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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 30, 2018

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Crawford County Game Warden Mark A. Allegro investigated a group of coyote hunters unlawfully hunting on regulated shooting grounds. Charges are pending against one of the hunters.

Jefferson County Game Warden Andrew D. Troutman reports that, while investigating a case where deer parts were dumped along the road, five or six large trash bags were found dumped over the bank. Identifying information was found within the trash. The person claimed they didn’t dump the trash there, but they wouldn’t reveal who did. They are facing a fine of up to $500.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that, while checking coyote hunters competing in a hunt, a hunter was found to be hunting with an unplugged shotgun. A magazine fed shotgun has to be restricted to a two-shell capacity in the magazine while hunting most game animals in Pennsylvania, with the exception of deer, bear or elk.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a firearms deer hunter was found hunting in a ground blind without the required orange posted outside of the blind. There was also a mineral bait found in the area of the blind. Charges were filed for both violations.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that several deer hunters were found to be carrying unused deer harvest tags from prior years. This has been illegal for several years now and citations are being filed for the offense.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a father and son both have given written statements accusing each other of killing the same illegal deer. The case is scheduled for court.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a trapper has recently pleaded guilty for leaving set traps unchecked for over 36 hours. Traps are required to be checked at least once every 36 hours, although most trappers check their traps more frequently.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a group of young adults were encountered on state game lands by Pennsylvania State Police while they were in possession of alcohol. Charges were forwarded to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and a hearing is scheduled.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a man was charged with killing two deer before tagging either one. Except in special regulations areas, a harvested deer must be tagged before an attempt can be made on a second one.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a local man was found on state game lands in possession of a concealed semi-automatic handgun, and without a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms or identification. He was discovered with the handgun after firing several dozen rounds on state game lands. Other charges were also filed. He was found guilty in court.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a duck hunter was found hunting ducks on state game lands without a federal duck stamp and while using lead shot. Although he said he felt charges for the violations were unfair, he ultimately pleaded guilty.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron D. Gibbs reports that a hunter in possession of two pheasants was determined to have never purchased a pheasant permit. In addition to the permit violation, charges for unlawful taking of game or wildlife also apply, and they carry the potential for hunting license revocation throughout most of the United States through the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Mercer County Game Warden Donald G. Chaybin reports a beaver caught in a leg-hold trap on the bank of a small stream in North Vernon Township. The law requires traps to be checked and wildlife removed at least once every 36 hours. In this case, the beaver was there for over 48 hours. While the trap was untagged, further investigation revealed an identical set a farther downstream, and that trap, as well as two beaver snares, were tagged. The trapper lived several townships away. When asked about checking the traps as required, he stated his friend was to check on them. He was informed that his friend did not do him any favors, and he’s not permitted to check traps that don’t have his name tag on. Citations will be filed.

Mercer County Game Warden Donald G. Chaybin received a complaint from a beaver trapper in South Pymatuning Township. He made a couple of sets in the Orangeville area, along Pymatuning Creek, and returned to find his traps were stolen. He reported a fisherman seemed keenly interested in watching him as he set the traps. The general description of that fisherman and his vehicle were provided. The traps had rather unique modifications made to them and will be easily identified. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Northwest Region Office in Franklin.

Venango County Game Warden Jason R. Amory reports that multiple drug-related cases have recently been successfully adjudicated. In one case, a defendant disposed on Cranberry Township property enrolled in the Hunter Access Program methamphetamine precursors and drug paraphernalia used to inject drugs. In a separate unrelated case, a defendant pleaded guilty to charges related to possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. Multiple fines and costs were imposed in each case.

Venango County Game Warden Jason R. Amory reports that multiple cases relating to the illegal killing of big game during the closed season recently were adjudicated successfully. The defendants, a father and son, pleaded guilty to killing three deer in two separate incidents. Fines and restitution in excess of $6,000 were imposed as well as court fees.

Warren County Game Warden David W. Donachy reports finding several beaver traps set without tags above the water or ice as required by law.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports that over a dozen treestands were removed from state game lands in Jefferson and Clarion counties this past February. Hunters are reminded that the deadline for treestand removal is two weeks from the last deer season, which was Jan. 27 in Wildlife Management Units 2D and 2F.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Douglas Bergman reports a Fayette County man faces charges for setting a cable restraint that was in danger of becoming entangled with some woody vines.

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local hunter recently entered into a plea agreement in district court for shooting a sub-legal antlered deer in a safety zone. The hunter shot five times at the deer behind an elderly woman’s home. The hunter agreed to pay fines totaling $650, plus court costs, and faces the loss of his hunting privileges.

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local individual recently was found guilty at summary trial in district court for illegally taking a 9-point buck in a baited area. The hunter was assessed $550 in fines, plus court costs, and possible hunting-license revocation.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, while on night patrol and during a rainstorm, he and Deputy Don Berry watched a spotlighter shoot a deer from a vehicle. The two women involved in killing the deer entered guilty pleas.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, during the fall deer seasons, numerous baiting violations were prosecuted in his district. Other violations encountered while investigating baited areas were failure to wear fluorescent orange or possess and carry valid hunting licenses or tags.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, while patrolling a wetlands area during small-game season, he investigated suspicious shooting and discovered a father and mentored youth sharing a shotgun and taking turns shooting at protected songbirds as they flew overhead.  When approached, the father said his son needed shooting practice. But he didn’t have an answer when asked why he too was shooting at protected birds.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports an Ohio resident pleaded guilty to multiple charges in the unlawful killing of a coyote. Information received through the Operation Game Thief program stated that, while traveling through Pennsylvania, the subject observed a coyote in a foot-hold trap, retrieved his archery equipment from Ohio, then returned to dispatch the animal. The subject was charged with unlawful taking or killing of wildlife, trespass while hunting and disturbing a trap belonging to another person.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a Lawrence County man pleaded guilty to several violations during the firearms deer season in South Beaver Township. On property enrolled in the Hunter Access Program, the man drove through a field to recover a harvested antlered deer without landowner permission. He had not properly tagged the deer, nor had he successfully completed Hunter-Trapper Education, as required.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a New York state resident attending college in Beaver County was found guilty of purchasing resident adult hunting licenses in Pennsylvania for a period of three years. In addition to the Pennsylvania resident licenses, the subject also was purchasing resident licenses in his home state of New York. This individual also received several warnings for the acquisition of antlerless deer licenses, as well.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a man pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $1,100 in fines for entering Casparis mine on State Game Land 51. The mine is a restricted area and has barriers to prevent access due to unsafe conditions.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a man recently pleaded guilty to setting a body-gripping trap outside of an established waterway. The individual was warned for not having the trap tagged and for having bait visible from the air at another of his sets.

Somerset County Game Warden Zachary Edwards reports a hunter who encouraged a 12-year-old to participate in road-hunting and trespassing recently pleaded guilty. Noticing deer in a field, the man stopped his truck in the landowner’s driveway, and he and the juvenile walked 10 yards from the vehicle through a patch of trees. Both hunters shot at and killed antlerless deer before being confronted by a Deputy Game Warden, who had been called to investigate. Fines for the mentor topped $2,000.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports trapping violations have been filed recently for trapping in a safety zone, using bait visible from the air and tending to another person’s traps.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports that, during the first week of the rifle deer season, an ATV with two occupants was observed traveling a public road in Somerset County. The vehicle was approached to conduct a safety check of the firearms on board, and it was discovered the driver was in possession of a loaded firearm and had been hunting while his privileges were suspended for a previous violation. It was also discovered the driver was classified as a felon not to possess a firearm. This led to the application of a search warrant for the driver’s residence which yielded another five firearms. The individual was charged with six felony counts of possession of a firearm, hunting while licenses were suspended or revoked, and possession of a loaded firearm on a vehicle.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual has been charged for one count each of failure to tag traps set for furbearers and having bait visible from the air. The individual was given warnings for four additional incidents of failing to tag traps, and another incident of having bait visible from the air.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports a two-week investigation into unlawfully set traps led to the filing of three citations on a Somerset County man. Charges were filed for failing to tag traps, having bait visible from the air, and failing to visit traps every 36 hours. Along with the three citations filed, several warnings were given including four counts of bait visible from the air, three counts of failing to tag traps, dumping on property open to hunting or trapping, and unlawful taking of game or wildlife.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual was cited for having unlawful cable restraints. The unlawful sets were discovered when the violator called to report being bitten by an ensnared feral cat.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports that, within moments of the opening of firearms deer season, he and LMS Scott Tomlinson were in foot pursuit. The chase through the woods behind a home resulted in two individuals being charged with failure to have a license and not wearing the required orange. They were also charged with hunting through the use of bait.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports two individuals were found guilty of using a vehicle to locate game and not meeting fluorescent orange requirements during firearms deer season. They stopped their vehicle in the middle of the road and the passenger went onto the hillside with his rifle in search of the deer they said had seen crossing the road.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County Game Warden Eric Kelly reports an individual has pleaded guilty to using visible bait while trapping. An investigation revealed multiple traps baited with visible animal products including whole fish, squirrels, European starlings and other meat products.

Montour County Game Warden Michael College said several people have been cited for hunting waterfowl without first purchasing a federal duck stamp.

Columbia County Game Warden Rick Deiterich cited a Bloomsburg woman for trying to sell eagle feathers and for possessing protected bird feathers or parts. She was trying to sell 10 feathers through an online yard sale.

Bradford County Game Warden Michael Goodenow reports that treestands continue to be found on state game lands. Any owner of these stands could be cited and if the treestand is not claimed after 30 days, the treestands could be forfeited.

Lackawanna County Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Wayne County man recently was charged with multiple trapping offenses. In early February, a concerned sportsman reported that multiple body-gripping traps were found on his property. The traps were set outside of any watercourse and on private property the defendant did not have permission to be on. The traps were not lawfully tagged,  and the defendant did not possess a valid furtaker license.

Lackawanna County Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County man recently entered a guilty plea for the unlawful taking of an antlered deer during the firearms deer season, along with multiple other offenses. Deputy Ron Kelley observed the individual unlawfully harvest an antlered deer while he was operating an ATV. The suspect paid thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, and is facing multiple years of license revocation.

Lackawanna County Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County man recently was charged for the unlawful taking of a river otter. The suspect trapped the otter along the Lackawanna River in Wildlife Management Unit 3B, approximately 10 miles from lawful trapping waters. He also attempted to alter his tag to the harvest area of Wildlife Management Unit 3C.

Susquehanna County Game Warden Mike Webb said charges were filed against an individual for killing a large 10-point buck prior to rifle season. Charges were made possible after a long investigation was conducted in cooperation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officers.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Berks County Game Warden David Brockmeier reports that a Hamburg woman pleaded guilty to reckless driving on State Game Land 110 and was fined $150. Additionally, a Bernville man and a Reading man pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on State Game Land 110 and were each fined $200.

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports that several individuals were cited on the opening day of the firearms deer season for the use of centerfire rifles in Special Regulation Areas where only shotgun use is permitted.

Dauphin County Game Warden Michael Doherty reported that seven non-residents have been charged for unlawfully buying resident licenses going back to 2016.

Dauphin County Game Warden Scott Frederick reports a Lykens man pleaded guilty to five safety-zone violations and one count of unlawfully taking a 576-pound black bear. Total fines and costs were over $8,000, including the $5,000 replacement cost for the trophy bear. Additionally, the man will lose his hunting and trapping privileges for several years.

Dauphin County Game Warden Scott Frederick filed charges against an individual who was found to be deer hunting without a valid license. It also was discovered the same man falsified information to procure multiple licenses. Charges are pending.

Chester County Game Deputy Jeffrey Steen conducted an investigation into a case where a hunter from Connecticut purchased his license two days after harvesting a buck so that he would have a tag and a butcher would accept it for processing. The hunter did not purchase an archery privilege, and the deer was harvested at a time when only archery hunting was lawful. The hunter pleaded guilty and his fines and costs exceeded $1,300. He faces up to three years of license revocation.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek and Deputy Jack Bennett investigated a case in which an individual from out of state shot doves out of season with an unlawful device and in multiple safety zones. The person had no hunting license or migratory bird license. Citations to result in more than $1,000 in fines were filed.

Lancaster County Game Warden Dennis Warfel reports that two individuals from York County were cited in Drumore Township, Lancaster County, for ignoring posted signs and crawling under a fence to access a restricted area of the Exelon-owned Muddy Run Reservoir in southern Lancaster County. One of the men also killed a deer, but didn’t tag it. Multiple charges are pending.

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports the spring snow goose migration at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area peaked at 200,000 birds. Unlawful entry into the Controlled Area or Propagation Area, which is detrimental to the resting waterfowl, was encountered.

Lebanon County Game Warden Brian Sheetz filed charges against hunters, who carried unplugged shotguns, failed to possess federal duck stamps, and unlawfully took and tagged  white-tailed deer.

Lebanon County Game Warden Brian Sheetz filed charges against individuals who removed high-risk deer parts from Disease Management Area 2 and brought them to Lebanon County.

Lebanon County Game Warden Brian Sheetz filed charges against a person who picked up a road-killed deer, butchered it, and gave the head and antlers away.

Lehigh County Game Warden Tyler Kreider reports that only one outstanding citation for a loaded firearm in a vehicle remains from the hunting season. A hearing date has been scheduled in the case.

Northampton County Game Warden Bradley Kreider reports that, since the close of the deer seasons several deer cases involving four separate deer that were illegally killed were investigated. Charges have been filed in all of these cases, and hearings are pending.

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that six individuals were cited for hunting deer within a safety zone near the Highridge Distribution Center in Cass Township. In addition to hunting near the buildings, the property is closed to trespass and/or hunting. Five of those cited pleaded guilty to the charges they faced, while disposition is still pending on the sixth.

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