From the Game Commission
• Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that there were two red foxes unlawfully killed by deer hunters during the regular rifle season. Fortunately, the violations were reported and both individuals were prosecuted. One was an individual who did not have a furtaker license, and the other was a junior hunter who was pressured by his father to shoot the fox. The father was prosecuted for the actions of his son.
• Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports citing a trapper for failure to check his traps within 36 hours.
• Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that the Clarion Forest Stewardship Committee is holding its 2015 Woodlands Owners Conference on Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Michael’s Hall in Fryburg. This year’s theme is “Create Healthy Wildlife Habitat.” For registration information, contact Dave Cole at 814-226-1901.
From the Game Commission
• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports an individual was found guilty of hunting through the use of bait and unlawful taking of a black bear. The hunter shot the bear in his backyard where the bear was attracted by birdseed and corn.
• Pike County WCO Kirk Miller reports that a New Jersey resident pleaded guilty to killing a bear on the opening day of bear season in a baited area. The individual paid fines totaling over $1,200.
From the Game Commission
• Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reports that hunting complaints have slowed down this time of the year, but other complaints continue. With the arrival of snowy weather, the misuse of snowmobiles also arrives. “Operating snowmobiles on properties you do not have advance permission to travel on is in direct violation of several laws,” he said. To date, Teehan has investigated snowmobile violations involving damage to property, unregistered and uninsured vehicles, driving on public roads and trespass by motorized vehicles.
• Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that several citations have been filed for using bait without the required permit. “All the individuals stated they knew they needed it,” he said. Another individual was cited for shooting a deer and letting it lay, wasting the meat.
• Chester County WCO Scott Frederick filed charges on an individual for an illegal deer. The hunter had taken a buck to a butcher shop. It had its antlers removed an antlerless tag on it, he said. Analysis of the deer confirmed that the antlers were removed post mortem through a bludgeoning device, and a very short interview with the hunter had him confessing that he had shot the sub-legal buck and “didn’t want to get in trouble for it,” so he removed the antlers, put one of his antlerless tags on it and dropped it off at the shop. Had this man called in and reported his mistake kill, he would have only had to pay a $25 fee and received a new tag … now he will have to pay upward of $800 in fines and could lose his license privileges for a year.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that an investigation is underway regarding a case where a hunter shot another hunter while rabbit hunting. The victim sustained multiple pellet wounds to his legs and is recovering.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that recent snows have led to increased activity on game lands by four-wheel drive vehicles. Increased patrols have resulted in the apprehension of numerous violators involved in illegal off-roading.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that several individuals were prosecuted for unlawful taking of white-tailed deer. Several deer cases are still under investigation.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports citations have been filed for hunters removing high-risk deer parts from the Disease Management Areas. “Hunters are reminded to check the areas they are hunting to see if they are in those areas of the state where high-risk parts cannot be removed,” he said.
• Lehigh and Northampton counties WCO Shawna Burkett reports continued ATV and motorcycle activity at Walking Purchase Park, off Constitution Drive in Salisbury Township. Recently, three men on dirt bikes were found stopped along the railroad tracks. Two bikers fled when a vehicle stop was attempted, but the third bike would not start and the rider ran off into the woods. Salisbury Township Police assisted and were able to impound the bike.
• Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that multiple court cases from this past hunting season are being wrapped up. Many of these cases involved unlawfully taken deer, along with misdemeanor charges for other game-law violations.
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that the increased numbers of snow and Canada geese brings an increase in goose hunters. “More hunters bring more violations,” he said. “In recent weeks, we have addressed Federal Duck Stamp issues, possession of lead shot, unplugged shotguns, excess limits and trespass.”
• Chester, Lancaster and York counties LMGS Linda Swank comments that it has been cold this month and getting colder. “We missed the big blizzard, but the cold wind is bone chilling,” she said. Some outdoor work is getting done, however. The crews were in the middle of completing a border cut. The cut is about 2 miles long that will improve a firebreak that is part of a planned spring burn. The crews are also working on pruning fruit trees and cleaning wildlife nesting boxes as the weather allows.