Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 4, 2019
From the Game Commission
Mercer County Game Warden Donald G. Chaybin reports finding a sublegal buck hanging in a shed while investigating a report of an illegal deer. The man said his stepson killed it, and the boy’s Mentored Youth Permit was attached, along with the man’s antlered deer tag. When asked what firearm the boy used, he replied, “My .30-06.” The boy was only 4 years old. There also was an antlerless deer tagged improperly with the hunter’s archery license panel rather than his antlerless deer tag. The intact antlerless license, with tag, was still in his wallet. Confronted with a laundry list of potential violations, he quickly admitted to having shot the buck “for his boy,” stating that at least the boy was in the deer stand with him. The buck was seized, and multiple charges will be filed.
Mercer County Game Warden Donald G. Chaybin reports that Deputy Carl McAdams encountered a group of five family members who were hunting deer illegally in the Propagation Area on State Game Land 270, near Sheakleyville. All stated that they did some shooting, but hadn’t gotten any deer. Later that evening, Deputies Marshall Nych and Kirt Snyder went to the family’s residence near New Wilmington to followup. The dad admitted shooting a doe there just before they were contacted by the deputy. He also stated his adult son killed an 8-point buck there on Tuesday. The son confirmed this account when the deputies went to his place afterward. The illegally killed deer was seized and multiple charges are being filed for the violations from both days they hunted in that propagation area.
Mercer County Game Warden Donald G. Chaybin reports that Deputy Marshall Nych checked several hunters with a small 4-point just before the close of hunting hours on the last day of rifle deer season. Although tagged by a junior hunter, it soon was admitted the junior’s 18-year-old brother shot the protected deer. He was on stand as his father and little brother pushed through the woods. Having a valid antlerless tag and his antlered tag also, he shot the deer that came toward him without clearly identifying it. When it was not a legal antlered deer for him to tag, and definitely not “antlerless,” they decided to put the junior hunter’s tag on the buck. Two wardens arrived to help sort out the violations involved. Since he did not initially state it as a “mistake kill,” and he tagged it improperly with his brother’s tag to conceal his illegal taking of that protected deer, the deer was seized, and charges were filed against the hunter who killed the deer. Both his father and little brother were given warnings for their roles in the improper tagging.
Venango County Game Warden Jason R. Amory reports that multiple people have been charged with loaded firearms in vehicles, both stationary and moving. Road-hunting continues to be a problem.
Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse Bish reports that he and Deputy David Aaron investigated individuals for hunting through the use of bait, possession of others licenses and having a loaded firearm on a stationary vehicle during the 2018 rifle deer hunting opener.
Warren County Game Warden Eric McBride reports an individual was cited on the first Saturday of rifle deer season for killing an antlerless deer without a valid license.
Warren County Game Warden Eric McBride reports that several vehicles have been found blocking state game land gates and roads throughout the big-game seasons.
Jefferson County Game Warden Andrew D. Troutman reports that many hunters encountered during the firearms deer season were found in possession of outdated licenses and tags. Many were just tags. Almost everyone claimed they put their new licenses in with their old ones.
Crawford County Game Warden Randy Crago reports that charges were filed against a Crawford County man for shooting across a road while hunting bears.
Erie County Game Warden Michael Stutts reports that a McKean man has pleaded guilty to the unlawfully killing a bald eagle. The Magisterial District judge ordered him to pay fines and costs totaling $2,790.
From the Game Commission
Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports seven individuals were encountered the first week of regular firearms deer season hunting or preparing to hunt with high-powered centerfire rifles in Allegheny County. Since the 1970s, deer hunting in Allegheny County has been limited to shotguns (slugs only), blackpowder firearms and archery equipment. Anyone hunting with a centerfire rifle faces a fine of up to $200, plus court costs.
Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local man is facing charges for unlawfully taking an antlerless deer in a baited area, then failing to tag it. The three violations carry fines up to $1,300 if the defendant is found guilty.
Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a November 2017 late-night poaching case has been adjudicated. The incident occurred in New Sewickley Township where three men attempted to take a deer from the road using a spotlight and a .22 caliber rifle. One passenger pleaded guilty to operating a spotlight while in possession of a firearm and spotlighting after 11 p.m. A second passenger pleaded guilty to spotlighting while in possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm while in a vehicle in motion, shooting on or across a highway and unlawfully attempting to kill big game. At a preliminary hearing, the driver pleaded guilty to the unlawful attempt at killing big game and driving under the influence, second offense. Fines for all three defendants totaled $3,400, and all face possible hunting-license revocations.
Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports that, during the two-week firearms deer season, the violation he encountered most was possession of a loaded firearm in, on or against a motorized vehicle. Of those, half possessed loaded firearms while the vehicle was in motion.
Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports several hunters were charged with failure to display the required amount of daylight fluorescent orange material outside of an occupied hunting blind. In one such case, a hunter was using an improperly marked blind along a standing corn field. The blind was directly in the line of fire and not visible to a second blind less than 100 yards away.
Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports an Oakdale man was cited for hunting doves within a safety zone. The man shot a dove 46 yards from a home. Hunters are reminded that, no matter the trajectory of the shot, it is unlawful to shoot into, through, or from within a safety zone.
Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports several safety-zone violations were encountered during the two-week firearms deer season. The violations included hunting within 150 yards of playgrounds in a township park, hunting within 25 yards of occupied homes and in one case, driving deer from within over 30 safety zones behind a neighborhood of homes. In some of these cases, the offenders were not wearing the required fluorescent orange. Appropriate citations were provided to all offending parties.
Cambria County Game Warden Seth Mesoras reports that, while working with Cadet Andy Hueser during the first week of deer season, many violations were encountered – especially hunting through the use of bait. Poor weather may have impacted the hunting pressure, but several large bucks were taken in the local area.
Cambria and Indiana counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Yahner reports that, while on patrol in Pine Township, Indiana County, on the first Saturday of firearms deer season, he and Deputy Game Warden Dave Vasses apprehended a man transporting a deer that was not lawfully tagged. In addition, the man possessed two loaded firearms in the vehicle and a hunting license belonging to his girlfriend.
Cambria and Indiana counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Yahner reports that, while on patrol in Pine Township, Indiana County, on the last day of rifle deer season, he and Deputy Game Warden Dave Vasses apprehended a man hunting without a license or valid ID, and he was also in possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Further investigation revealed he had already harvested a large buck during the first week of the season.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports encountering numerous loaded firearms in vehicles on the opening day of the statewide bear season, as well as hunters without bear licenses.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that hunter participation during the first week of the statewide firearms deer season was down, largely due to adverse weather conditions – rain, wind and snow.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that, on the last day of the statewide firearms deer season, an antlerless deer jumped through a window and entered an apartment in Berlin. With the assistance of State Police in Somerset and Deputy Game Warden Kris Wyant, the situation was addressed. Unfortunately, the deer needed to be euthanized and the damage it caused required an extensive cleanup.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports multiple individuals were cited during the firearms deer season for being in possession of deer that were not tagged.
Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual has been charged for harvesting a bear before purchasing a bear license. The individual attempted to check in the bear and a check station worker noticed that the time of harvest was before the purchase time of the bear license. The defendant faces misdemeanor charges for this violation.
Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual on revocation placed a friend in a treestand he’d been actively baiting. The individual also was in the process of putting on a deer drive when he was encountered. Both individuals will be charged for hunting through the use of bait, and one will be charged for hunting while on revocation.
Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports several individuals face charges for alighting from the vehicle and shooting from the road during the firearms deer season.
Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports three Somerset men were charged for spotlighting while in possession of a firearm. The firearm was found during a search after the vehicle was stopped for spotlighting a building.
Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports three individuals from Confluence have been charged after two antlered deer were taken with rifles during a closed season. One buck was taken at night with the use of a spotlight. The larger buck green-scored 142 inches. Trophy-class replacement costs will be sought for that buck.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports two hunters on a side-by-side with loaded firearms attempted hastily to unload them when they saw his vehicle during the firearms deer season. All loaded guns in or on a vehicle are a safety risk, however, some really stand out. The driver was operating the side-by-side with a loaded .270 rifle between his legs, the muzzle pointed at his chin. Charges have been filed.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports investigating a report of a deer being brought out of an area closed to hunting. Following the tire tracks, then the drag marks, led to a gutpile. The gutpile was about 10 yards from a feed block. The hunter’s footprints stepped directly over the feed block and back to his home 50 yards away. Charges have been filed.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports stopping a vehicle to find the driver had a loaded crossbow on the seat. He was charged for several game violations and heroin possession.
From the Game Commission
Bedford County Game Warden Jeremy Coughenour reports that several hunters were cited for hunting in baited areas the opening day of the firearms deer season.
Perry County Game Warden Kevin P. Anderson Jr. reports two men were recently charged for attempting to kill deer at night after they were observed spotlighting after 11 p.m. Their vehicle was stopped and a rifle was found inside, along with deer antlers, blood and hair. Interviews with both defendants revealed that the driver uses his vehicle to purposely injure deer so that the animal is immobilized and can then be killed by stabbing it to death. The driver reported killing over 20 deer using this method.
Blair and Huntingdon counties LMO Chris Skipper reports damage to a seasonally open road on State Game Land 99 outside of Three Springs. During a recent snowfall, a private citizen unlawfully plowed the road and caused damage by removing a large section of shale off the top of the road. The shale was plowed into a ditch as well as down an embankment. The Food and Cover crew was able to get the road passable for the firearms bear and deer seasons, but was to be shut down for repair after that.
York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports a 198-pound black bear was harvested in Chanceford Township. The bear was taken during the extended firearms season, not far from State Game Land 83.
Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports that several illegal deer investigations are ongoing.
From the Game Commission
Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports filing a citation on a hunter encountered at Nockamixon State Park on the opening day of the statewide firearms deer season. The hunter was found in possession of a loaded shotgun in the cab of his pickup. The hunter stated he was busy talking to another person and did not have time to unload the firearm before departing. No one was injured.
Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports that, while patrolling in southern Berks County, near French Creek State Park on the opening day of the firearms deer season, three people were issued citations for having loaded firearms in vehicles.
Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek cited multiple individuals for removing high-risk cervid parts from Chronic Wasting Disease Management Areas.
Lancaster County Deputy Game Warden Justin Brian cited two individuals for spotlighting violations.
Lancaster County Deputy Game Warden Haines Henry cited an individual for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Montgomery County Game Warden Ray Madden reports that, during the first Saturday of the firearms deer season, many incidents occurred near Evansburg State Park. Many of these incidents revolved around individuals having loaded firearms in vehicles.
Montgomery County Game Warden Ray Madden reports there have been many cases involving unlawful baiting activities. Regulated baiting with a mechanical feeder is lawful in the special regulations areas, but large piles of corn, apples, etc. are not. Before using an attractant, make sure you read the regulations.
Montgomery County Game Warden Ray Madden reports receiving numerous tips from the Operation Game Thief reporting system during this hunting season. The information provided has been extremely beneficial to wardens and was crucial to solving numerous cases.
Northampton County Game Warden Brad Kreider reports finding numerous harvested whitetails that had been improperly tagged. Failure to tag harvests, bucks unlawfully tagged on the antler, and tags containing incomplete information were the most common violations. There are several ways to legally tag the deer’s ear without compromising the process at a taxidermist, he said.