the multiple individuals will be filed soon.
• Adams County WCO D.J. David reports that a man who has multiple criminal deer poaching charges pending and has recently been cited for an incident in which he allegedly shot at two rabbits with an air rifle from his bedroom window. The defendant then went outside to make sure they died, by stomping on them.
• York County WCO Steven Knickel reports that a recent road-hunting case, from this past turkey season, has been completed. The individuals were found guilty for violations ranging from Shooting in a Safety Zone, to Want and Waste of the Animal totaling over $1,500 and license revocation.
• Bedford County WCO Salvadore Zaffuto cited several individuals for taking in a raccoon and trying to raise it as their own. 
• York County WCO Steven Knickel reports that a “routine” fishing license check of four guys by one of his deputies last week turned into two of them walking home (as neither had a driver’s license), and two of them going to jail for having warrants out for their arrest.

SOUTHEAST REGION

• Lancaster County WCO Dennis R. Warfel reports that a defendant pleaded guilty to charges of the illegal use of pesticides for bird control.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that a citation was recently filed for an individual who dumped an empty TV box along with other materials on SGL 205. In another incident, while officers were working at night on SGL 217 at Bake Oven Knob, they heard a crash. When the officers investigated, it was found to be an individual from Carbon County who admitted to throwing a “beer pong” table into the woods. A citation was issued for dumping. He pleaded guilty to the charge resulting in $400 in fines plus court costs.
• Montgomery County WCO Chris Heil reports that on June 27, District Court 38-1-01 convicted Christian Hyland Jones, of Collegeville, for the unlawful disturbance of game or wildlife. “Jones constructed and baited a deer antler trap with the intent of snaring and snagging bucks’ antlers in the hopes of breaking them off as deer struggle to get free,” he said.
• Environmental Education Specialist Bert Myers reports that Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is accepting goose blind applications until Tuesday, Sept. 10 in preparation for the public drawing scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 11. The only application that will be accepted can be found on Page 28 in the Hunting & Trapping Digest.

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