From the Game Commission
• Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that after logging operations were completed on State Game Land 304, individuals have begun “four wheeling” in the newly planted areas.
• Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik is receiving information about illegal treestands and baited stands.
• Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark is getting reports of geese being dumped. It appears that the geese were legally taken and the meat had been removed.
• Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports stopping operators of four ATVs riding illegally on Allegheny National Forest property on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Fifteen violations were apparent. Citations and warnings were issued.
• Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman cited an individual for killing an extra antlerless deer last year and for picking up a road-killed deer without getting the proper permit.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that bass fishermen on Lake Wilhelm were operating their boat with a gasoline motor on the state game land portion of the lake. Interstate 79 is the boundary that separates Maurice K. Goddard State Park from State Game Land 270, and just west of the interstate is a boat landing and the Game Commission parking area. A citation and several warnings were issued.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that charges have been filed against eight individuals for two separate violations on Matson Lumber Co. and Collins Pine cooperator properties. Charges included operating a motor vehicle to avoid identification, operating on closed lands, operating without insurance and operating without registration. In addition to the previous charges, warnings for possession of alcohol, failure to wear required safety equipment and for fleeing and eluding were filed.
From the Game Commission
• Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a local man was recently found guilty at the Magisterial District Judge’s office for shooting a deer in a Pittsburgh neighborhood this past spring. “The individual shot an antlerless deer out of season with a shotgun using fine shot at close range. The deer ran onto a neighbor’s property and died. The person involved was assessed fines and replacement costs of $1,900 for the deer and associated violations,” he said.
• Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that DNA tests show that the cow elk that wandered all over Armstrong County last year was a member of our wild elk herd. The elk tested negative for CWD.
• Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that ongoing patrols of Farm-Game property have resulted in citations being filed for riding ATVs on property posted closed to motorized vehicles.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that a citation has been filed against a Waynesburg man for shooting and killing a great blue heron with a pellet rifle at a sportsmen’s club where he was a member.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that several operators of ATVs were stopped for riding on State Game Land 51 on the Labor Day weekend. Citations have been filed on all offenses.
• Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that several citations for littering have been filed in recent weeks for activities that occurred on SGL 51.
• Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that several ATV drivers were apprehended on Hanson Aggregates Hunter Access property in Fayette County.
• Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a citation was recently filed for illegally dumping a large box full of spoiled, packaged meat products near Greenlick Reservoir. The defendant cleaned up the dump site and was assessed a $300 fine, plus court costs.
• Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that a recently conducted operation targeting illegal use of ATVs on commission-controlled property in the area of the Two Lick Reservoir was highly successful. “Officers from a three-county area to include Indiana, Cambria, and Armstrong were able to detect 32 violations during the operation. Twelve individuals received summary citations as a result of the operation, ranging from illegally riding on Game Commission-controlled property to possession of alcohol on state game lands,” he said.
• Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports an individual was cited for driving a Jeep on lands enrolled in the Public Access Program.
• Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman said that a landowner enrolled in the Hunter Access program had informed him that his tractor was damaged by one or more individuals target practicing in a field. The investigation is continuing.
• Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports a Washington County resident pleaded guilty to possessing a fawn during the summer months. During the execution of a search warrant, the fawn was found in the home’s enclosed front porch.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports several hunters were given warnings for failing to sign their duck stamps while hunting during the early goose season in Hempfield Township. He received complaints about goose hunters hunting in or shooting into safety zones without permission in East Huntingdon and Sewickley townships.
• Westmoreland County WCO Matt Lucas reports multiple individuals have pleaded guilty to riding ATVs on state game lands in South Huntingdon Township. They were also issued warnings for failure to have proper registration and insurance.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Washington County WCO Bob Wheeler is investigating a pollution to Little Mingo Creek. The PF&BC was notified by PEMA of the pollution and dispatched Wheeler to investigate. The pollution was a result of a contractor conducting drilling operations to install a transmission pipeline under Little Mingo Cr when a “blowout” occurred. The pollutant is suspected to be bentonite which was being utilized as a lubricant in the drilling process. Charges are pending.
• Washington County WCO Sean Sauserman filed charges against the owner of 84 Pay Lakes. The list of charges included operating without a required permit for several years, possession of several species of injurious fish, VHS susceptible fish, failing to retain bills of sale for fish, and failing to have files available for inspection.
• Indiana County WCO Matt Kauffman received information of a vendor engaged in the sale of turtles native to Pennsylvania at a flea market in Indiana County. Kauffman investigated and determined that the vendor was offering box turtles for sale, which are native to Pennsylvania. He filed charges against the vendor for the unlawful sale of species native to Pennsylvania.
From the Game Commission
• Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reported that a Milton man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident occurring on March 18. The man was cited for operating a motor vehicle on a road closed to public travel, and also for operating a vehicle with an expired registration. At the time of the incident, Krebs observed a pickup traveling on a closed road with an ATV in the bed. The defendant admitted that he was driving into the game lands to unload and illegally ride the ATV. The incident occurred on State Game Land 252, near Allenwood.
• Potter County WCO Mark Fair reports that a man in Pike Township, Potter County, was charged for unlawfully killing a 400-pound black bear.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that an Osceola man has pleaded guilty to littering charges. The defendant was observed during a surveillance foot patrol throwing aluminum cans into the vegetation on Hunter Access property near the town of Houtzdale. The person arrested said an elderly man comes through the area to pick up all the recycling garbage.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that two individuals pleaded guilty to operating ATVs in areas closed to motorized vehicles on State Game Land 78. Both machines were neither registered through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as required by law, and they were cited for this violation, too.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer conducted a surprise site inspection on a camp in the Moshannon State Forest to determine whether any bear-feeding activity was underway. During the conversation with the camp members, a 400-pound black bear came walking out of the woods at sunset and walked directly to the camp’s front porch looking for a handout.
• Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports the carcasses of adult white-tailed deer males have been turning up around the county with their heads removed.
• Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports citing individuals for shooting bottles in a game lands parking lot.
• Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports that a Pike Township man has been charged with killing a bear in the closed season.
• McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik is assisting the Bradford City Police Department in the investigation of a report of animal cruelty. Two Bradford men reportedly shot at a family of skunks with air rifles and then bludgeoned the animals with large rocks and pieces of cinder block. The men will be charged.
• While on routine patrol in Otto Township, McKean County, WCO Tom Sabolcik came upon an unauthorized campsite on Senour Lumber property, a Forest-Game cooperator. As he approached the tent, he asked if any weapons were in the tent and the occupant produced a fully loaded AR weapon, as well as a shotgun. The man was very cooperative and understanding when the officers pointed out the landowner’s concern of open fires and littering. Shotgun shells, as well as .223 casings, were everywhere as were broken bottles and other debris used as targets. The man agreed to clean the area up and littering charges will be filed.
• McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that patrols will be stepped up on Forest-Game cooperator properties. Continued unlawful ATV use, littering, vandalism and even thefts threaten these properties.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• While conducting late night access patrol to curb vandalism and non-intended use issues, Mifflin County Waterways Conservation Officers Corey Girt and Richard Morder encountered four subjects loitering at the Lewistown Borough Boat Access. Upon making contact with this group reference to the discarding of a beers can and evidence of underage drinking, one of the individuals suddenly fled down over a steep embankment towards the Juniata River. This subject then entered the river and began swimming towards the opposite shoreline. After a lengthy pursuit, which included the assistance Lewistown Borough and Granville Township police as well as the response of a local emergency services fire rescue boat, the subject was apprehended approximately one half mile downstream. Following treatment at a local hospital emergency room for a leg laceration sustained during his flight attempt, the individual was lodged in the Mifflin County Prison on a probation detainer for his misconduct. Subsequent criminal charges of fleeing and attempting to elude an officer, supplying alcohol to a minor, disorderly conduct and littering were levied against this subject the following day.
• Franklin County Waterways Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino was dispatched to a pollution incident on Falling Spring Creek near Chambersburg. A tanker truck hauling approximately 6,000 gallons of raw milk failed to negotiate a turn in the roadway and overturned adjacent to the stream. The breached tanker lost its entire load, discharging the raw milk into the stream. An immediate and secondary biological stream survey of the affected area of Falling Spring showed minimal impact to the adult trout. A settlement proposal addressing the pollution and agency response costs is pending with the trucking company.
From the Game Commission
• Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier responded to a farm to pick up three young barn owls found in a silo. Fortunately, they were found by the farmer prior to filling the silo with silage. The owls all appeared healthy.
• Berks County WCO Eric Anderson reports two men were cited on state game lands for hunting without a license, possession of alcohol and possession of a controlled substance.
• Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that, starting with archery season, regulations prohibit non-Sunday use by bikers and horse riders from riding on state game lands unless they are hunting, trapping or fishing. “On a typical Saturday, I can count on stopping dozens of illegal riders on State Game Lands 211 in Stony Valley,” he said.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek and deputies are investigating numerous reports of baited treestands prior to the opening of archery season on Oct. 4.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek cited individuals for littering on State Game Land 156.
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek reports that on the opening day of dove season he checked an individual preparing to hunt who had forgotten to purchase his migratory game bird license.
• Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel reports that the corn harvest has been delayed and fields are slow in being cut down, causing the early goose and dove season to have a slow start. A citation was filed by Cadet Jason Wagner for a goose hunter without the required federal waterfowl hunting stamp. Two individuals were cited for entering a restricted area at the Muddy Run game lands, posted against entry.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster received a tip regarding an individual using a Swedish goshawk trap baited with live pigeons. An individual was questioned and admitted to once trapping a red-tailed hawk. After further investigation, a citation was filed for attempting to trap a protected bird.