Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – February 14th, 2014
From the Game Commission
• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that an investigation involving pet dog caught in a foot-hold trap led to a Knox man being cited for four counts of not attaching a proper ID tag to his trap, as well as a warning for trespassing while hunting or furtaking.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports he completed a case involving three adults and a mentored youth hunting in baited area. A protected deer was killed by one of the same individuals during the archery season and not tagged or reported, and an antlerless deer was killed the first day of archery season by a fifth individual and not tagged. All or parts of the two deer were given to a sixth individual who helped recover and transport the untagged deer. Fines in the case totaled nearly $5,000.
• Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports an increase in the number of hunters not carrying their hunting licenses.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports a local swamp in Mercer has evidence of a fisher in the area. Tracks in snow by the uncommon visitor were confirmed in late December. Otters have been sighted in the area as well, so trappers need to take precautions when setting their traps to avoid unintended capture of these species.
• Warren County WCO David W. Donachy cited two hunters for shooting pheasants within the safety zone of a residence. The birds were at a birdfeeder at the edge of the yard.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that several individuals were warned and multiple people were cited this hunting season for failure to possess a hunting license.
From the Game Commission
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that several hunters were cited for hunting/discharging a firearm in a safety zone during the extended Allegheny County antlerless deer season. Some of the safety zone cases involved hunters shooting a deer with a firearm less than 75 yards from occupied houses.
• Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that during the fall hunting season 10 individuals entered guilty pleas for Act 54 violations. These violations consisted of taking deer out of season or being over the legal limit and penalties ranged from $1,000 to $2,000.
• Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that deputies investigated an incident where a hunter lost his hunting license and returned his license to him. “The hunter was happy to get his license back until he learned that he lost it at the scene of where he and his brother had killed a 7-point buck after illuminating it with their headlights at 5:15 a.m. on the first day of antlered deer season,” he said.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that he was called to the scene of where an animal resembling a wolf hybrid attacked a golden retriever and then was shot by the pet owner in his backyard. “I transported the suspected animal to the regional office and it was determined and confirmed by a veterinarian that it was a domestic dog that attacked the family pet. It only took two days until I received an email with two pictures including one of the dogs taken at the scene in the pet owner’s backyard inquiring about packs of wolves roaming Armstrong County area,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Douglas Bergman reports that charges are being filed against an individual for taking multiple antlered deer on the first day of the statewide antlered season. “The two bucks that were taken, in addition to the lawful buck that he harvested, were both sub-legal bucks per the antler restrictions of three-up,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Douglas Bergman reports that charges are being filed against an individual for taking an antlerless deer in a WMU that he did not possess a license for antlerless deer. He was in possession of licenses for a different WMU when checked.
• Fayette County WCO Douglas Bergman reports that charges are being filed against multiple individuals for use of a motor vehicle to hunt, as well as unlawful taking of game and wildlife pertaining to incidents that occurred during the past antlered/antlerless season.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that baiting violations remained prevalent throughout the hunting season. “We were citing individuals for hunting for through the use of bait up to, and including, the last day of the firearms deer season,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports a Greene County raccoon hunter was found guilty of several charges including hunting raccoons without first securing a hunting license, and attempting to take a raccoon on a Sunday. He was ordered to pay $600 in fines plus costs. He also faces the probable loss of his hunting privileges for one year.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that on the first day of firearms deer season DWCO Joe Dankle and I walked in on a baited blind. “We encountered a 12-year-old boy hunting unaccompanied. We also found two fresh pools of blood. After executing a search warrant with three additional officers on the landowner’s barn, we discovered a black bear that had been killed unlawfully over the bait,” he said. “Several charges have been filed against these individuals. Last year; two members of this large extended family were prosecuted for hunting through the use of bait, and the one was also prosecuted for taking a bear through the use of bait.”
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports numerous charges were filed against individuals taking deer unlawfully. “These included does prior to the antlerless season, 8- and 10-point bucks taken by unlicensed hunters, and deer taken through the use of bait,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports a Mifflin County resident is facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge. “He took a total of three deer he was not entitled to take. His female acquaintance is facing a first-degree summary charge for assisting, and supplying him with an antlerless tag,” he said. “This case was unique in that WCO Rich Joyce was contacted by a hunter via social media. Rich contacted me, and I contacted WCO Dan Puhala, who charged them the previous day in Allegheny County. Dan gave a specific vehicle description which allowed DWCO Bill Lubich to conduct a traffic stop when he passed them by coincidence,” he added.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin and DWCO Bill Lubich observed an individual spotlighting with a flashlight projecting a green beam. “When we made contact with the person, he had a .270 rifle and bow and arrow in his vehicle with him. One charge is pending for spotlighting with a firearm/bow,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin and deputies served a search warrant Jan. 17 on a home of a person suspected of poaching. “We located a 6-point buck in between the toilet and wall of the house,” he said. Charges are pending.
•• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports several charges have been filed for trapping violations. Most involve the trapper neglecting to tag his traps. One person was also cited for having a trap to close to a beaver lodge.
• Fayette/Westmoreland Counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a Mount Pleasant Township man was recently apprehended late at night for shooting from his vehicle at a coyote in his headlights. The incident occurred on the last Friday of rifle deer season. Multiple charges are pending.
• Fayette/Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that an Armbrust man was cited on the last day of rifle deer season for shooting an 8-point buck while standing 62 yards from an occupied house. The man pleaded guilty and will pay $950 in fines and will face suspension of his hunting privileges.
• Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that a case on the opening day of the firearms deer season involving two men from the local area has been adjudicated. Two individuals were found to be hunting through the use of bait. Upon further investigation it was revealed that one of the men shot an 11-point buck earlier in the day and had taken it home without tagging and then went back out to shoot a second antlered deer. The men pleaded guilty to several charges.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that citations have been filed stemming from a case from the first Saturday of the firearms deer season. The case included five illegal deer and involved five different individuals. The deer, none of which were properly tagged and many of the deer had been taken without the proper license, were observed near a residence. A total of $11,800 in fines and replacement costs for the animals have been requested.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that with the help of Pennsylvania State Police, an individual who was hunting without a license on the first Saturday of the firearms deer season was apprehended. Not only was the individual hunting without a license, but had an active warrant for his arrest and was a person not to possess a firearm.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman reports that an individual was charged for four counts of unlawful acts concerning taking of furbearers. The charges included untagged traps and failure to visit and remove or release an animal from a trap every 36 hours. “When negligence is present and when animals are left in traps for days without being removed, prosecution will be to the fullest extent of the law. The individual pleaded guilty with fines totaling more than $800,” he said.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman reports that an Allegheny County man pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully killing or taking big game. The individual killed an antlerless deer during the first day of regular firearms season in WMU 2A and tagged the animal with a WMU 2B tag.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman reports that a lengthy investigation is being wrapped up involving an individual who killed a sub-legal protected buck and an antlerless deer without having a valid antlerless tag. Misdemeanor charges are pending for the individual and his partner who conspired, possessed and transported the unlawful deer.
• Washington County WCO Chris Bergman said charges will be filed on an individual for riding an ATV on a co-op property and providing false identification to an officer.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports charges are pending against a North Huntingdon Township man for taking an antlerless deer with a shotgun in an area only open to archery and flintlock. “Archery hunters recognized the violation and reported it,” he said.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports a trapper is facing charges for having traps set on and within 15 feet of a beaver dam in East Huntingdon Township.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports an Arona man is facing charges for transporting trash and dumping it near a popular hunting area in Hempfield Township.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports several individuals are facing charges stemming from possession of used antlered tags in the field. The results of one investigation found the individual never properly tagged his buck and had a past year license on it at the taxidermist. Charges are pending.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer said on the last day of the rifle deer season officers investigated a case of a father and son trying to sneak a deer out of the woods without properly tagging it, as well as multiple cases of individuals riding around with loaded firearms in the vehicle.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer said officers investigated a case where a grandfather and father told a juvenile to alight from a vehicle and shoot a spike buck in the middle of a campground. The father will be charged for liability for actions of his son. Fines totals could amount to over $2,500 and loss of hunting privileges.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports a safety-zone complaint on the last morning of the rifle deer season found a father and his 12-year-old son having shot a 4-point buck in a safety zone. The hunting party was driving deer when the father and son set up within 100 yards of a plainly visible house. The father and son both shot at a 4-point buck and wounded an antlerless deer as well. Charges have been filed on the father for his actions and allowing the juvenile to hunt in the safety zone and taking of the deer.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Lebanon County Waterways Conservation Officer Douglas Deppen recently investigated a substantial fish kill on Spring Creek. Prolonged bitter cold temperatures attributed to a nearby municipal waterline rupture, which in turn resulted in a discharge of chlorinated water to Spring Creek. Approximately 3,000 trout reared by the Quittapahilla Rod & Gun Club and Milton Hershey School Cooperative Nurseries succumbed to the chlorine influence. The municipal water supplier repaired the break in a timely manner, and has agreed to replace all the trout lost to the sponsoring conservation groups.
From the Game Commission
• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports an individual was recently cited for possession of several unlawfully taken deer. The individual admitted to picking up two road-killed deer without obtaining the required permits. He also admitted to killing three deer and not tagging them during the past hunting season.
• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports an individual was cited for taking a white-tailed buck during a closed season. The individual shot the deer with archery equipment because he thought the season was still open. When he realized the season was closed, he attempted to hide the deer and retrieve it after dark.
• Columbia County WCO John A. Morack reports an increase in hunters failing to wear the required amount of fluorescent orange material while afield hunting this past fall.
From the Game Commission
• Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that two individuals have pleaded guilty to hunting in a safety zone and shooting a deer on the opening day of the buck season. An individual has been charged with hunting over bait and purchasing a hunting license without taking hunter education. Other violations during the late season included another individual hunting in a safety zone, allowing a junior hunter to hunt without a license, hunting over bait, lending a license and failure to tag a deer.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that an individual was recently cited and pleaded guilty to unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and numerous trapping violations. The person caught a deer in his cable restraint and the deer died. “The cable restraint was actually an illegal snare,” he said. The relaxing lock had moving parts and the cable were not the correct size. Entanglement issues led to the deer’s death.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports a person pleaded guilty to unlawful taking and possession of game and wildlife. The individual shot a spike buck in the regular rifle deer season. “When I field checked the person and asked him what he harvested, he told me that it was a button buck,” he said. After locating the individual’s son dragging out the deer, it was evident that the antlers where shot off. “After talking to the son and explaining to him what I think happened, he handed me two antlers, approximately 7 inches in length.”
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz filed citations for numerous tagging violations. Violations ranged from being in the field with used tags, failure to fill out tags and failure to attach tags to big game after harvesting it.
• Lehigh/Northampton County WCO Shawna Burkett reminds deer hunters to report their harvests now that the late season is closed. “If hunters forgot to report their kill from earlier in the season, it is not too late to provide that valuable information,” she said.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports seven individuals that were cited with unlawful use of lights while hunting were found guilty and assessed fines of $1,000 each.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports fur theft from trappers is higher than usual, most likely due to the expected higher fur sale prices.