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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Aug. 4, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports several people received citations for drug or alcohol possession while on the local state game lands.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports catching and removing an adult sandhill crane from the welcome center rest area along Interstate 90 in North East. The bird was captured after one employee opened the door to the building and let the bird inside. The crane was relocated to the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman filed charges against an individual for poaching two turkeys during the spring hunt. The two longbeards were shot about 45 seconds apart. Neither bird was tagged. The poacher was in such a hurry to get his trophies out of the area that he left his decoy behind. Because he left the decoy, he had to come back to retrieve it and that is when the witness was able to get the license plate number. Thanks to blood evidence on the violator’s pant legs and boots, the DNA lab was able to positively match it with the blood and feathers at the kill site.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that a Lawrence County hunter left his treestand on state game lands well beyond the two weeks after the season ended. There were also screw-in steps in the tree. Multiple charges have been filed, he said.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that several turkey-season violations occurred during the spring season, including an untagged turkey, an unplugged shotgun, failure to carry a hunting license, and a loaded firearm in the vehicle.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that two people who were instructed to release wildlife back into the wild after finding it near their homes were charged after failing to comply.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that a man was charged for driving his truck past a Closed to Motorized Vehicles sign on State Game Land 284.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports that, while patrolling with WCO Roger A. Hartless they apprehended three Jefferson County residents for operating motorized vehicles through state game lands.

Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander decided to gate a parking lot on State Game Land 263. The secluded parking lot was the site of frequent dumping, vandalism, illegal drug use and parties. The parking lot probably will be open for the major hunting seasons, but otherwise will remain closed.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that a South Fayette Township resident recently was cited for trapping a juvenile red fox, putting it in a dog cage and keeping it in there for a week or more. The defendant was feeding it minimal amounts of dog food and did not give a reason as to why he was doing it.

Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a 225-pound male black bear recently was hit by a vehicle along Route 28, near exit 13. The injured bear had to be euthanized. The bear had not been previously tagged and is among several killed along this stretch of highway.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports a North Sewickley Township woman pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal possession of wildlife. The Game Commission was contacted by the state Department of Health after a visitor to the residence suffered a bite wound to the arm. The raccoon, which was permitted to enter and exit the home at will, was seized and sent for rabies testing.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that a Pulaski Township resident is undergoing post-exposure rabies treatments after coming into contact with a raccoon that was acting aggressively in his yard. The raccoon was euthanized, sent for rabies testing and subsequently tested positive for the rabies virus.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports a county resident pleaded guilty to hunting with a rimfire rifle during the spring turkey season. The hunter accidentally grabbed the incorrect ammunition for the shotgun he intended to hunt with and opted to carry the rifle instead of returning home. No turkey was taken with the rifle.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that an Ohioville Borough resident pleaded guilty to operating a motorized vehicle on State Game Land 173. The resident used the game lands as a shortcut to get his tractor to an acquaintance’s home.

Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that a Baden man was cited for multiple violations surrounding the killing of a turkey. The turkey was located from a motorized vehicle, shot within a safety zone on posted property, and shot after the shooter exited the vehicle and still was within 25 yards of the road. Multiple citations have been filed in the case and the replacement cost for wildlife killed unlawfully was requested in the amount of $300.

Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports conducting a traffic stop after seeing a truck driving on closed roads. The following revealed several game-law violations, as well as possession of stolen property, drugs, and paraphernalia. One of the subjects had outstanding warrants, and was transported to the district judge’s office and arraigned. Criminal and summary charges are pending.

Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that, over the past month, numerous ATV and UTV violations have been encountered on state game lands and Hunter Access properties. One individual shot and killed a cottontail rabbit immediately before he was apprehended.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Andy Harvey reports a Connellsville man recently was found guilty of dumping garbage along Kibe Road in Saltlick Township, Fayette County. The judge ordered him to pay $500 in fines, plus court costs.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Andy Harvey reports a Donegal man pleaded guilty to dumping garbage and driving on a road closed to motorized vehicles. The judge assessed a $450 fine, plus court costs.

Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports that three residents were issued three citations and six warnings after they were found to be operating all-terrain vehicles illegally on Hunter Access property.

Somerset County WCO Zachary Edwards reports, over the course of two weekends, six ATV riders were cited for riding on state game lands. Illegal off-road-vehicle operation continues to be an issue on both game lands and Hunter Access properties.

Somerset County WCO Zachary Edwards reports a recent search warrant served by local police yielded not only illegal narcotics, but also a juvenile raccoon, which the defendant had taken from the wild. Game Law charges are pending for unlawful possession of wildlife as well as the drug charges.

Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that two individuals have been charged for shooting clay pigeons and discharging firearms containing multiple projectile ammunition at the State Game Land 50 Shooting Range in Somerset.

Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that one individual has been charged criminally after he provided false identification and attempted to incriminate another individual after he was approached for violating several posted regulations at the State Game Land 50 Shooting Range in Somerset.

Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that six individuals have been cited for operating ATVs on Hunter Access property in Confluence, Somerset County.

Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas reports a multi-officer effort resulted in the successful prosecution of multiple individuals for the unlawful take of big game beyond season limits and the attempt to take with the use of a lights in Sewickley Township. Each individual faces fines and loss of their hunting license for several years.

Westmoreland County WCO Bill Brehun reports that charges have been filed against several Derry Township men for the unlawful operation of motor vehicles on lands that prohibit such activity.

Westmoreland County WCO Bill Brehun reports that two Unity Township men have been charged for unlawfully operating a motorized vehicle in a restricted area, creating a campsite and maintaining an open fire, possession of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia on the City of Latrobe Foundation Property, which is enrolled in  the Hunter Access program.

Westmoreland County WCO Bill Brehun reports that a Unity Township man has been charged for the unlawful possession of four baby raccoons after attempting to try to raise them at his residence. Because of rabies risks, these four raccoons had to be submitted for testing, as multiple people had contact with these animals.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a Centre County resident was encountered with 40 grams of synthetic marijuana. Charges were filed and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for July.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that, while working with several WCOs in Elk County, several UTVs were stopped on properties they did not have permission to be on. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that two of the operators had their driver’s licenses suspended due to DUI. Neither thought that operating the UTVs was a possible violation of their suspensions.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports that a Montgomery man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a June 7 incident that occurred in Clinton Township, Lycoming County. The defendant killed an antlered deer for crop damage and failed to field dress the carcass or maintain it in a place of safe-keeping. The defendant reported the kill the following morning, but the meat was spoiled and not suitable for consumption by the time of his telephone call.

Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports five individuals were cited and 12 were warned for shooting-range violations as part of a recent enforcement detail at Scotia Range. Violations included shooting at targets other than paper targets (cans and bottles) and discharging a firearm from a place other than the established shooting stations.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reports that charges were filed against several individuals for riding ATVs on cooperator properties.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn reports that a defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful taking or possession of white-tailed deer. He was assessed a $2,200 fine and will receive a hunting license revocation.

Bedford County WCO Brandon Pfister reports a Bedford County man is being charged with the unlawful taking of rabbits.

Mifflin County WCO Amanda M. Isett reports an individual was cited for taking possession of a raccoon out of season.

Franklin County Land Management Group Supervisor Eric Horsh is looking for information on the illegal dumping of tires and auto parts on State Game Land 76 along Lower Horse Valley Road in Franklin County. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Southcentral Regional Office in Huntingdon.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County WCO Blake Barth said a New York state resident recently was found guilty at trial after being charged in May for purchasing a Pennsylvania resident license.

Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports citing an issuing agent for issuing a hunting license to an individual who had not taken the required Hunter-Trapper Education course. The individual wanted the license, instead of a range-use permit, so he could shoot at Game Commission shooting ranges stating, “the hunting license was cheaper than the permit.”

Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports that arrest warrants are pending against individuals who have not responded to citations for Game Law violations in Sullivan County.

Northumberland and Columbia counties WCO Jason Kelley reports encountering several individuals with range violations at the State Game Land 58 shooting range in Columbia County.

Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly reports an increase in unlawful ATV traffic on State Game Land 36.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports a woman from Lackawaxen recently was cited for dumping tree branches and yard waste in a parking lot on State Game Land 180. This spot has been used for the past few years as a dump for yard waste and construction material. Increased patrols and surveillance resulted in the charges being filed.

Susquehanna County WCO Ben Rebuck reports citing an individual for removing two deer fawns from the wild.

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