Pennsylvania Cuffs and Collars – January 31st, 2014

NORTHWEST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that violations in bear and deer seasons included hunting through the use of bait, hunting in standing corn, trespass while hunting, big game tagging violations, closed season take of big game, over the limit of big game, using an electronic device, closed to motorized vehicle violations and loaded firearms in vehicles.
• Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports a lot of snowmobile traffic on state game lands trails. Although they are approved snowmobile trails, they don’t open until Jan. 19 after all the deer seasons have closed.
• Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman encountered numerous individuals this past hunting season providing improper information to issuing agents when procuring their licenses. In one case, the individual hadn’t lived at the address on his license in many years. In other instances, people moved about a year ago and still had their old address. Several women still had their maiden names listed instead of their “new” names.
• Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports charges are pending for several illegal deer killed in the district, including from a vehicle, over the limit, protected class antlered deer and out of season.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports many summary citations have been adjudicated from the 2013 regular firearms deer season. Violations include loaded firearms in or on motor vehicles, unlawful taking of big game, improper or failure to tag big game, and shooting on or across roadways.
• Clarion/Jefferson County LMGS George J. Miller reports that while patrolling during the rifle deer season he saw a hunter standing outside of his vehicle and talking on a cellphone. As he approached he noticed that the man had the phone on speaker and Miller could hear the conversation. The man on the other end was relaying information about his father shooting at a buck and not being sure if it was legal or not when he pulled the trigger. “It was amusing to hear the man at the truck drop subtle hints to try and get the person on the other end of the phone to change his story to make the situation sound better,” Miller said. “The other person wasn’t getting the hints, though, and continued to further incriminate his father. Frustrated, the hunter at the truck finally just hung up on him.”

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

From the Game Commission
• Centre County WCO Dan Murray reports that he and deputies have issued warnings and filed several charges on individuals for small-game hunting without the 250 square inches of required florescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined. Officers also completed an illegal-dumping investigation in Howard Township, where a television was dumped on federal property controlled by the PGC. 
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer with assistance Clearfield Police Department arrested a Clearfield individual for failure to pay $2,088 of fines related to killing two white-tailed deer during a closed season. This person was imprisoned at the Clearfield County Jail until all fines and cost were paid in full.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that hunting through the use of bait continued to be a consistent problem during the rifle deer season. Numerous people were charged with this violation on opening day and youth mentors were being exposed to the illegal activity.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer euthanized a black bear that was severely infected and emaciated with mange in the Curwensville area. The bear was denned in a cavity of a large black oak tree in a homeowner’s front yard. The homeowner observed the bear the night before raiding her bird feeder and noticed the following day bear tracks in the snow going directly into the hollow tree. The animal’s entire body was infested with this disease and the female bear weighed about 125 pounds.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a New Jersey resident pleaded guilty to hunting without a license and for unlawful killing an antlered deer in the Quehanna Wild Area. These violations were documented through an administrative road checkpoint on the second day of rifle deer season.
• Potter County WCO Mark Fair reports citing three individuals this deer season with improperly tagging deer with DMAP tags outside the unit boundaries. One individual killed a deer approximately 10 miles away from the DMAP unit he used to tag the deer.
• WCO Tom Sabolcik and DWCO Jeff Anderson investigated a report of baited areas on the first day of the rifle deer season. Several individuals were cited for hunting over bait while in elaborate hunting blinds. The area had numerous food plots including clover, turnips and corn, and deer and bear sign was everywhere but the hunters still placed mineral blocks, peanuts and other mineral supplement throughout the area. The landowner admitted to placing the minerals the week before deer season. The landowner said he had spent thousands of dollars on the food plots, all for nothing because his land was now posted against hunting until all remnants of the minerals were gone plus an additional 30 days. The hunters went home halfway through the first day, but not before visiting the local magistrate to settle their fines.
• Upon receiving a report that a bear was caught in a coyote trapper’s set just north of Bradford City, WCO Tom Sabolcik and DWCO Dale Thielges responded to the area and soon came upon the bear. After a short while, the 90-pound female was free of the traps and scrambled up a nearby tree. It was apparent that the bear had been attracted to the area by a deer carcass which had been placed there to attract coyotes. The trapper admitted to placing the dead deer in the area and placing the traps. He was cited for unlawfully placing traps near bait (the deer carcass) and told that if he had more sets out that utilized bait, he had best pull them or else more citations would be written.
• Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports that he came across several people last fall hunting over bait. A majority of it was out on state property (forestry and game lands) where it is illegal to place any food stuff out for wildlife at any time, let alone hunt over it. When this happens, the area is usually posted as a baited area and no one is allowed to hunt the area.
• Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports that a number of cases are pending from the recent firearms deer season. There were prosecutions for road hunting, baiting, unlawfully taken deer, untagged deer and license violations. The most common violation that Krebs encountered was loaded firearms in vehicles.
• Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that a Pittsburgh man has pleaded guilty to unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and safety zone violations. The hunter shot the turkey 34 yards from where the owners of the property’s horses were pastured, and 66 yards from the individual’s barn where the horses are stabled. The fines and costs totaled $444. 
• Potter County WCO William Ragosta reports investigating and prosecuting multiple game-law violations including  unlawful taking of bear and deer, hunting deer in baited areas and many trapping violations this month.
• Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee reports that several individuals were caught during the first week of the regular deer season killing antlerless deer in WMU 2G were the season is closed for taking those deer. Because of the closed season, penalties were enhanced. The fine for committing these types of violation are $1,000 to $1,500 and three years’ automatic license revocation.
• Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee reports that a Morris man pleaded guilty to his role in the illegal killing of eight deer, receiving a sentence that requires he serve nine to 18 months in county prison, and pay more than $2,500 in restitution costs, plus a $150 fine. The deer were killed at night, and two other men also pleaded guilty in the case, but have not yet been sentenced.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Clinton County WCO Anthony Beers and WCO Emmett Kyler were in Jersey Shore attempting to serve a warrant on an individual wanted for unpaid fines for a license violation. The officers had just arrived at the defendant’s residence and were knocking at the door when they observed a truck approaching the house suddenly stop and back down the street.  The officers got into their patrol vehicle and proceeded down the street to attempt to locate the suspicious truck. They were successful in locating the truck, but when they turned to approach, the truck driver again sped away. Still uncertain that this was the person they were after, the officers did not initiate a pursuit, but proceeded in the same direction and continued to search until they located the vehicle a third time. This time the driver drove across the lawn of the School Administration building and onto an adjacent street. At this point ,the officers activated the emergency lights on their vehicle and executed a vehicle stop. The driver of the truck was identified as the individual for whom they had a warrant. He was placed under arrest for the warrant violation and now faces additional charges of fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, interference with officers, and driving a motor vehicle on lands without the owner’s permission.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

From the Game Commission
• Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that in December multiple citations were filed against individuals for violations ranging from using a motorized vehicle to locate game to orange violations. The most noted was an individual who had to pay over $9,500 in game law violations. In October, he was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm in his vehicle. This was his third violation of the same statute in two years. 
• Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reported that a Perry County man was recently charged with shooting a deer at night. Anderson’s investigation revealed that the man had shot and killed the deer while it stood in his backyard, illuminated by his back porch light. The shooter claimed the animal had been limping so he shot it to “put it out of its misery.” The carcass was seized as evidence and no prior injuries could be found on the animal. Additionally, the animal’s blood trail was found on top of a corn pile which was placed just inside the woods from the backyard. The shooter pleaded guilty to all charges and was ordered to pay $1,500 in fines and may face a three-year license suspension.
• Franklin County WCO Douglas Barrick reports that multiple individuals in his district pleaded guilty to having loaded firearms in vehicles this past hunting season.  
• Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that charges have been filed on three individuals who attempted to shoot an antlerless deer after alighting from their vehicle and shooting on Davis Road in Logan Township. You must pull off the road, park, and travel 25 yards from the roadway prior to attempting to take any game bird or animal.
• Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports two Bedford County teenagers pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from a recent incident where they killed an antlerless deer with the use of a spotlight. The incident occurred in Woodbury Township. A bystander who obtained a license plate number of the suspect vehicle made the prosecution of defendants possible.
• Adams County WCO Darren David reports that three hunters were actively using a combine driven by a farmer harvesting corn in order to shoot at deer being frantically scared out of the diminishing crops, on the second day of the regular deer season. All three had each killed at least one deer from the cornfield and continued to hunt without first tagging the dead deer. One of the hunters didn’t even have a tag with him. Additionally, they were using portable radios to aid each other in the hunt. Multiple charges are being filed.
• Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports that rifle deer season had many incidents where citations were filed. One involved an individual, who was under revocation, and shot two deer and tagged them with his children’s tags. Several citations were also filed for loaded firearms in vehicles.
• York County WCO Kyle Jury reported that several investigations from the northern York County area have been completed with charged parties pleading guilty to all offenses. Two cases included deer, one antlerless and one spike buck taken prior to the rifle deer season opening day of Dec. 2. In both cases, the deer were baited using an artificial food-based attractant as an enticement. Both defendants were sentenced with fines exceeding $1,100 and the possibility of several years of hunting-license revocation.
• Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh stated that the most common violation he encountered in the 2013 deer season was loaded firearms being in, on or against motorized vehicles. 
• York County WCO Steven Knickel reports that in the two weeks of rifle deer season alone 15 illegal deer were confiscated and charges filed for various violations.
• Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem has filed citations on multiple individuals for failing to fill out their tags after harvesting a deer, and for failing to attach tags to the ears of the deer as required.
• Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn finished one case where DNA evidence from the scene confirmed that the deer shot and killed at night was in the truck of his suspect.
• Mifflin County WCO Jeffrey Mock reports that a joint search warrant from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission has resulted in guilty pleas from two Milroy residents. The two faced a total of 98 charges for violations of the Fish and Boat Code and the Game and Wildlife Code. Plea agreements were reached where the defendants paid $6,000 in fines, received eight years of hunting and fishing license revocation, and two years of supervised probation. If they miss a payment or violate probation, they will be resentenced and could possibly receive jail time. The charges were generally for the unlawful taking and possession of reptiles and wildlife.

NORTHEAST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Pike County WCO Kirk Miller reports a large number of treestands have been seen on state game lands. 
• Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley reports a joint investigation with Vermont conservation officers has two Vermont hunters facing stiff penalties, including loss of hunting privileges in Pennsylvania for hunting without hunting licenses and the unlawful killing and transporting of an 8-point buck.  
• Bradford County WCO Philip Kasper reports that the firearms deer season in Bradford and Sullivan counties was a busy two weeks. Kasper investigated many incidents, some involving firearms and vehicle violations, use of bait while hunting, tagging violations and others.
• Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley reports two individuals from Dauphin County were cited, with the assistance of several officers from Dauphin and Schuylkill counties, for shooting an antlerless deer from a roadway on the first day of firearms season.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports a Dingman’s Ferry man is facing charges of harvesting an antlerless deer without the proper license on the last day of the archery deer season. He faces up to $1,500 in fines and faces possible revocation of his hunting privileges.
• Wayne County WCO Jim McCarthy reports that two New York men are facing charges after they tried to avoid him on SGL 300 in South Cannan Township. The men, each operating an ATV, saw McCarthy and fled on a trail closed to motorized vehicles. McCarthy pursued the men for approximately a mile on foot until one of the ATVs became stuck on an old tree topping on the trail. Both men appeared to be embarrassed that they were caught by a conservation officer on foot while they both operated quads.           
• Wayne County WCO Jim McCarthy reports that a Beach Lake man shot a large 8-point buck in several safety zones behind the local John Deere dealership in Honesdale. Several people called to report the incident with several details including a license plate number. The man was found, the deer seized, and charges filed for the unlawful taking of the deer and safety zone violations. 
• Monroe County WCO Bryan Mowrer reports citations have been filed against three individuals for shooting a white-tailed deer at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 21 with an AR-15 style rifle.

SOUTHEAST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier handled more mistakenly killed deer this season than in any other he can remember. In addition, a guilty plea was entered by an individual charged for baiting deer during firearms season.
• Berks County WCO Eric Anderson reports finding a few hunters this past season who were bringing out deer with tags not filled out.  
• Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty had to euthanize an injured deer about once a week during the archery and muzzleloader seasons. “Most of these were the result of hunters taking “going-away” shots,” he said.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek investigated a case in which a hunter shot a doe in the wrong Wildlife Management Unit. He also investigated a case in which a hunter failed to make a reasonable effort to retrieve a deer he had shot.
• Lancaster County DWCO Justin Brian is investigating a case of dumping on SGL 156. Charges are pending.
• Lancaster County WCO Dennis R. Warfel reports that citations have been filed for violations of littering and for failure to check traps as required. DWCO Jim Wingler responded to a call about a raccoon that had been in a trap for three days. He was able to release the raccoon and identify the trapper. The raccoon was visible to residents in the area who were angered by the fact that the trapper did not check his traps.
• Lancaster County WCO Dennis R. Warfel reports that a feral pig was shot and killed in the Holtwood area. The pig had escaped from an unknown location.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian W Sheetz reports that thanks to a concerned citizen, a mature bald eagle was rescued from Cornwall Township and is at a rehab facility. “On Dec. 11, I received a call about an injured bald eagle,” he said. “At first glance, the eagle appeared to be shot, but with X-rays, it was determined that it was attacked by another eagle or predator,” he said. The eagle had more than 100 puncture wounds and also suffered from lead poisoning. He was treated for lead poisoning and his broken leg was surgically repaired.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports violations during the deer season included the illegal use of bait, insufficient fluorescent orange; tagging, safety zone and spotlighting violations; no identification and unsigned licenses. “During the first day of the rifle season, I received information about an individual who took a second antlerless deer without an antlerless tag,” he said. This cost that individual $1,500 plus court costs.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports a Tamaqua resident pleaded guilty to taking a deer illegally in archery season.
• Philadelphia/Delaware County WCO Jerrold W. Czech Jr. reports that DWCO Bill Cosenza and DCNR Ranger Moleski investigated several hunters regarding an illegal deer, hunting without the correct licenses and failure to take the required hunter education course prior to hunting. Charges have been filed.

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