From the Game Commission
Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports a business that had been illegally drawing water from State Game Land 213 – the Geneva Marsh – has been successfully prosecuted. While a representative said the company was unaware any sort of permit was needed to draw water from a game lands, the investigation revealed certain workers were aware it was illegal, and the practice had been ongoing for some time.
Venango County WCO John A. McKellop is investigating numerous cases of illegal ATV use on Game Commission cooperator properties. Some of these large landowners indicated they will close their properties to public access if the illegal ATVs cannot be stopped.
Venango County WCO John A. McKellop reports a mature bald eagle in the Wyattville area was hit by a car along Route 322. Responding with capture equipment, assuming that he’d be taking the live eagle to a wildlife rehabilitator, the eagle was actually found on an adjacent home’s rooftop. The eagle appeared to be roughed up and dazed. After being there for an hour or so, it flew off on its own power.
From the Game Commission
Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that one individual received multiple citations for his actions when he attempted to take a deer from the vehicle using a high-powered rifle last month. In addition, he was within several safety zones. Another individual was cited for taking a cottontail rabbit out of season through the use of an air rifle.
Franklin County WCO Eric Anderson reported that a Washington Township man has pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm inside a safety zone, as well as unlawfully taking woodchucks.
Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that an increase in law enforcement patrols has increased on Altoona City Water Authority properties. The increased efforts are needed due to the amount of trespassing and other violations in restricted areas around all reservoirs and treatment facilities. The Altoona City Water Authority has nearly 11,000 acres of land enrolled in the Forest Game Public Access program for hunting, trapping, and other recreation. However, it has had its land posted restricting some activities.
Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that summer patrols on cooperator properties continue to be productive, with unlawful ATV riding and unlawful campsites being discovered.
Adams County WCO Darren David reports that there are two pending cases where people picked up injured or assumed orphaned deer fawns in 2014. In one case, several people conspired to keep a young deer for many weeks until it was released locally. Presumably, it died over the winter due to a collision with a vehicle. In the other instance, a deer that was reportedly raised by someone and eventually released, was roaming the neighborhoods of a populated area, where people were routinely petting and feeding it. This deer had to be euthanized due to it being extremely habituated to people, being within the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area, and therefore posing a threat to people and possibly other deer. In both instances, the deer were bucks and if they survived into the rut of their second year, they would very likely be aggressive to humans and possibly injure people, David said.
Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports that bald eagle sightings are on the rise, especially near the larger creeks and State Game Land 169. Unfortunately, however, a juvenile eagle had to be euthanized due to its severe injuries. The eagle most likely was feeding on a fresh road-killed deer when a vehicle hit it as it tried to fly off.
York County WCO Kyle Jury said law enforcement efforts in his district have recently been focused on State Game Land 242 shooting range regulations and general game lands regulations. During a shooting-range detail performed last month, several Game Commission officers detected nine violations resulting in five summary charges.
Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn picked up a bald eagle that flew through the windshield of a pickup truck. The driver was headed home to New York, traveling north on Routes 11 and 15. The eagle went through the windshield and struck the driver in the face and chest, causing minor injuries.
York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that several people have been cited for mudding in areas closed to vehicle traffic, as well as building bonfires where there are signs clearly indicating such activity is unlawful.
Blair and Huntingdon counties LMO Chris Skipper reported that the Blair County Food and Cover crew recently completed a dirt and gravel road project administered through the Blair County Conservation District. This road improvement on State Game Land 166 will provide better access for hunters, trappers, fishermen and the residents along the road.
Bedford County WCO Salvadore Zaffuto reports a resident of Bedford pleaded guilty to killing a hen turkey out of season.
From the Game Commission
Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb reports the increased usage on state game lands in Susquehanna County has resulted in a spike in unlawful activities including littering and evidence of drug use. Law-enforcement patrols and investigations are ongoing.
Luzerne County WCO Rich Briggs reports that the warm weather has led to increased activity on state game lands across the county. Officers have increased patrol and enforcement operations to ensure compliance with motorized vehicle and mountain bike restrictions on state game lands.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
Bradford County Sgt.Bryan Bendock and Waterways Conservation Officer Chad McKenrick encountered a man who was fishing without a fishing license near Towanda. The only identification the man provided was a Guatemalan identification card. After checking, the fisherman was found to have warrants for his arrest and was wanted by the Bucks County Pennsylvania Sheriff’s Department for a misdemeanor and multiple vehicle violations. The man was placed in the Bradford County jail until the Bucks County Sheriff’s Department picks him up.
Wayne County Waterways Conservation Officers Kadin Thompson and Walter Buckman stopped a boat at night on Roamingwood Lake for a navigation light violation. During the stop the officers saw the operator display signs of impairment. After testing, the operator was taken into custody for Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol.
Carbon County Waterways Conservation Officers Scott Christman and Jeremy Yohe took a man into custody at Beltzville State Park at the end of July. When talking to several persons who were swimming in Beltzville Lake, in a heavy boat traffic area, one was found to have warrants in Lehigh and Northampton counties. He was arrested and placed in the Carbon County Jail.
Monroe County Waterways Conservation Officer Eric Weredyk is currently investigating a fatal boating accident on Pocono Summit Lake. A man had gone out to kayak earlier in the morning. Later it was reported his kayak was floating upside down in the lake. Rescue crews found the deceased man shortly afterward. The man was not wearing a personal floatation device when found.
Wayne County Waterways Conservation officers Chad McKenrick and Walter Buckman observed a domestic dog attacking a white-tailed deer while on patrol near Pleasant Mount. The officers intervened but, unfortunately, the deer had to be put down due to its extensive, excruciating injuries. The owner of the dog has been identified. The case was turned over for prosecution to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Sgt. Warner along with WCOs Christman, Thompson and Weredyk conducted an enforcement detail at Beltzville Dam during the July 4th weekend. A total of 101 boats were boarded, and 20 citations issued for violations of the Fish & Boat Code (16 for boating and four for fishing infractions).
From the Game Commission
Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports two individuals recently were arrested for possession of marijuana and target shooting with semi-automatic handguns on state game lands. Game lands users are reminded that non-sporting firearms are only permitted to be discharged when on a designated rifle or pistol range.
Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick recently cited an individual for possession of alcohol on state game lands and warned several through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail about their overnight campsites being too close to Clarks Creek, a local trout stream that meanders through a portion of State Game Land 211. “Only through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail are permitted to camp on game lands, and they must be within 200 feet of the trail and cannot be within 500 feet of a stream or other permanent watercourse,” he said.
Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty reports that, on one weekend in July, he wrote 14 citations and issued several warnings on State Game Land 211 for violations including cutting down trees, range violations, ATV riding, underage drinking, camping, and fishing without a license.
Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek is investigating a case involving hunting out of season, safety zone violations, the use of unlawful devices and methods, and the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.
Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel reports that out of the 10 bald eagle nests in his district in southern Lancaster County, only one did not produce eaglets this year. “We had two brand new nests in the district that did well with two eaglets each that have fledged, along with one existing nest along the Conestoga River that produced triplets,” he said.
Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that, on July 4, there were 31 violations on Bake Oven Knob. Citations have been filed.
Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that a young individual was caught painting graffiti on rocks on the state game lands. The young individual protested and stated there were no signs stating that they can’t paint on the rocks. Citations have been filed.
Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports an ongoing investigation of illegally possessed fawns taken from the wild.
Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser and local fire companies assisted in rescuing of three bear cubs out of a tree in the middle of Tower City.
Schuylkill County WCO Joel Gibble reports that, while on a search warrant to locate deer, he and other officers found an active meth lab. Charges are pending.
Dauphin and Lebanon counties LMGS Steven Bernardi reports that a young man who borrowed his mom’s nice-looking pickup decided to do some four-wheeling on State Game Land 211. He started up one of the fire lines and proceeded to get hung up on large rocks. “Fire lines are installed for prescribed burning and are not open for public vehicle traffic,” he said. Along with the fines, he did noticeable damage to the truck.