Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – May 20th, 2016

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission 

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that the local game lands have been seeing a marked increase in non-hunting use. Unlawful activities such as littering, firearm shooting, firewood cutting and ATV use are common. Charges have been filed in several cases.

Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago said an Erie County man was found guilty of being in possession of his son’s license and antlered deer tag during the rifle deer season.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports that, thanks to a caller, a mature bald eagle with a broken wing was picked up in a field off of Old Albion Road. The eagle was transported to Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation for treatment.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports a pair of osprey have started a nest in Union City. They are easily visible from the road and there is no need to walk any closer and disturb the birds. 

Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride said many beaver complaints are being reported by landowners. 

Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda said charges were filed against two groups found camping on State Game Land 86 to get an early start on the first day of trout season.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Fish & Boat Commission

North Somerset County WCO Pat Ferko was recently on patrol at Somerset Lake when he noticed a vehicle that was parked in the same location as the day before. As he drove by it on Wood Duck Road, he could not see anyone seated in the car. Upon driving closer to the vehicle, he observed what he first though was a pillow or something rounded in front of the steering wheel. Approaching the car on the driver’s side, he observed a female slumped between the door and the steering wheel. He also observed a purse and suspected drug paraphernalia on the passenger seat. Ferko attempted to gain a response from the occupant and also assessed for breathing, neither of which were obtained. Somerset County Control and State Police were notified and an ambulance was sent to the scene. The victim was deceased, and the investigation was turned over to State Police.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Fish & Boat Commission

The Northcentral region of the Fish & Boat Commission conducted saturation patrols in Clearfield County during the opening weekend of trout season. Patrols resulted in the following criminal and summary citations:

A detail conducted on Little Clearfield Creek during the night before trout opener and into opening day resulted in one charge of drug possession, one charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, one charge of possessing prohibited offensive weapons, one littering charge, two charges of underage drinking and two charges of public intoxication.

A detail conducted on opening day at Parker Dam State Park resulted in one charge of keeping over the limit of trout, one charge of littering, one charge of operating an unregistered motorboat and four mandatory wear of personal flotation device charges.

Officers also discovered and investigated a misdemeanor stream pollution to Chest Creek resulting from the intentional breech of a strip mine sedimentation pond. The mining company is facing criminal charges or $10,000 in fines. 

Officers conducted a DUI arrest along Little Clearfield Creek. The operator had three prior DUIs and blew a .28 percent BAC.

Officers discovered two individuals using bait in the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures- only area of Little Clearfield Creek.  One individual received summary citations while the other received criminal charges for Serious Unlawful Take of trout.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Adams County WCO Darren David reports the completion of several cases from the earlier hunting seasons, all of which culminated in successful convictions. They included an illegally taken deer tagged with the wrong WMU tag, hunting without the required license, possessing the license and tags of another, purchasing a license without first obtaining hunter-education accreditation, removing an improperly tagged deer from a Disease Management Area, and damage to state game lands.

Huntingdon County WCO Rick Macklem reports all the eagles in the district are back and have been incubating their eggs. Many have hatched, and others are expected to soon.

Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich is seeking information for someone who set a body-gripping trap near a shed in a very residential neighborhood in Mechanicsburg. A groundhog was caught in the trap, but was not killed. It was discovered wandering in a nearby yard with the trap still attached to its head. Anyone who may have information about this incident in encouraged to call 814-643-1831.

 From the Fish & Boat Commission

While patrolling the Muddy Creek Access on the Susquehanna River, York County Waterways Conservation Officer Darrin Kephart and WCO Cadet Nathan Hancock initiated contact with a boater for failing to abide with the mandatory wear requirement for personal flotation devices. During the course of this field investigation, Kephart detected numerous clues depicted by the vessel operator consistent with alcohol impairment. The subject was administered a battery of standard field sobriety tests, to which he was unable to successfully complete. The operator was placed under arrest for Boating Under the Influence, with a subsequent blood-alcohol chemical test establishing a BAC of 0.12 percent.

Huntingdon County Waterways Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino and WCO Cadet Chad Lauer encountered an individual free diving within the restricted hydroelectric dam turbine discharge area below Raystown Dam. During the course of this field investigation, it was discovered that the individual was in possession of a spear gun. As this area is fenced and clearly posted prohibiting public entry, the subject was cited for criminal trespass. 

Juniata County Waterways Conservation officers within the Southcentral Region recently facilitated a covert special enforcement detail on Horse Valley Creek in concert with an inseason trout stocking. Utilizing unmarked vehicles and concealed surveillance, plain clothes officers apprehended four individuals for grossly exceeding the daily creel limit of trout. 

Huntingdon County  Waterways Conservation officers within the Southcentral Region recently facilitated a covert special enforcement detail on Whipple Dam and nearby Laurel Run in concert with an inseason trout stocking.  Utilizing unmarked vehicles and concealed surveillance by plain clothes officers, multiple citations were issued four over-the-limit violations and failure to abide with the mandatory wear requirement for personal flotation devices.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports that, during a field check on the first day of spring gobbler season, deputies found a hunter with a loaded shotgun sitting on top of his truck. What made the situation more unsafe was the fact that the shotgun had a round in the chamber and the safety was not engaged.

Bradford County WCO Blake Barth reports an investigation by several officers on opening day of spring turkey season led to numerous charges including hunting through use of bait, harvesting a turkey over bait, improper tagging, damage to trees, unlawful use of ATV on state forest land, and taking an unbearded turkey during the spring season. 

Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports a hunter checked on the opening day of spring gobbler season wasn’t in possession of his hunting license. 

Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports a search warrant issued at a residence in the county resulted with several hundred items being seized for the unlawful sale or possession of wildlife. Confiscated were feathers, talons, skulls, wings, tails and whole bodies of various hawks, owls, vultures, eagles and waterfowl. Numerous charges have been filed for several suspects as a result of a two-year investigation. 

Montour County WCO Michael College reports an individual was issued two citations for possessing alcohol and being intoxicated on state game lands. 

From the Fish & Boat Commission

Carbon County Waterways Conservation Officers Scott Christman and Cadet Csuri checked a fisherman on Mauch Chunk Creek near Jim Thorpe. When it was found that the man had no fishing license with him, he gave the officers a false name. When a woman drove up along the creek, the man claimed she had his fishing license in the car. The man walked up to the car and pretended to search for his fishing license but instead jumped into the driver’s seat and drove away, stealing the car with two persons in the back seat. The car was later recovered with the two persons still at the car. The man’s identity was revealed to the officers and they found the man had an outstanding warrant. On May 1, the defendant was arrested by the State Police at a local hotel where he possessed many, many packets of suspected heroin. Charges are pending from a multitude of police agencies.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bucks County WCO Ellyn Henry reports the ongoing investigation into unlawful blinds being used in turkey season. Blinds made out of cut tree limbs such as hemlock and pine are unlawful to use while hunting turkeys. 

Chester County WCO Keith Mullin reports that a defendant at a hearing in the district court in Parkesburg was found guilty of hunting with an unlawful firearm and unlawfully attempting to take a white-tailed doe.

Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek responded to a citizen complaint about a bald eagle that was unable to fly. Veylupek captured the bird and took it to a local wildlife rehabilitator, where it was determined that the bird was suffering from lead poisoning. The bird is undergoing treatment and the prognosis is hopeful for a full return to health and eventual release back into the wild.

Lancaster County WCO Dennis Warfel reports that the spring rain in southern Lancaster County has put a damper on turkey hunting, but hunters still have been successful. Several birds taken during the youth day, as well as the first day of the statewide season, were checked. One hunter was cited for failing to properly tag big game. He failed to fill out his information and attach the tag to his turkey after harvest. During the field check, his tag was still attached to his hunting license.

Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that charges have been filed and defendant had pleaded guilty for two violations while using a Game Commission rifle range. 

Dauphin and Lebanon counties LMGS Steven Bernardi reports that while checking habitat conditions on State Game Land 211, he came across an area adjacent to a house that had been used for target practice. He noticed several trees had been shot into with both shotguns and pistols, causing permanent damage to the trees. Citations are pending.

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