Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 22, 2018

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Jefferson County Game Warden Roger Hartless reports that while traveling along a township road in Eldred and Barnett townships, he noticed several areas where an ATV recently did “doughnuts.” Not far up the road, the same type of damage was observed in a grassy Game Commission parking area. Hartless was able to conceal his patrol vehicle nearby and a few minutes later an ATV came into view, doing more “doughnuts” in the road and parking area. The operator did not have a valid driver’s license, was not wearing a helmet and the ATV was not properly registered. He is facing several charges.

Jefferson County Game Warden Roger Hartless filed a citation after several bags of household garbage were dumped on lands enrolled in the Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program. The investigation that led to the litter charge was fairly typical, look through the trash, locate some items with names and personal information, interview a suspect, and obtain a confession. What made this investigation more difficult than most was that, prior to the trash being discovered, a bear or bears got into the bags and had trash scattered about to such an extent that it took over an hour to inspect all of the trash and get the mess cleaned up.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports that, during a recent patrol in turkey season, he and Game Warden Roger Hartless cited a turkey hunter who was not in possession of their license. 

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse N. Bish reports that, during a recent patrol over the Memorial Day weekend, he and Game Warden Roger Hartless cited an individual operating a motorized vehicle on Hunter Access property.

Mercer County Game Warden Donald Chaybin reports a group of ATV riders from Ohio turned up in a parking area on State Game Land 130 after following a posted “ATV Trail” in Venango County, and assumed they could continue into Mercer County. Their subsequent use of the game lands parking area as they fished along Sandy Creek resulted in several violations for unlawful possession of alcohol on game lands.

Mercer County Game Warden Donald Chaybin reports that a young male black bear with a severe case of mange was killed on Route 208, east of Grove City. 

Warren County Game Warden Eric McBride reports that citations are being filed against several individuals for littering and maintaining a fire on state game lands.   

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local man who was found cutting the antlers off a road-killed deer recently pleaded guilty to charges. It is unlawful to possess road-killed deer or its parts without a permit issued by the Game Commission. In this incident the individual involved put himself and others in danger by stopping along a busy highway to remove a set of antlers. 

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports that a new license year begins July 1 and game lands shooting-range users are reminded they will need new hunting licenses, furtaker licenses and range-use permits to continue using ranges. Those using a range without a valid range permit or license could face fines from $100 to $200, plus court costs. 

Allegheny County Game Warden Tom Kline reports a pile of trash containing paper tags, plastic, hangers and other debris was found on Hunter Access property in Killbuck Township. Luckily, the suspect left a store receipt from Target, and with the help of Target Loss Prevention and the Ohio Township Police Department, the suspect was positively identified and charged with littering. He pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $340.25. 

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports an Ohio resident was cited for riding a dirt bike on State Game Land 285 in Darlington Township. Ironically, the subject parked in a game lands parking lot and unloaded the dirt bike directly in front of a sign listing the rules and regulations for game lands use.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a 19-year-old woman was cited for possession of a controlled substance while on state game lands. Yeck observed a suspicious vehicle in a parking area and discovered three individuals sleeping inside. The odor of burnt marijuana led to the discovery of a partially-smoked marijuana cigarette in the woman’s possession.

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports a Hookstown area man recently was cited for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. The man was calling turkeys while standing next to his truck. His loaded shotgun was in the cab of the truck, along with a small child.  

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports two individuals who shot and killed a spring gobbler from the road were found guilty on eight charges. Total fines were $1,400 and revocation of their hunting and trapping privileges will be applied. The defendants in this case both have prior game-law convictions for similar conduct.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Maryland woman was found operating a relative’s ATV on Army Corp of Engineers property in Derry Township. During this interaction, a motorized golf cart came driving up a trail located behind us, he said. Additional charges were filed for this violation, as the operator of the golf cart had already received a warning for the same violation. 

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports that three non-residents have pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking bucks over multiple years, transporting deer across state lines and unlawful tagging. Total fines exceed $12,000, and 25 years of total license revocation are possible.     

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that charges were filed against an individual who fled during a drug-possession investigation on State Game Land 170.

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports dealing with multiple incidents where people removed young wildlife from the wild. Young wildlife that’s encountered should be left where found and not be handled by humans. In cases where there was direct contact between people and rabies vector species, the animal needs to be euthanized and tested. It is unlawful to remove wildlife from the wild for any reason.

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich and Deputy Robert Koch investigated untagged turkeys during the first day of spring gobbler. 

Mifflin County Game Warden Amanda M. Isett is finding litter dumped on state game lands.

Mifflin County Game Warden Amanda M. Isett warned two individuals for blocking the gate on state game lands.

Snyder County Game Warden Harold J. Malehorn reports a Snyder County man pleaded guilty to six violations, including one count of possessing a road-killed deer without a permit, one count of unlawfully possessing game or wildlife, one count of exceeding the season limit of deer, one count of killing a deer in a closed season and two counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting – he attempted to shoot two deer at night. He was ordered to pay a $4,500 fine.

Snyder County Game Warden Harold J. Malehorn reports a Snyder County resident was found guilty in court on two counts of setting body-gripping traps outside a watercourse and two counts of not properly tagging his traps. He was also given numerous warnings.

York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports that, as the temperature rises, so does unlawful activity on state game lands. There has been an increase in dumping, off-roading, and disorderly conduct on York County game lands.

Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports that two men were found to be fishing in the propagation area on State Game Land 169 recently. This area is restricted until the opening day of bass season.  

Bedford County Game Warden Jeremy Coughenour reports that two Maryland residents recently entered into a plea deal stemming from three separate incidents last hunting season. The two men pleaded guilty to all charges to avoid the possibility of jail time. One antlered deer was killed with a bow during closed season and two more antlered deer were killed illegally from a vehicle during the regular firearm season. Only one of the two possessed a Pennsylvania hunting license. Fines in the case totaled just over $5,000.   

Adams County Game Warden Cory M. Ammerman reports that an individual was cited for operating a motor vehicle in an area clearly posted as closed to motorized vehicles. This individual not only blatantly passed the signs, but tore them down and threw them on the ground as he went. The individual was cited for littering, destruction of Game Commission signs, and operating a motor vehicle in a closed area. He could face up to $1,100 in fines. 

Blair County Game Warden Salvadore Zaffuto reminds the public that the Altoona Water Authority property, a Game Commission Hunter Access property has various limitations. ATVs, swimming and fishing in the reservoirs, camping and fires all are prohibited. Not only do they not allow this but you can also receive a citation.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County Game Warden Eric Kelly reports individuals have been unlawfully feeding bears near Powell, resulting in numerous conflicts.

Bradford County Game Warden Blake Barth reports a Memorial Day weekend law-enforcement detail by game wardens and deputies in Bradford and Sullivan counties resulted in charges including unlawful use of ATVs on state game lands, DUI and possession of a controlled substance. 

Montour County Game Warden Michael College reports a Montour County man was charged for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle during the spring turkey season. While talking with the individual, it was determined there also was an unlawful deer harvested during the 2017 archery deer season.    

Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports that Deputy Game Wardens Jeff Spako and Mike Bedford had a busy Memorial Day weekend with ATV violations on State Game Land 12. They also ran into four individuals on state game lands who were in possession of marijuana – two of them were on probation at the time.

Bradford County Game Warden Mike Goodenow reports that charges were filed for a deer-poaching violation stemming from a January incident. One person pleaded guilty to several charges and faces nearly $2,500 in fines with a three-year license revocation.

Pike and Monroe counties Game Warden Mark Kropa reports that, over the Memorial Day weekend, there were several ATVs and vehicles driving illegally on State Game Land 221 in Barrett Township. Over 20 citations will be filed for various violations ranging from unregistered vehicles to possession of alcohol on state game lands.   

Lackawanna County State Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Wayne County man was recently charged with the unlawful killing of an American robin. The defendant was worried the robin would eventually make a nest in his yard.

Lackawanna County State Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that multiple warnings were given out during the Memorial Day weekend for violations on State Game Land 127, Monroe County. Most of the warnings were for erratic and unsafe driving on roads open to public travel. 

Susquehanna County Game Warden Ben Rebuck cited an individual for unlawfully harvesting game and purchasing hunting and furtaking licenses without first completing Hunter-Trapper Education.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports working with Richland Township Police to investigate damage done to State Game Land 139 in upper Bucks County. A driver in a Subaru drove down a closed road, into a wetland area, and became stuck. Hundreds of dollars in damage was done to the property. The case is pending.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports working with the Chester County Water Authority to remove several abandoned treestands from the Barneston Dam property off Creek Road in Wallace and West Nantmeal townships. The property is in cooperative agreement with the Game Commission to allow public hunting and trapping there. Treestands must not damage trees, must be removed no later than two weeks after the close of the last deer season, and must also be conspicuously marked with the owner’s name and address, or CID number. The treestands removed did not comply with these regulations, and some of them had been on the property since at least 2015. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports 21 individuals were cited for violating rules aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease.  Hunters harvested deer within a Disease Management Area, then transported them – and their high-risk parts – to deer processors outside of the DMA. This puts deer in areas where the disease hasn’t been detected at risk. Most violators pleaded guilty and two were convicted following a hearing. 

Lehigh County Game Warden Tyler Kreider reports a man and a woman who unlawfully consumed alcohol while on State Game Land 217, Bake Oven Knob, pleaded to all charges and will pay $300 in penalties. Additionally, a man cited for driving dangerously on State Game Land 217 pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $150. 

Northampton County Game Warden Brad Kreider reports numerous people have picked up and reported what they believe to be abandoned fawns. Many of these situations can be resolved by placing the fawn right back where it was found, but some in some cases a citation is warranted. 

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that multiple deer carcasses were dumped along a road in Barry Township. Through his investigation, two individuals were cited for their roles in the dumping and a third was cited for illegally taking one of those deer. All three individuals pleaded guilty to the offenses they faced.  

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