Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – May 23rd, 2014

From the Game Commission

• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that a Knox man was cited for shooting multi-projectile ammunition and damaging property at the State Game Land 72 rifle range in Miola.
• Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark is getting multiple reports of shots at night in the Union City/Mill Village area. He has a lead on who is doing the shooting but could use more information.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports citations have been filed for parents purchasing hunting licenses for children who have not successfully completed an accredited Hunter-Trapper Education course.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports an investigation regarding the unlawful taking of white-tailed deer is underway. A tip has named a couple of local teenagers who allegedly shot the deer from a motor vehicle while spotlighting.
• Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that he and WCO Roger A. Hartless investigated a report of a person firing a gun near the entrance to an active Marcellus shale gas well site. “Upon arrival,” Miller stated, “we learned that a man pulled over to the side of the road, stepped out of his truck and fired a shot. This got the attention of the guard and many of the workers who thought he was firing at them. As we continued our investigation, along with three state troopers and two sheriff’s deputies, we discovered a dead porcupine at the site where the man fired the gun.” After catching up with the man, he stated that he shot the porcupine because he was mad they were eating the trees on property he leased.
• Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander said a large amount of trash has been dumped at State Game Land 314. Apparently someone is bringing garbage in truckloads.

From the Game Commission

• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a local man recently pleaded guilty for multiple violations during the extended Allegheny County deer season. Two deer were killed with a shotgun in multiple safety zones. Some of the homes and buildings were fewer than 100 yards from where the deer were shot. The hunter was fined a total of $600, plus court costs. Several other hunters were also cited during this incident. Other safety-zone charges were filed, as well as charges for not having a WMU 2B antlerless license and failure to tag big game.
• Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that after a lengthy investigation, charges have been filed against an Ellwood City man who was paid to clean out a foreclosed home and properly dispose of the materials. Instead, the materials were dumped on a Hunter Access property in Franklin Township. To avoid additional penalties, the man agreed to return to the property and clean up all of the material.
• Indiana County WCO Patrick Snickles reports several citations were written for violations on and around state game lands at the Allen Bridge area of Cherryhill Township this month.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that a Greene County man was found guilty at trial for allowing a dog under his control to injure a male white-tailed deer in early March.
• Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports that WCOs and local police are investigating the theft of nearly $6,000 in traps and trapping-related equipment from a local sportsman in Westmoreland County. The traps and equipment were taken from a shed when the victim wasn’t home.

From the Game Commission

• Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that charges have been filed against a Tyrone resident for fishing a trout-stocked stream prior to the opening day of the statewide trout season. The violation occurred in Snyder Township.
• York County WCO Steven Knickel reports that three major cases have been heard in court involving three individuals and three incidents of illegally taking deer. The magisterial district judges have ruled in favor of the Game Commission and levied fines totaling over $5,000.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Fulton County Waterways Conservation Officer Ted Kane recently facilitated a covert special enforcement detail on Little Brush Creek in concert with an inseason trout stocking. Utilizing unmarked vehicles and plain clothes officers from the Fish & Boat and Game Commissions, multiple violations for exceeding the daily limit of trout and interference with officers were addressed.
• Huntingdon County Waterways Conservation Officer Corey Girt facilitated a covert special enforcement detail on Whipple Dam and Laurel Run in concert with an inseason trout stocking.  Utilizing plain clothes officers and concealed surveillance, multiple summary offenses were addressed for exceeding the daily limit of trout, snagging trout, failure to possess current fishing license and/or trout stamp, and mandatory personal flotation device wear.

From the Game Commission

• Pike and Monroe Counties WCO Mark Kropa reports, on the opening day of spring gobbler season, a man from Fogelsville was cited for not filling out his turkey tag and attaching it to the bird before moving it from the location of the kill. In a separate incident, a man from Wind Gap was cited for using a motor vehicle to locate game. Both face fines of up to $200.
• Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley reports receiving a call from a Pennsylvania state prison indicating an inmate who served his sentence for armed robbery would be released, but not until he made arrangements to pay the $3,000 in fines and penalties for poaching deer 12 years ago.                                                                                                                                             • Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports two individuals pleaded guilty to violations committed at state game land shooting ranges. The individuals were found shooting at movable targets hung from target backers. 
• Bradford County WCO Philip Kasper reports that a New Jersey man pleaded guilty to one count each of the unlawful killing or taking of big game and the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, and paid fines and costs in excess of $1,970. The charges stem from two separate incidents during the 2013 firearms deer season where the man shot an antlerless deer during the first week of the season and later shot a protected antlered deer on the first Saturday.
• Monroe County WCO Bryan Mowrer reports finding a box containing two white chickens and a small white goat, all decapitated and dumped on State Game Land 38 in Jackson Township.
• Monroe County WCO Bryan Mowrer reports a 19-year-old Pike County resident pleaded guilty to several citations from an incident that occurred in December. Citations included shooting on or across roadways, loaded firearms inside a vehicle in motion and four safety-zone violations.
• Bradford County WCO Jeff Oleniacz reports a Bradford County man took his son turkey hunting on April 19 and the son harvested a gobbler. On the following Monday, the father realized that the turkey had been killed one week prior to the youth spring turkey hunting day, and called to report his violation. Due to the man’s honesty, he was cited with unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, rather than a higher charge, and paid a $150 fine.
• Northern Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb reports that state game lands in the county have seen an increase in illegal activities, including dumping and littering. The most dramatic increase is related to the use of illegal drugs and drug manufacturing. Meth-making items were recently discovered in a heavily used area of State Game Land 35. One meth-making method involves the use of coffee filters and the cutting of batteries with an odd blue stain left on the filters.  Another suspect item is the (seemingly) harmless plastic drink bottle. The meth making chemicals are mixed in these bottles and placed at easy pick-up points to be retrieved after the meth has cooked.

From the Game Commission

• Berks County WCO Eric Anderson reports that a man was cited during turkey season for using shotgun shells with illegal shot.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek cited three individuals for spray-painting rocks on State Game Land 156. The individuals are subject to fines of $100 to $200, plus the cost of damage to Game Commission property.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that citations were issued to a couple of individuals for littering while using a shotgun at a game lands range. He observed them shooting at clay birds and not picking up their shells for over 15 minutes. They had also left two empty boxes lying on the ground.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that an individual was cited for shooting a Canada goose. If the shooter had notified the Game Commission about the goose, charges could have been avoided. A pair of geese were defending their nest at a pond next to a road. They had reportedly harassed bikers, walkers and a neighbor who ran by the pond several times. One day while running, the neighbor was attacked by the goose and lost his footing causing him to be sent to the hospital in need of stitches. The individual took it upon himself to shoot at the birds, killing one of the geese.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

• Lancaster County Waterways Conservation Officer Darrin Kephart filed misdemeanor criminal charges against a Reading man for his culpability in a fatal boating accident that claimed two lives in June 2013 on the Susquehanna River. Partnering with State Police and Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, Kephart led a five-month investigation, which included forensic re-enactments of the watercraft’s loading, capacity and stability. Evidence led to the operator of the involved watercraft being criminally charged with two counts of homicide by watercraft, two counts of reckless operation of watercraft and numerous supporting summary offenses. The involved motorboat was grossly overloaded, over powered and did not have personal flotation devices.

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