Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – June 3rd, 2016
From the Game Commission
Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik received a call from a concerned sportsman that an individual was hunting for turkeys while on revocation from past violations. Pilarcik investigated the complaint and found the suspect with a companion exiting the woods after a morning of hunting. Although the initial report of the man hunting on revocation did not result in prosecution, the second hunter didn’t have a current hunting license. Charges will be filed.
Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish said two bears were caught in April that had been tagged two years earlier. One had been taken out of the county, but returned. The other traveled to Clarion County from Dauphin County, a 210-mile trip.
Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports the recent resolution of a 2014 road-hunting case involving multiple violations. The plea agreement ended up costing the two individuals charged $3,429.50, and their hunting privileges were revoked three years each.
Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports taking two injured mature bald eagles to Skye’s Spirit Wildlife Rehabilitation Center this spring. Neither could have had a chance for recovery if not for a phoned-in report from concerned citizens. The first eagle was reported to the Game Commission’s Northwest Region office March 22, and now shows promise of a full recovery. Unfortunately, the second eagle, found April 19, had to be euthanized due to its injuries. Both were found along Tionesta Creek, Nebraska Bridge area.
Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger said the day before trout season, on State Game Land 28, he found three young men sitting around a campfire, drinking beer, with a tent spread out on the ground ready for set up. The men had two vehicles. One was parked directly in front of a sign that read “NO CAMPING.” The other was parked in an area that was clearly posted with a sign stating “CLOSED TO ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES.” The men had driven through miles of Allegheny National Forest, where camping is legal, to get to the game lands.
Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that two individuals are facing charges relative to a road-hunting incident that occurred in the Westville area of Jefferson County during the second week of the spring gobbler season. The individuals were encountered just seconds after the front passenger in the vehicle got out, moved to the front of the vehicle, and while standing in the middle of the road, fired one shot, killing a gobbler that was 82 feet off the edge of the road. The driver of the vehicle jumped out to recover the turkey, but was apprehended before he made it back to the vehicle. The individual who shot and killed the turkey did not have his hunting license in his possession – and he knew it – but hunted anyway.
Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman reports that littering cases have tripled in the last several weeks.
Venango County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that multiple charges have been successfully adjudicated against three individuals for violations concerning operation of a motorized vehicle on State Game Land 39. Charges also were filed for possession of alcohol. Several warnings were issued for failure to provide current registration, insurance, and for operating without a required helmet.
Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports that a number of animals have been submitted for rabies testing as a result of contact with pets.
Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports while patrolling on the first day of spring gobbler season with WCO Jesse N. Bish, they checked two hunters who were in possession of another family member’s license.
Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander said someone recently took a truck into a field on State Game Land 109, and spun doughnuts in a large section of the field. The Food and Cover crew had just planted seedlings a few days before.
From the Game Commission
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that an investigation is being conducted into an illegal dump site in Raccoon Township. An entire truckload of drywall, flooring and electrical items from a remodeling job were dumped in an area open to hunting. Also included in the pile of trash were several receipts that have led to an Ambridge address. The investigation is ongoing.
Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that multiple ATV/UTV complaints are being received weekly. Numerous citations have been issued for illegal riding.
Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Andy Harvey reports that a case was recently adjudicated where a man was sentenced to pay $2,200 in fines and replacement costs in addition to the court costs for shooting a 6-point buck last archery season and leaving it in the woods in an attempt to shoot a bigger buck.
Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports two individuals were cited for separate incidents of transporting and depositing litter on lands open to public hunting. One area consisted of 40 bags of household trash while the second site consisted of 10 bags.
Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that several people were cited for possessing wildlife they had found in the wild.
Somerset County WCO Zack Edwards reports that, while on patrol with a state Fish & Boat Commission officer recently, they came across an individual who was fishing without a fishing license. “When the individual was unable to give proper identification, his information was passed to county dispatch, where it was found that he had an active warrant out of Allegheny County. The individual was not happy to hear this news and threatened to run. Having two officers on each side of him changed his mind, and he was able to be taken into custody without incident,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that charges have been filed against four individuals who were using the State Game Land 50 shooting range without a current hunting license or range-use permit.
Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas reports a man in East Huntingdon was cited for hunting through the use of corn placed as bait on the opening day of spring turkey season. He faces fines up to $300.
From the Game Commission
McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik recently filed charges against a Port Allegany man after finding his treestand still standing on State Game Land 61. The treestand had screw-in supports which damaged the tree.
Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs said a number of individuals have been cited for driving on a road closed to motorized vehicles. The road is located on State Game Land 75, near English Center, and is clearly marked with signs.
Tioga County WCO Robert F. Minnich said the region office has had several cases of wildlife that came in contact with humans and domestic animals, then ended up testing positive for rabies.
Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston said an individual was cited for having a large campfire on State Game Land 44 the night before the opening day of trout season.
Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee handled three mange-bear incidents in April, with only one of those bears able to be treated and released.
Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee assisted DCNR forest rangers in breaking up an underage drinking/drug party at Big Falls on Stony Fork Creek Road. Charges for marijuana possession are pending against two adult males and two juveniles.
Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller said several individuals have been cited for throwing trash on lands open to hunting and furtaking.
Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports four individuals were found guilty of 20 charges related to game lands violations and ordered to pay $2,200 in fines.
Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports an individual accused of killing an illegal deer and falsely reporting it as being killed for crop damage, recently pleaded guilty to the charges. Fines, costs and restitution for the deer exceeded $5,000. Additionally, a charge in the case related to interference with investigating officers was withdrawn in consideration for the guilty pleas.
Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports successfully introducing an orphaned bear cub from the Southcentral Region, with a radio-collared sow in Clear Creek, Cameron County. The cub was one of two that were orphaned when the sow was killed unlawfully.
Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta recently cited an individual for hunting spring turkeys in a baited area, and issued multiple warnings for individuals intentionally or inadvertently feeding bears.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a yearling male elk was euthanized in the Pottersdale area because it displayed clinical signs of chronic wasting disease. The animal was submitted for testing and lab results indicate that the animal was infected by the brainworm parasite contributing to its demise.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that, during the youth spring turkey season, a hunter was checked with a loaded shotgun on an ATV. The defendant was charged for having a firearm loaded on a motorized vehicle while in motion.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer responded to a Hunting Related Shooting Incident on the opening day of spring turkey season in the Morrisdale area.
From the Game Commission
Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports an individual from South Mountain was found guilty at trial on charges of unlawfully taking a deer beyond season limits, hunting in a safety zone, and failing to tag big game. This individual was sentenced to pay more than $3,000 in fines and restitution.
Blair County WCO Bill Brehun said a Bellwood resident has been charged with shooting a raccoon out of season with a crossbow and while inside of a safety zone. The crossbow bolt, used to shoot the raccoon, was recovered and contained blood and hair. Witnesses said the raccoon had managed to get away, and it wasn’t located.
Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that a Huntingdon County father and son recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident that happened the last day of rifle deer season in 2015. The adult son killed an antlerless deer that day, and did not have an antlerless license. The father gave his son his doe tag to fill out and place on the deer.
Adams County WCO Darren David reports that, in late March, a man was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after recklessly driving on a road adjacent to state game lands. He had six prior DUI convictions, and at the time of this incident, was still on probation. After he was apprehended, an antlered deer skull was discovered in the vehicle he had been driving, and as a result, he was also charged with unlawful possession of a big-game animal.
Franklin County WCO Eric Anderson said a Franklin County man has pleaded guilty to hunting under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
York County WCO Kyle Jury reported that, in his portion of the county, several individuals have been caught and prosecuted for dumping yard waste on state game lands.
Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reports charges have been filed against two males from Cumberland County who were using illegal drugs on State Game Land 170 in Perry County. The two males were found to be in possession of an electronic vaporizer, hash oil, a digital scale with marijuana residue on it, several blunts, and numerous prescription pills, which were in a small baggie.
Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh said that, on the first day of turkey season, he was involved in investigations regarding hunting without license, as well as a case where a turkey hunter was hit by shot after an individual stalked and shot at the hunter’s decoy.
Huntingdon County WCO Rick Macklem has been assisting the state Fish & Boat Commission throughout the past month. Some of the violations encountered included individuals fishing without licenses and not wearing their PFDs as required.
York County WCO Shawn Musser is requesting any information on a red-tailed hawk that was unlawfully shot with an arrow. The injured bird remained able to fly, even though the arrow was still in it. Eventually, it was trapped and taken to a licensed rehabilitator where the arrow was removed and the bird treated, then released back to the wild. Anyone with any information about this act is encouraged to contact the Game Commission’s Southcentral Region office, or make a report through the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001.
Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister said a Bedford County man has pleaded guilty to numerous charges for the unlawful killing and possession of game and wildlife. His penalties resulted in fines exceeding $18,000, plus the loss of his hunting privileges for several years.
Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich filed citations against several individuals after multiple off-road-vehicle violations were encountered on Hunter Access property and state game lands.
Bedford County WCO Salvadore Zaffuto said a Breezewood resident has pleaded guilty to fleeing, DUI controlled substance and driving while on a suspended license. This all began when the actor was spotlighting game after legal hours.
Blair County WCO Albert Zellner assisted officers of the Fish & Boat Commission with a patrol detail on Canoe Lake on the opening day of trout season. Violations encountered included nine PFD violations and fishing without the required license.
From the Game Commission
Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich has been receiving positive news from farms where deer – including a large number of bucks – previously were shot for crop damage, leaving them unavailable to hunters. Many farmers now are using propane cannons to deter deer. By moving the cannons every few days, and changing the times on the firing timers, many farmers have saved crops from destruction, and hours of time spent looking for, shooting at, and processing the deer.
Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow reports that on the opening day of the spring turkey season an individual was cited for shooting a turkey without a visible beard while hunting in an area baited with corn and birdseed. The individual also was cited for failing to tag the turkey as required. The individual faces fines of up to $800 and possible license revocation of up to two years.
Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley cited an individual for parking an enclosed trailer in the parking area of State Game Land 165 on Irish Valley Road.
Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly said two individuals were charged with possessing loaded shotguns in a vehicle on opening day of the spring turkey season.
Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa said a man from Yonkers, N.Y., recently was cited for driving his truck on State Game Land 180 in an area closed to motor vehicles. His son was cited for the same violation, in the exact same area, last year.
Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports a search warrant issued at a residence in the county resulted in 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.
From the Game Commission
Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports that several cases involving the illegal killing of Canada geese are being investigated. In one case, charges have been filed against an individual who intentionally ran over two geese with his car in a shopping center parking lot.
Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that recent patrols have netted violations on state game lands including possession of drugs and alcohol, off-roading, disorderly conduct and unlawful motor vehicle operation.
Montgomery County WCO Ray Madden recently concluded a case in which an adult shot a wild turkey during the youth turkey hunt.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that a gray fox was found to be rabid when it was tested after it came in contact with people.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that three additional red deer were recovered for CWD testing. That brings the total to five for this year.
Philadelphia and Montgomery counties WCO Jerrold W. Czech Jr. reports that, while out patrolling the first two Saturdays of the spring turkey season, he checked four different turkey hunters using archery equipment in Philadelphia County.
Schuylkill County WCO Joel Gibble reports investigating several littering cases on State Game Land 222.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
Bucks County/Delaware County/Philadelphia County officers, with the assistance of Game Commission officers, recently apprehended a group of five individuals on the Delaware River near the Philadelphia airport who were in possession of 39 illegal striped bass. Charges are pending.
Chester County WCO Robert Bonney recently apprehended a 39-year-old male and the man’s son, a juvenile, at Marsh Creek Lake along Little Conestoga Road who were in possession of 219 crappies. With a daily limit of 50 crappies per person, the pair had exceeded the daily limit by 119 fish. Charges are pending.