Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Sept. 1, 2017
From the Game Commission
Clarion County WCO Steve Ace reports several individuals handling young, sick or injured wildlife.
Crawford County WCO Mark Allegro reports an individual pleaded guilty to a charge of purchasing a license illegally during a recent investigation into purchasing licenses unlawfully, hunting without a valid license, and unlawful taking of deer.
Crawford County WCO Randy Crago reports a Crawford County man has pleaded guilty to keeping a raccoon as a pet. He admitted to having the raccoon for 11 years.
Erie County WCO Darin Clark reports the Russel Road parking lot of State Game Land 263 has been gated. The decision was made due to a long history of dumping, partying and general abuse of the lot. The gate will be opened during hunting season and remained closed the rest of the year.
Warren County WCO David Donachy reports finding several treestands on public property that do not have the owner’s name displayed. They were not removed from the hunting location after last season. Not only are the owners in violation, but now that the stands have been in the weather for six months, there is concern for the hunters’ safety due to the condition of the straps holding the stand to the tree.
Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda reports many bears suffering from severe mange have been sighted in Warren, Forest and Venango counties. Some have been euthanized, some have been treated.
Venango County WCO Jason R. Amory recently filed charges in a case that was detected by DWCO Ken Clark resulting in multiple felony and summary charges. Clark made the arrest on the bike trail in Cranberry Township, where an individual disposed of methamphetamine waste, provided false statements and fled from the officer. The defendant has been arraigned and is currently in the Beaver County Jail on unrelated drug charges.
Erie and Crawford counties Land Manager Shayne Hoachlander recently met with representatives of Ohio’s Ashtabula County Metro Parks. They recently acquired 700 acres adjoining State Game Land 314 along the state line. This provides an additional conservation buffer to State Game Land 314 and hopefully the future will see some coordinated management and hunting opportunities for sportsmen.
From the Game Commission
Snyder County WCO Harold J. Malehorn filed a criminal complaint against an individual for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct.
Perry County WCO Steven Brussese reports individuals from Franklin County have been charged for picking up a small raccoon and keeping it in their house for several weeks. Not only is it a health and safety risk to keep a wild animal as a pet, it also is against the law.
Cumberland County WCO Timothy L. Wenrich reports a local man pleaded guilty to trapping violations from January. Fines totaled $1,200, and he was recommended for revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges for two years for these and previous game law violations.
Cumberland County WCO Timothy L. Wenrich reports multiple state game land violations were encountered in July. They included using game lands for other than intended purposes, multiple range violations, and use/possession of drugs or paraphernalia on game lands.
Mifflin County WCO Amanda M. Isett reports one individual was warned for hunting woodchucks in a cemetery.
Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny recently responded to a call about an injured fawn. Upon further inspection, the fawn was “gut shot” with a small-caliber firearm. If you see or hear of any illegal activity, you can report it anonymously to your local regional office. Please leave a contact number for an officer to reach you. In most cases, we will have further questions. We will always keep your identity anonymous, Nabozny said.
Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports an individual recently was found guilty of hunting turkeys through the use of bait on the 2017 spring gobbler season opener. Fines total over $150.
Lycoming County WCO Kris Krebs said he has seen numerous rattlesnakes while patrolling state game lands in July.
WCO Tom Sabolcik recently stopped and cited three individuals for operating UTVs on State Game Land 59. They were apprehended at 10:30 p.m. and quite shocked when they were stopped by the WCO.
Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports having issued at least half a dozen written warnings in the last month for unlawful bear feeding. The mange epidemic continues, and it can be traced to backyard feeding in most instances.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that English yew has been identified in his district. This plant species produces a toxic berry that can be detrimental to wildlife, especially bears. Bear trapping efforts were conducted on the property to where the plant was discovered. Efforts to eradicate this invasive species are planned.
Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports a great blue heron was euthanized in Lecontes Mills. The bird displayed symptoms of West Nile virus, but autopsy results showed the bird was suffering from an internal parasite within its gizzard.
Potter and Tioga counties Land Manager Denise Mitcheltree reports the Tioga Food and Cover crew, which is still short-staffed, planted 39 acres of food plots on State Game Lands 37 and cooperative access lands in July. The Potter Food and Cover Crew planted 39 acres of food plots on State Game Lands 59, 64 and 204 and state parks and state forests. The Potter crew also mowed 123 acres of clover that was already established in various herbaceous openings.
McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reports that, with the assistance of WCO Tom Sabolcik, charges were filed against an Eldred man for illegally taking multiple deer out of season. Seven deer where found in the shed behind the residence.
Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly reports an increase in evidence of methamphetamine production in rural locations, including state game lands. Persons should not handle any suspicious containers and should report evidence of drug manufacturing to law enforcement.
Bradford County WCO Blake Barth reports several charges are being filed against multiple individuals for driving in restricted areas of State Game Land 36. Each person faces several hundred dollars in fines and are liable for damages.
Montour County WCO Michael College reports a juvenile bald eagle that was captured in Danville and delivered to the Carbon County rehabilitation center last month is doing well and should be able to be released soon.
Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports having issued warnings to farmers killing deer for crop damage and failing to report the kills to a wildlife conservation officer within 24 hours.
Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports eight individuals were cited for camping on State Game Land 13, near Sullivan Falls. “This is a scenic area, but it is to be enjoyed during daytime hours. No overnight camping is permitted on state game lands,” said Finnegan.
Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow said the time of year is fast approaching where there will be an increase in spotlighting and the potential for poaching violations. If you suspect illegal activity poaching activity, please report it to the appropriate Game Commission region office.
Monroe County WCO Bryan Mowrer investigated in July four separate dumping cases, including three on Bethlehem Water Authority Cooperative Property and one on State Game Land 38. All sites had items left behind that identified the those involved with the dumping. Citations were issued for all persons involved and fines totaled over $1,000, plus court costs.
Lackawanna County WCO Jared Turner reports increased efforts are being taken to curb unlawful ATV use on State Game Land 300 and The Eales Preserve on The Nature Conservancy cooperative property. ATV, dirt bike and off-road vehicles will be targeted in these areas. Several ATVs and other vehicles have been remotely photographed, and the owners are being identified.
Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb said two large steel gates were damaged on State Game Land 35 along the Million Dollar Highway in July. It is believed that multiple people and vehicles were involved. Webb believes the damage was caused by person(s) driving a blue- or green-colored Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer or Mercury Mariner. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Game Commission Northeast Region Office at 570-675-1143.
Berks County WCO M.P. Teehan reports the number of students in his district’s hunter education classes are noticeably lower this year. Teehan urges prospective hunters not to wait until the last minute to look for a course, since the fall courses usually fill up quickly.
Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports that enforcement for game lands abuse this spring and summer has led to over 100 charges being filed for violations on State Game Land 43, including 64 citations and two criminal complaints for rifle range violations, 10 citations for graffiti, 19 charges related to unlawful drug and alcohol use or possession, and three citations for littering or dumping. Most of the cases have been adjudicated with guilty pleas or verdicts, and there are still some active investigations where charges have yet to be filed.
Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick reports that while investigating locks that were cut from agency-owned gates at State Game Land 264, he encountered two dirt bikes riders operating in a closed area. Charges are pending.
Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick reports receiving a call from Lykens State Police to assist in an investigation of a dead dog found in a game lands pond in Wiconisco Township. He recovered the dog’s collar and identified and subsequently notified the owner.
Dauphin County WCO Scott Frederick reports while on patrol at the State Game Land 211 range, he discovered a man and two guests shooting high-capacity magazines from firearms, which violates range regulations. During the encounter, several other violations were discovered, resulting in several citations and warnings issued.
Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports lots of calls are coming in about sick or abandoned fawns. Sheetz reminds everyone that just because there is a fawn by itself doesn’t mean it is going to die or is in trouble. Please leave them alone. Mom is most likely nearby.
Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports numerous small animals had to be euthanized and tested for rabies because people handled them after removing them from the wild. Sheetz reminds everyone it’s better for wildlife and people to just leave wildlife alone. If a wild animal looks sick or injured, call the nearest Game Commission office and make a report.
Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports recent law enforcement patrols on state game lands have resulted in prosecutions for unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and unlawful vehicle operation. Graham asked the public report unlawful activity on game lands to the closest Game Commission Regional Office.
Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham, reports that with the assistance of neighboring WCO Dennis Warfel and the East Lampeter Township Police, he recently tranquilized a large black bear in a Leola backyard. Young male bears often come into Lancaster County. But this was a 550-pounder that had been captured in northern Adams County by WCO Darren David after it killed a domestic rabbit and broke into a garage for bird food. WCO David relocated the large male to northern Perry County and it traveled nearly 70 miles to Lancaster County.
Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports encountering an increasing amount of illegal activities on state game lands. Unlawful possession and use of alcohol and narcotics are the most prevalent.
Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports Art McMorris and crew successfully banded two male peregrine falcon chicks at the Martin’s Creek Power Plant.
Schuylkill County WCO Joel Gibble reports that he is seeking information regarding a possible deer poaching near Trout Run Road in Zion Grove occurring around July 27, 2017.