Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – July 1, 2016
From the Game Commission
Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that an area hunter was cited for the unlawful taking of a spring turkey. The man decided to go hunting on the 2016 spring gobbler season opener. However, the hunter failed to realize it was actually the opening day for the 2016 youth spring turkey hunt. As such, he was ineligible to hunt on that day. But he harvested a gobbler. To his credit, he called in the unlawful harvest and, although he was issued a citation, his integrity went a long way regarding the decision on which charges to file.
Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that two individuals were apprehended for possessing alcohol on State Game Land 74 on the opening day of trout season.
Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro filed charges in May against an individual for illegally dumping garbage in December.
Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports a large bear was killed on eastbound Interstate 90 at the Interstate 79 interchange. The bear had an estimated live weight of 332 pounds.
Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger reports that an ATV fled from deputies recently while they were patrolling a property enrolled in the Hunter Access program. If the driver had stopped, he would have received a $100 to $200 citation for violating the Game and Wildlife Code. Because he fled, this driver will get an additional citation for resisting or interfering with an officer, which carries a fine between $1,000 and $1,500, plus up to three months in jail. Also, it is possible that his hunting privileges will be revoked for two years.
Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that, over the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend, two males were found riding ATVs on a co-op property adjacent to state forest property. Neither of the two individuals were wearing required helmets, and the machines were not registered or insured. One of the individuals had a loaded semi-automatic rifle on his ATV. Evidence indicated that the two also rode on the nearby state forest property. Charges are pending.
Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman said the first two hunters encountered on the first day of the spring turkey season had unplugged shotguns.
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin said someone observed a person stop along the highway and remove parts from a road-killed animal. The witness obtained the license plate and later contacted the Northwest Region Office. The subsequent investigation determined that the feet and tail from a red-tailed hawk had been removed. WCO Ronda Bimber went to the residence of the Oil City man who owned the car. He admitted taking the body parts from the dead hawk and stated that he planned on placing them on a wall plaque. He is being charged for unlawful possession of parts from a protected bird.
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin is looking for information regarding someone illegally dumping a trailer load of construction materials on State Game Land 294. The materials appeared to be scraps and leftover materials from an outdoor project (treated lumber, stair stringers, poly-wood decking), but there also were 4×8 sheets of underlayment, shingles, soffit and even a “kiddie pool” plus a large camo tarp that probably covered the load on the trailer. This mess was dumped in a parking area along Delaware Road in Fairview Township. The person responsible could face fines of $500, plus an additional $10 per item.
Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports that charges have been filed against an individual who caught an owl in a foothold trap after it killed some chickens.
Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda reports that an individual has pleaded guilty to driving on a road closed to public travel in the Allegheny National Forest. The lock to the gate had been broken, so he used the opportunity to haul his camping gear closer to his preferred spot.
From the Game Commission
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that, over the last few weeks, several residents have unknowingly exposed themselves or members of their household to potential health dangers by bringing young wildlife into their homes.
Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports a man who rejected a plea offer received even larger penalties after being found guilty of shooting two antlerless deer and leaving them to waste.
Indiana County WCO Ned Kimmel reports that multiple ATVs have been stopped recently on local Hunter Access property and state game lands. The operators of the ATVs were issued multiple warnings, as well as citations.
Indiana County WCO Ned Kimmel reports an individual found sleeping in a vehicle on a gas well road initially was believed to be a turkey hunter. Upon checking on the welfare of the individual, stolen property was observed in the vehicle, as well as a bottle of alcohol. The individual was found to be under the age of 21 and admitted to stealing the property found in the vehicle. Charges are pending.
Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that a man pleaded guilty and paid the maximum fine amount for dumping garbage on property enrolled in the Hunter Access program. The individual cut up a Tracker to make it into a field car. He later disposed of the unwanted parts, along with other items, in the farmer’s field. To avoid additional charges, he cleaned of the dumpsite.
Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that two individuals were charged after they were observed fishing without licenses and having an open fire on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. A small amount of marijuana was confiscated.
From the Game Commission
Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee in May handled six incidents of bears with mange, with only three of those bears able to be treated and released.
Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reports that charges have been filed against two individuals for the unlawful possession of juvenile wildlife taken from the wild. In one case, a fawn was being kept in a bedroom and being bottle fed, despite the individual knowing that he should have left the fawn alone. In a second case, an individual responded to a social media post about delivering a juvenile raccoon to a rehabilitator; however, the raccoon was instead kept by the individual, housed in a pet crate and bottle fed for three days.
Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reports that eight people were cited over Memorial Day weekend for unlawfully operating ATVs on lands enrolled in the Hunter Access program.
Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports apprehending six people riding ATVs on Seneca Resources property in Rich Valley. Seneca Resources lands are open to the general public for non-motorized use through a cooperative agreement with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a spring turkey hunter from Woodland received a citation for having a loaded firearm in his vehicle. The hunter emerged from the forest and walked directly back to his vehicle, neglecting to take the time to unload the firearm.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that an individual from Bellefonte attempted to elude a basic ATV inspection on Hunter Access property. The defendant observed the state vehicle parked along the dirt road and suddenly stopped the ATV to turn around. The ATV failed to restart and the inspection was initiated, revealing the operator was not in compliance. Charges are pending.
Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reported that several individuals have been cited recently for fishing in a propagation area. The violations have been occurring on State Game Land 252. The propagation areas are clearly posted and are in place because of nesting waterfowl.
McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble reports that four individuals were stopped for riding ATVs illegally on State Game Land 62 in heavy rainfall. They will be receiving citations.
Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports that an individual recently pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing squirrels at his bird-feeding station.
McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reports Pennsylvania State Police Aviation and many other Wildlife Conservation officers joined in a large-scale detail to curtail unauthorized activity on state game lands and Hunter Access property open to public hunting.
Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that a St. Marys resident has pleaded guilty to the dumping of a couch and several bags of trash on State Game Land 44. The individual was identified by a parking ticket and several court documents with his name and address on them that were discarded in one of the bags. The individual was assessed $434.50 in fines and costs. The items were cleaned up and removed by Game Commission Food and Cover workers.
Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports citing multiple individuals over Memorial Day weekend for alcohol- and drug-related offenses on state game lands.
Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports catching up with an ATV operator who was riding unlawfully on Hunter Access property. Additionally, a citation was issued earlier this month to an individual for hunting turkeys over bait, and two investigations regarding the unlawful harvest of deer are ongoing.
Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee in May handled six incidents of bears with mange, with only three of those bears able to be treated and released. Mee said feeding bears is a major contributing factor in spreading the disease in the Morris-Wellsboro area. The disease is spreading north into the farming areas of Tioga.
Potter County WCO Mark Fair euthanized a small female bear in Cross Fork. The bear had a severe case of mange. The situation was more complicated because the bear was present in the middle of a fishing derby.
From the Game Commission
Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly reports an individual was charged for operating a UTV on state game lands after the individual approached officers while they were processing a captured bear.
Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow reports that individuals continue to take possession of fawns found in the wild. Unlawful possession of a live deer could result in fines of up to $800.
Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports several enforcement details are planned at shooting ranges to ensure compliance with regulations.
Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports several suspects were cited in the area of Forkston on State Game Land 57 for graffiti and riding ATVs on the game lands.
Lackawanna County WCO Jared Turner reports increasing violations on the State Game Land 300 shooting range have been encountered. In May, eight violations for shooting without a permit or hunting license, and four violations regarding range rules, were discovered.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
Columbia County Waterways Conservation Officer Aaron Lupacchini conducted a safety inspection on a kayak coming into the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Access in Bloomsburg. While conducting the inspection, WCO Lupacchini found a glass marijuana pipe in the kayak and then found a bag of suspected marijuana on the boater’s person. After field sobriety tests, the man was arrested for Boating Under the Influence of Drugs, a misdemeanor. Charges are pending for the drug and paraphernalia possession which are also misdemeanors.
Wayne County Waterways Conservation Officers Robert Plumb and Curt Tereschak were patrolling on Lake Wallenpaupack on June 10. After observing a wake violation, Tereschak stopped the boat for the violation. After interacting with the operator, the officers noted the operator had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and spoke with slurred speech. After failing many field coordination tests, the operator was arrested for Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol. Charges are pending.
After a preliminary arraignment for buying and selling reptiles and wildlife, it was discovered the defendant had an unmarked bottle of prescription pills on his person. Wyoming County Sgt. Vance Dunbar and Waterways Conservation Officer Kadin Thompson removed the bottle from the defendant before the defendant was placed in the Wyoming County Jail. Further investigation found that the defendant did not have prescriptions for some of the drugs in the bottle. Thompson has since charged the defendant with possession of a controlled substance, drugs, with a license or prescription.
From the Game Commission
Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports that many citations have been issued this spring related to unlawful activities on State Game Land 43. Violations that occur with the greatest frequency are those regarding the use of firearms at the Game Commission rifle range, the use and possession of narcotics and painting graffiti on rocks and trees. Tips from other game lands users have been helpful in prosecuting many of these violations.
Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick assisted Susquehanna Township Police with a motorcycle accident where a tagged black bear was struck and killed and two motorcyclists were seriously injured.
Delaware County WCO Justin Ritter and DWCO William Cosenza report that two individuals were charged with resisting or interfering with an officer. Both individuals were in the act of committing a crime and fled officers on foot. They were apprehended by Game Commission officers hours later.
Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that in two separate days in a total of four hours, multiple citations were filled against 18 people for possessing and or using drugs and alcohol on State Game Land 156 at an area they call the “Potato Patch.”
Lehigh and Northampton counties WCO Tyler Kreider reports that a father and son have been charged with the unlawful taking of two white-tailed deer out of season and have subsequently pleaded guilty to charges resulting in over $1,600 in fines.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider said officers recovered an orphaned 8-pound bear cub and transported it to a permitted facility for possible reintroduction into the wild.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that biologist Art McMorris and his crew banded four peregrine falcon nestlings on stack #4 at Martins Creek Talen Power Plant. All were given a thorough examination and fitted with leg bands for future identification.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that bears are everywhere, big and small. Officers recovered an orphaned 8-pound bear cub and transported it to a permitted facility for possible reintroduction into the wild.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
Bucks County WCO Brendan Ryan observed a family group that included several juveniles fishing at Nockamixon Lake, and all in the group were seen creeling fish. A short while later a man was seen using a large illegal net. Upon investigation, it was found that there were several violations of the Fish and Boat Code. Citations were issued to a 39-year-old male from North Wales for the netting violation; two citations were issued to a 51-year-old male from North Wales for fishing without a valid license and lending/borrowing a fishing license. Additionally, a 31-year-old female from North Wales was also cited for lending/borrowing a fishing license. In addition to the citations, several warnings were issued as well. Fines and court costs totaled $839, and all three defendants have since pleaded guilty.