From the Game Commission
• Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports that a father and son were hunting from their vehicle and saw a large buck in a field adjacent to two houses. The son stopped the car they were in and the father stepped out and shot at the buck while they were within 40 yards of an occupied house. The deer ran and the pair then drove down the road and stopped again; the father got out of the vehicle to shoot at the deer, this time within 60 yards of a home. The deer was killed and they gathered it up and took it home. The buck was a large 10-point with an 18-inch spread. Charges are pending for the pair for numerous violations.
• Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger encountered a man dressed in camouflage, wearing an orange hat and carrying a rifle walking from his vehicle into the woods during firearms deer season. The man said that he had just shot a deer and was going after it. After donning an orange vest, he went into the woods. A look at the vehicle tracks in the fresh snow showed that he had driven past the place where he parked, stopped, backed up, and pulled just off of the road and parked. His footprints indicated that he got out, walked to the front of the truck, back to the driver’s door and then walked towards the woods at which point the WCO arrived. The man reappeared dragging an 8-point buck. He told the officer that he had hunted all day at a different place and was driving back to his camp, looking for deer along the way, especially at this spot. When he saw one he backed up, saw that it was a buck, parked and got out and shot it. He said he couldn’t believe his good luck. He was charged with unlawfully taking the deer.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that while on patrol on the opening day of rifle deer season he observed an ATV being operated down a state highway by an orange-clad operator. As he approached the ATV, DWCO Carl E. McAdams saw a rifle was across the handlebar. When the operator pulled into a farm lane, the state vehicle was right behind him, so he stopped and the officers saw him reach for the rifle. He quickly complied with the officers’ commands and took his hands off the rifle. He had the bolt action open, but not far enough to eject the round that had been chambered. Subsequent inspection found the magazine also fully loaded. A citation was issued for the loaded firearm on moving vehicle, along with several warnings for other violations.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that he was on patrol during deer season at dusk when he saw three vehicles in a PGC parking area near the Shenango Reservoir. A dark figure was observed coming through a small woodlot toward the vehicles. The camo-clad person was carrying a firearm and wearing no fluorescent orange. A quick look revealed that he was a duck hunter carrying a shotgun, bag of decoys, etc. It was after sunset and he had already unloaded his shotgun. All of his shot shells were non-toxic waterfowl loads, but a more thorough field check determined that he did not have a Federal Duck Stamp or any form of ID. He was cited for the duck stamp violation, warned for “no ID” and advised to wear some orange for his own safety when busting through the brush during the rifle deer season, especially during that last half hour after sunset.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that seven hunters were cited this deer season for having loaded firearms in their vehicles.
• Clarion/Jefferson County LMGS George J. Miller reports that on the first day of the rifle buck season, he and WCO Jesse N. Bish received information that a hunter had seen someone dragging a doe through the woods that didn’t appear to be tagged. Not knowing if it was a mistake kill or an actual poaching incident, they responded. The problem was this incident was happening on the one side of the county and they were on the other, with the final hour of daylight setting in. They arrived on scene just at dark only to find an SUV parked in the middle of the road with its lights on, engine running and four individuals on a steep hillside above it. “We found the one individual elbow deep into the guts of an antlerless deer,” Miller said. The investigation revealed three antlerless deer had been shot, with two being located in the back of the SUV that was parked in the middle of the road.
From the Game Commission
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that several hunters are facing charges for hunting in the special regulations area with high-powered centerfire rifles.
• Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck said charges have been filed against two individuals who shot a 9-point antlered deer just before midnight in Darlington Township. The subjects shot the buck from their vehicle on the roadway which was directly in front of officers.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that deputies apprehended two individuals in violation of late spotlighting while in possession of two firearms. Both individuals admitted that they would have killed a white-tailed buck that they were spotlighting had they not been pulled over. Both individuals have pleaded guilty.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that multiple individuals were cited on the first day of the regular firearms deer season for several violations including failure to tag a harvested deer, violating fluorescent orange requirements, hunting through the use of bait, possessing loaded firearms in vehicles and failure to report harvests.
• Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual was found hunting from his vehicle. Besides the loaded gun in the vehicle and not having the required orange, that individual had been purchasing licenses since 2009 without having completed the required hunter education. Citations will be filed, to include multiple charges for purchasing a license he was not eligible for.
From the Game Commission
• Officer Mark Fair, Potter County, reports citing two individuals for shooting across a road at turkeys and hitting a water tanker truck. The No. 4 shot had enough energy after traveling 90 to 100 yards to chip the windshield of the vehicle.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a person from Moshannon pleaded guilty to multiple game law violations. The individual was charged with one count of unlawfully taking or possession of game and wildlife, one count of unlawful acts concerning license, and one count of prohibited devices and methods used for big game hunting. This investigation started from an anonymous tip.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a Woodland resident harvested a juvenile turkey that was infected with Avian Pox. The bird was unfit for consumption, and the hunter was awarded another tag to pursue another fall turkey. Avian Pox is common viral disease that is frequent in wild turkey populations, and birds infected display multiple lesions on their head.
• Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt issued 12 written warnings and one citation for spotlighting buildings during November.
• Centre County WCO Dan Murray reports several charges being filed for baiting, late spotlighting and spotlighting with firearms in the vehicle.
• Clinton County WCO Ken Packard said it’s unusual for anyone to turn themselves in for a violation, so it was a surprise when three cases were solved this year by the suspects. One involved killing a bear without a license, another was a protected deer that was kept and tagged by another and a third involved using a vehicle to hunt from.
• Potter County WCO William Ragosta reports settling on multiple game law violations, including multiple counts of the taking of unlawful deer, multiple counts of using a vehicle to locate game and over a dozen various trapping violations.
From the Game Commission
• Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that during November, 22 charges were filed stemming from three illegal deer cases, multiple drug cases and DUI charges along with various other game law charges. The game law charges alone totaled nearly $10,000.
• Franklin County WCO Douglas Barrick reports that a Chambersburg man pleaded guilty to taking an antlered deer with a rifle in archery deer season. His actions resulted in fines and costs totaling more than $1,600.
• Land Management Group Supervisor Steven Bernardi reported that a hunter was recently cited on SGL 107 for hunting antlerless deer without the proper WMU antlerless deer license.
• Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that 14 citations were filed for violations that occurred on Thanksgiving night on Altoona City Water Authority property and adjacent state game lands. The violations were unlawful use of motorized vehicles, possession of alcohol and controlled substances.
• Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that a Bedford County man has been charged with using bait to hunt for bear on State Game Land 104. Chocolate icing was also discovered on trees in the area. The man also erected a hanging corn feeder in the tree next to his stand.
• Adams County WCO Darren David reports that the first two days of the regular deer season produced many violations, the most common of which was untagged deer.
• Perry County WCO Steve Hower reports two unrelated incidents in which two Juniata County men have been charged with the unlawful taking or possession of deer. In the one case, two large antlered deer were killed in Milford Township with a rifle during the archery-only season. This resulted in several charges being filed against the person responsible. In the other case, a Tuscarora Township man was found to be in possession of the parts of two illegally killed deer.
• York County WCO Kyle Jury reports two investigations were conducted in the northern York area in November. They involved the taking of white-tailed deer during closed season. In both cases, suspects have been charged with violations of the Game and Wildlife Code.
• Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh apprehended two individuals who were spotting after 11 p.m. and with firearms. One of the firearms was loaded at the time.
• York County WCO Steven Knickel reports four illegal deer were taken, and a large baited area was closed to hunting for the rest of the season on the opening day of rifle season. Other violations encountered were untagged deer, orange violations and littering. A few individuals encountered hunting did not have valid hunting licenses.
• Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn cited an individual for hunting squirrels without a license. He also gave him a warning for not wearing any orange material on his head.
• Mifflin County WCO Jeffrey Mock reported handling six mistake kills. Three of those were from local Amish hunters. The other three were from hunters from out of the county.
• York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that two hunters were cited for hunting through the use of bait. A letter was sent to the landowner that the property could not be hunted until 30 days after all bait and any residue was removed. The letter was sent before the hunters were caught hunting the property, and one of the hunters was the person who signed for the certified bait letter.
• Blair/ Huntingdon County LMO Chris Skipper reports charges of alcohol possession on state game lands, littering and damage to property are pending stemming from an incident where a man got his Jeep stuck trying to climb an embankment on SGL 166.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Mifflin County WCO Corey Girt said after receiving several complaints about illegal reptile activity by concerned citizens at a residence, an undercover investigation was conducted in the summer. The undercover investigation was successful, and a search warrant was conducted resulting in 48 various charges from the Fish & Boat and Game commissions. On Dec. 12, the defendant accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to 12 charges, serious unlawful take of timber rattlesnakes, serious unlawful take of Eastern garter snakes, unlawful use of lights while hunting by killing two white-tailed deer with the use of an artificial light, unlawful kill of big game by attempting to take a white-tailed deer with a vehicle during the closed season, unlawful kill of big game by killing a wild turkey during the closed season, permits for protection and management of particular fish by possessing a timber rattlesnake without a required permit, rules and regulations for catching a timber rattlesnake during the closed season, rules and regulations for catching an illegal size timber rattlesnake, unlawful devices and methods by attempting to take a white-tailed deer with a motor vehicle, unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife by taking one squirrel during the closed season and exercise privilege without a permit by possessing pieces of wildlife without a proper permit. By pleading guilty to the charges, the defendant received $4,400 in fines and the suspension of his fishing, boating and hunting license for seven years, along with two years of county probation.
From the Game Commission
• Northeast Regional Director Dan Figured found areas baited with corn and mineral blocks. The hunters planted areas on their property with brassica. The hunters were cited for hunting through the use of bait in areas that had ample food available for deer.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports charges are pending against a New York man for shooting a bear from his back porch with a compound bow at 11:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the regular bear season. He faces misdemeanor charges, and fines over $3,000, plus several years of hunting-license revocation.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports charges are pending against a New Jersey man for shooting a bear Thanksgiving at 1:30 a.m. with a crossbow. Because he was charged and pleaded guilty to shooting a deer illegally in 2008, he now faces misdemeanor charges. He faces up to $10,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison, plus several years hunting license revocation.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports a New Jersey man shot a 3-point buck in a safety zone in Porter Township. He claimed he thought an antlered deer only needed a total of 3 points to be legal, even though he has been hunting in Pennsylvania for 15 years. The deer was also shot in three safety zones. He faces fines of up to $1,300, plus revocation of his hunting license.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports two men, one from New Jersey the other from Hawley, face charges of hunting over bait. They said they had not seen any deer, so they put bait out to try and lure them in. It was evident that deer had been visiting the baited areas for at least several days.
• Susquehanna County WCO Rich Briggs reports several citations were filed the first day of rifle deer season in regard to hunting through the use of bait.
• Pike County WCO Kirk Miller reports that two individuals were cited for killing bear through the use of bait during the bear firearms season. Each individual face fines up to $1,800.
• Pike County WCO Kirk Miller said multiple individuals hunting on public land have been unlawfully causing damage to trees.
• Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County resident recently pleaded guilty to an incident that occurred on Newton Lake over the Fourth of July. The individual drove his power boat through a flock of migratory waterfowl. Numerous witnesses were present. Fines and court costs were above $1,000.
• Bradford County WCO Jeff Oleniacz reports a Facebook photo led to the investigation of a Canton man who killed a deer without a hunting license. During an interview, the subject said he thought his hunting privileges had been revoked and that’s why he hadn’t obtained a license. The man was not on revocation, and was charged with hunting without a license and unlawfully killing a doe. He pleaded guilty and was assessed fines in excess of $2,500.
• Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports the closing of a hunting camp and the surrounding area, along with the seizure of a bear due to the unlawful use of bait at the camp.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Montgomery County WCO Daniel Sharer recently filed misdemeanor Fish & Boat Code charges against a 34-year-old Conshohocken resident as the result of a covert investigation. PF&BC officers learned that the man was advertising 12 Eastern box turtles for sale, at which time an undercover officer contacted the defendant regarding the turtles. The defendant made arrangements to meet the undercover officer and sold him nine of the turtles for $350. In addition to the charges filed for the possession and sale of the box turtles, Sharer also charged the defendant with drug law violations after illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in his residence during the execution of a search warrant by PF&BC officers searching for additional illegal reptiles and related evidence.