Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – April 8th, 2016

From the Game Commission 

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports citations have been filed against individuals cutting firewood on state game lands. PennDOT recently cut trees that border the state road that runs through State Game Land 164. 

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless is investigating an incident pertaining to a raccoon discovered in a foot-hold trap more than three weeks after the close of trapping season. A passerby noticed the raccoon along a township road and near a small stream. The trap was tagged, and the trap owner will be interviewed.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that on the first Saturday in March, illegal hunting was reported in South Pymatuning Township, near the Shenango Reservoir. Two hunters, a father and young son, were contacted as they returned to their vehicle from hunting “squirrels, rabbits, and such.” They hadn’t killed any game. The dad said he didn’t realize the season had ended. Charges are pending against the adult.

Venango County WCO Jason R. Amory said charges have been successfully adjudicated against an Ohio man for blowing up a beaver dam with an explosive.

Warren County WCO David W. Donachy has prosecuted two garbage dumping cases.

Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda said charges are pending against two individuals who were caught abusing Hunter Access cooperator property. There were three pickup trucks, three ATVs and a camper located on a road closed to vehicular traffic. They did severe damage to the road and surrounding land. One of the young men was cited for the same violation in 2013 in the same area.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports 73 bluebird nesting boxes placed and maintained on State Game Land 63 in Clarion County. Fourteen boxes are missing.

From the Game Commission 

Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports an individual was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Toxicology reports confirmed the defendant’s blood-alcohol content to be 0.263 percent, which is more than three times the legal driving limit. Ammerman also reports two underage individuals were cited for possession of alcohol while on a Game Commission cooperator property. 

Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that an Altoona resident has been found guilty of possessing an untagged antlered deer during deer rifle season. The defendant was discovered attempting to load the deer on top of his vehicle without having the deer lawfully tagged. 

York County WCO Kyle Jury reports several reports of deer carcasses and parts being dumped in the northern York County were received in February.  

Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh said defendants have been found guilty or pleaded guilty to multiple illegal deer possession, DUI and drug possession cases in recent court proceedings.

York County WCO Steve Knickel reports 36 citations were filed against 35 individuals for violations of the Game Commission executive order pertaining to chronic wasting disease and Disease Management Area 1 in York and Adams counties. Most of these violations were for animals harvested within the boundaries of DMA 1, then taken to butcher shops outside DMA 1. 

Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem reports that an individual was cited and pleaded guilty for cutting firewood on state game lands.

York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that illegal dumping is increasing on game lands and Hunter Access properties. Lately, most illegally dumped trash has been construction waste. 

Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny recently investigated several complaints of dogs pursuing deer.   

Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister reports that two individuals from Huntingdon have charges pending for killing a turkey on Feb. 27, during a closed season. 

Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich  received final disposition on a case involving a bear being taken unlawfully two seasons ago. There were multiple offenders.

From the Fish & Boat Commission 

Waterways Conservation Officers Christman, Lupacchini, Weredyk and Thompson recently filed charges in multiple jurisdictions against three individuals for trafficking, buying and selling, turtles, rattlesnakes, beaver, bear and bear gall bladders. These charges arose from a large investigation that involved many other commission officers and also State Police and Pennsylvania Game Commission officers. One has pleaded guilty to three charges, while the two remaining men await further court dates on summary, misdemeanor and felony charges.

Luzerne County Waterways Conservation Officer Aaron Lupacchini is investigating a pollution event that occurred because of a tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 80 in Butler Township. The tractor trailer’s fuel tanks ruptured spilling fuel into a nearby tributary to Nescopeck Creek. 

From the Game Commission  

Bucks County WCO Shawna Burkett investigated misuse of State Game Land 157. The warm weather has yielded an influx of graffiti and illegal campfires near various parking areas on Haycock Mountain, despite increased enforcement efforts. 

Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports that activity at the State Game Land 43 rifle range has increased. 

Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick, along with Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson, discovered illegal trapping sets in the Susquehanna River area between their two districts. Electronic and physical surveillances have been employed.

Delaware County WCO Justin Ritter reports that an individual was charged with three counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife. Information came in that the individual poached deer over bait in the backyard of his residence. The Bethel Township Police Department assisted the Game Commission in the search of the individual’s garage, which led to the seizure of 13 sets of antlers. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also assisted in the investigation.  

Delaware County WCO Justin Ritter reports that two individuals were charged with safety zone violations, unlawful hunting through the use of bait, unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, and the unlawful killing or taking of big game. The charges originated after the individuals tried to elude officers during a field check.  

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that the unlawful operation of drones marred the spring migration of snow geese at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Many observers’ viewing and photographic opportunities were ruined in at least four incidents where drones were flown into the Controlled and Propagation Areas, resulting in the disturbance of flocks of snow geese that numbered in the tens of thousands. Additionally, in two cases, drones flew critically close to nesting bald eagles. Numerous criminal charges are pending.

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham is investigating an incident where a black vulture was shot. The bird is recovering at a local wildlife rehabilitator.

Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that it has been a busy snow goose season. Numerous citations have been filed for not having the correct license, not having a federal duck stamp and not possessing the required conservation permit. 

Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that one snow goose hunter was charged with violations involving shooting on or across a roadway, violating safety zone requirements, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle and 17 counts of unlawful taking or possession of wildlife. The hunter also did not have the required conservation permit that would allow him to hunt in the late snow goose season. This same hunter was charged a month earlier for possessing waterfowl over the limit.

Lehigh and Northampton counties WCO Tyler Kreider reports that a Freemansburg man has pleaded guilty to charges resulting from damaging trees on private property during the late archery season. 

Schuylkill County WCO Joel Gibble is seeking information about a case involving a deer that was unlawfully taken with an untagged snare off Route 61, north of St. Clair. In addition, other snares were found in the area near to the State Game Land 326 parking lot. 

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