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Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – November 7th, 2014

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports a man was charged with possession of lead shot and a loaded shotgun in a motorized vehicle while hunting geese on Conneaut Lake.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that charges have been filed on two individuals hunting geese in a closed area on State Game Land 214. Neither man had the required migratory bird license and one individual, who is a Texas resident, purchased a fraudulent general license.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that eight hunters are facing charges for hunting geese during the closed season on State Game Land 214.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that a yearlong investigation has resulted in four individuals being charged for killing or possessing 14 illegal deer. Many of the deer were shot at night and others were killed during archery season with a firearm by unlicensed individuals. A total of 58 citations were filed in the case with possible fines, costs and restitution reaching upward of $60,000.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that two junior hunters were discovered hunting unaccompanied over a large bait pile on the first day of archery season. Charges will be filed against the adult who was responsible for their actions.
• Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that there were two search warrants served in the Girard area where many parts of protected birds including hawks, owls, gulls and turkeys, were seized. Charges are pending.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that while patrolling one evening during the first week of archery season, he encountered a vehicle parked in a remote area where people commonly hunt. As he approached the vehicle on foot, he noticed that there were three individuals seated inside the vehicle. One of the individuals had drug paraphernalia lying on the seat next to him in plain view. The state police were contacted and a trooper responded. A quantity of suspected marijuana and synthetic marijuana were recovered from the vehicle by the trooper. The state police have taken control of the case and charges are pending.
• WCO Cadet Michael Goodenow, working in Jefferson County, reports that during the first week of the archery deer season several individuals were discovered hunting through the use of bait. Some of these hunters were also found to be damaging trees by utilizing screw-in steps or cutting trees for shooting lanes. There was one violation for operating an ATV on property controlled by the commission. Charges are pending.
• Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman cited several people for riding ATVs and dirt bikes on a cooperator property. Most didn’t even know who the landowners were. Two adults said they rode there when they were kids but never asked permission. 
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that charges are pending against two individuals for hunting through the use of bait on State Game Land 29 in Warren County. The individuals were using mineral substances to artificially attract wildlife at six separate stand locations. 
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Erie County WCOs Jeff Giardina and Chad Doyle filed seven citations with over $1,100 in fines against an Erie man illegally selling steelhead trout. The defendant sold two limits to two undercover officers on the same day. He was also fishing without a license and required permits. He had been cited for fishing without a license this summer in Presque Isle Bay. Officers will also recommend a revocation of his fishing privileges.
• Erie County WCO Jim Smolko finalized a $7,500 settlement for a sewage pollution which occurred in June at Four Mile Creek. The sewer line which ran across the stream ruptured spilling raw sewage into the current. A call from the public alerted the commission to the pollution.  Authorities immediately took action to transfer flow and fix the pipe.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

• Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that several large trash bags were discovered in a parking area of State Game Land 285 in Darlington Township. Upon investigation, it was learned that the material belonged to a local resident who is disabled and, because of health problems, had just been relocated to a new home. In exchange for no citations being filed, the resident made arrangements with several acquaintances to assist him in a complete cleaning of the entire parking lot.
• Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that an Allegheny County man was recently found guilty for allowing his minor sons to operate dirt bikes on property enrolled in a Hunter Access program.
• WCO Cadet Jason Wagner, while on field assignment with Cambria County WCO Shawn Harshaw, reports that on the opening day of archery season, several hunters were cited for hunting through the use of bait. Several warnings were issued for shooting-range violations, and a case is being investigated in which an individual on game lands disposed of household trash – complete with bank records, a pay stub and a court summons. Charges are being filed. 
• Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that two Uniontown men were charged for digging and removing wild American ginseng roots on game lands. 
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that an increase in baiting violations have already been encountered this archery season. One archer hunting over five mineral blocks, a corn feeder, and other piles of corn and apples was encountered. He claimed that he was “only hunting groundhogs.” Bonin noted it is also illegal to hunt groundhogs over bait, but there was more to the story. “His groundhog story never held up after I located a dead and untagged button buck,” he said.
• Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that a Greene County man is facing charges in Ohio. “I was contacted by an Ohio wildlife officer, who requested I investigate the hunter for harvesting a buck during an antlerless-only season. After receiving a written confession, I seized the 8-point buck,” he said.
• WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that on the first day of the archery deer season, three people were cited with hunting through the use of bait. Penalties for the violations could reach fines as high as $300, plus court costs. 
WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that in the past week, three nuisance bears were captured at the Laurel Hill Trout Farm. All three bears had were processed and released at various locations on the state game lands.
WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that on the first day of the archery deer season, during night patrol, a vehicle was stopped for spotting after 11 p.m. The stop resulted in a citation that could result in a fine of $200, plus court costs.
• Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports many baited areas were found being hunted on the opening day of archery season. 
• Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports three individuals were found smoking marijuana near the Quemahoning Reservoir recently. “As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw three people standing closely at the back corner of the parking lot and they quickly began to walk away down a small trail. Where they were standing, I began to see a small amount of smoke rising from the grass where it appeared as though they had dropped something. Upon further investigation, I found that it was a marijuana cigarette that they had thrown into the weeds. Charges have been filed,” he said.
• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that during the first two days of archery season, three individuals were cited during separate investigations for hunting through the use of bait. Baited areas ranged from salt blocks to shelled corn. One of the individuals was cited for unlawfully taking an 8-point buck through the use of shelled corn.
• WCO Cadet Jeffrey Orwig, while on field assignment in Westmoreland County with WCO Matthew Lucas, reports several individuals were cited while hunting over bait in East Huntingdon and Rostraver Townships on the first day of the archery deer season. Each individual could face up to $300 in fines, plus court costs. 
• WCO Cadet Jeffrey Orwig, while on field assignment in Westmoreland County with WCO Matthew Lucas, reports an investigation was conducted on trash dumped in East Huntingdon Township. Through several interviews, an individual admitted to dumping the trash. Charges were filed in the local District Court. 
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• After a lengthy investigation that involved the PF&BC Special Investigation Division, Washington County WCO Sean Sauserman filed charges against a Washington County man that included multiple forgery charges, theft by deception, fishing without a license, hunting venomous snakes and possession of native venomous snakes without required permits, and possession of native species (eastern box turtle). A search warrant was issued in the case with the man’s computers and documents being seized and audited with the assistance of State Police.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

• Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reports that several covert surveillance operations have been done recently at the Game Commission shooting range in his district. The operations were conducted in an attempt to curb reports of early shooting on Sundays and other violations. Several citations and warnings were issued.
• Luzerne County WCO Gerald Kapral reports that he encountered two hunters hunting for doves before legal shooting hours. A field check on the hunters turned up numerous violations; citations were filed. 
• Columbia County WCO John A. Morack reports that on the early morning hours of the 2014 deer archery season, three men were cited for hunting over bait and causing damage to trees when erecting their treestands on State Game Land 226 in Pine Township. Officers were able to cite the men before any deer were unlawfully killed. Fines and court costs for each individual could total over $600.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

• Susquehanna County Waterways Conservation Officer Chad McKenrick is investigating a boat accident which occurred on Page Lake. Four persons went canoeing on the lake when the canoe capsized. Three of them made it to shore. The fourth person did not survive. There were no personal floatation devices aboard the canoe.
• Bradford County Waterways Conservation Officers Chad McKenrick and Jeremy Yohe responded to a pollution complaint where a truck hauling fracking brine water crashed and began leaking the fracking water into commonwealth waters. The investigation continues.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

• WCO Cadet Eric M. Kelly, working with Berks County WCO Matt Teehan, reports that while on field training on opening day of antlerless muzzleloader season, they handled multiple incidents including an orange violation, federal duck stamp violation and an incident involving dove hunters with one shooting over the limit and another shooting across a road.
• Berks County WCO Eric Anderson said a woman is under investigation for the possession of illegally obtained exotic pets. “A hybrid cat has been allowed to roam the neighborhood and has even killed a few of her neighbor’s chickens,” he said.    
• WCO Cadet Eric McBride, working with Bucks County WCO John Papson, addressed several violations involving deer-attractant permits. Owners were warned and feeder locations were shut down for 30 days.  
• WCO Cadet Eric McBride, working with Bucks County WCO John Papson, reports an investigation is underway following the illegal killing of two antlerless deer. The deer were killed at night from the road. 
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek reports that DWCO Jack Bennett apprehended an individual speeding on a dirt bike on State Game Land 156. Multiple charges, including resisting or interfering with an officer, have been filed.
• WCO Cadet Thomas Kline, working with Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham, reports two archery hunters were cited on Saturday for failing to wear the proper fluorescent orange required during the overlap with the early muzzleloader season.   
• WCO Cadet Justin Ritter, working with Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel, reports that there have been numerous violations with archery hunters not wearing the required amount of orange during overlap seasons. Also, a hunter was cited for illegal possession and transportation of an untagged deer.
• Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that an individual was cited for taking two deer without a valid hunting license, and charged with two counts of hunting without a required license, two counts of not tagging the deer, as well as with unlawfully acquiring a license without taking the mandatory Hunter-Trapper Education class, and for not signing a license. The fines and replacement costs for the deer could add up to more than $6,000.
• WCO Cadet Amanda Powell, working with Lehigh/Northampton County WCO Shawna Burkett, reports calls about baited stands during this archery season. 
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser  said citations will be filed on several people for shooting in a safety zone and across a highway while attempting to kill a deer.
• WCO Cadet Jeremy Febinger, working with Schuylkill and Lebanon officers, reports that a potential trophy-class buck was taken illegally through the use of bait on State Game Land 211. Multiple items were seized including the antlers, hide, meat, a treestand and several game cameras. The antlers will be scored to determine if the trophy restitution of $5,000 will be sought. He also reports that two people were charged for placing bait on the game lands and hunting through the use of bait, as well as unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.

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