Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 15, 2019

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission
 

Clarion County Game Warden Steven J. Ace reports that, during the fall hunting seasons, many different violations were observed. Using vehicles to locate game, littering, taking sublegal bucks, safety zone violations, shooting across roads, loaded firearms in vehicles, illegally taking deer and turkeys, driving vehicles in closed areas, baiting, and possession of other people’s hunting licenses were among those detected. 

Crawford County Game Warden Mark Allegro is investigating multiple hunters who are prohibited from possessing firearms. One individual had already been charged for unlawfully possessing a firearm and for hunting within a safety zone. 

Venango County Game Warden Jason R. Amory reports that multiple people were cited throughout this past hunting season for having loaded firearms in vehicles and for alighting and shooting from vehicles. Many also were cited for illegally taking deer. In most cases, witness information was crucial to securing confessions from offenders.  

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS Jesse Bish reports apprehending deer hunters in possession of others’ licenses, violating tagging requirements and muzzleloader hunting without a muzzleloader license.

Warren County Game Warden David W. Donachy reports many traps in his district have been disturbed this season; most of them set off with sticks. In every case, the traps were set legally.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports that an Allegheny County man has been charged for shooting an antlerless deer, without a license, from the road after alighting from his vehicle and shooting through a safety zone.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports that a Butler County man was charged for shooting an antlered deer after legal shooting hours.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports that a father and his adult son were charged for hunting together over four bait sites.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports that a man who had left a backpack containing marijuana and other drug paraphernalia was caught when he came back to retrieve the backpack.  

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports that a Lawrence County man was charged for allowing his son to purchase a hunting license without having first taken the required Hunter-Trapper Education course.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports a goose hunter was charged for baiting after moving corn in a harvested field in front of his decoy geese.  

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports a surprisingly high number of hunters have been charged this year for unplugged shotguns. When hunting anything other than deer in Pennsylvania, a shotgun needs to be plugged so that it will not be able to hold more than three rounds, including one in the chamber.

Lawrence County Game Warden Byron Gibbs reports a Butler County woman was charged after she was field checked while archery hunting. She had two broadhead-tipped arrows full of dirt on the ground under her treestand. She said each was used to miss the same antlered deer. When asked for her hunting license and ID, she didn’t have ID, and provided a general hunting license, but no archery license. The same charge can be applied to taking wildlife illegally and attempting to take it, though there is no associated replacement cost for an attempt.

Jefferson County Game Warden Roger A. Hartless reports that since rifle deer season has ended, he has picked up and properly disposed of the remains of a number of processed deer. In some instances, the deer remains were dumped in plain view. Although the unlawful disposal of deer parts never is excusable, there was even less of an excuse this year as there were several deer-parts dumpsters available for hunters to use within CWD Disease Management Area 3.  

Warren County Game Warden Eric McBride reports that charges are being filed against an individual for leaving two young children in a vehicle while he went into the woods hunting.

Jefferson County Game Warden Andrew D. Troutman reports encountering a man during the rifle deer season who had given his antlerless licenses to two teenage boys to fill. Each filled one tag in CWD Disease Management Area 3. One deer was unlawfully transported outside the DMA – to Ohio – to be processed. Nine citations were filed to five individuals, with fines ranging from $4,500 to $7,000.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a hunter is facing several charges for an incident that occurred the first day of the late archery season. This individual shot a deer with a crossbow in a safety zone. The bolt traveled through the deer striking a nearby house. Others involved with this incident may be facing charges, as well. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports several safety-zone violations from the firearms deer season resulted in guilty pleas. When confronted, most defendants admitted guilt and stated they didn’t think they were too close to any occupied structure. 

Somerset County Game Warden Zachary Edwards reports a defendant who took two shots at a robotic deer decoy during the firearms deer season pleaded guilty to several charges. 

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that individuals were recently cited for the unlawful dumping of trash on lands open to public hunting. 

Westmoreland County Game Warden Chris Bergman reports a Westmoreland County man was charged for failing to release or remove a raccoon from a trap within 36 hours. 

Westmoreland County Game Warden Chris Bergman reports numerous individuals have pleaded guilty to unlawfully importing high-risk deer parts from another CWD-endemic state and unlawfully exporting high-risk parts from deer taken within one of our state’s DMAs.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports a father and son shot and killed a deer 15 yards behind some rowhouses in Jeannette. They quickly grabbed the deer and threw it in the trunk of the son’s car. They drove off as neighbors came out of their homes to see what happened. The son confessed to the events and surrendered the deer. Charges were filed. Two days later the son tried to claim a mistake kill on an unlawful, sublegal buck. Charges were filed regarding that deer as well.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual was found guilty of hunting pheasants in a farm’s safety zone.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual presented a guilty plea to the district court in Clymer, Indiana County. Papinchak had been patrolling in Indiana during the rifle bear season when he spotted the individual in his truck. Upon recognizing the Game Commission vehicle, the hunter jumped out and attempted to unload his gun. In the process, the bolt fell out, and he quickly leaned the still-loaded gun against his truck.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Centre County Game Warden Michael Ondik reports that an individual recently was cited for hunting/shooting within multiple safety zones of a residential area. This individual also killed a protected deer for which charges are pending as well. 

Union County Game Warden Dirk Remensnyder reports that two individuals were cited for unlawfully harvesting bears during what they thought was the bear archery season. 

Cameron County Game Warden Wayne A. Hunt investigated a cow elk killed by an eastbound freight train in the village of Sinnemahoning. The train crew reported the collision. A mortality report is done on every elk that doesn’t pass through a check station as a hunter harvest. Wardens provide GPS coordinates, age, gender, and CWD samples are taken and recorded in the agency’s database.

Elk County Game Warden Susan Edmiston reports that a Ridgway man has pleaded guilty to charges resulting from a witness reporting that the man shot a doe on the first day of rifle deer season from the road in front of the residence. The man was charged with unlawfully taking game, using a vehicle to locate game, violating safety zone restrictions and shooting on or across highways. The individual was assessed $1,261 in fines and costs. 

McKean County Game Warden Skyler Gibble reports that the regular firearms deer season saw many violations. Most were from individuals hunting through the use of a motorized vehicle.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer encountered a deer hunter during rifle season who wasn’t wearing any protective orange material. The subject was repeat offender for the same violation the previous year.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports that the Clearfield Police Department discovered an illegal antlered deer inside a Dodge Caravan during a routine traffic stop. 

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports that a person pleaded guilty for killing an antlerless deer without possessing the proper tags for the specific wildlife management unit.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports that a person alighted from a motor vehicle and shot at a deer decoy while on a public road.

Clearfield County Game Warden Chris Ivicic reports there have been several complaints from hunters about all the ATV traffic in the woods since the beginning of the hunting season.

Tioga County Game Warden Rob Minnich reports he continued in the midst of the hunting seasons to receive calls about road-killed bears and deer, along with deer and bear complaints, which have seemed to have been on the rise. 

Tioga County Game Warden Rob Minnich reports that, once again, the most common complaints in hunting season were safety zone violations, and reports of road-hunting or shooting from the road. “I was fortunate enough to have some good witnesses that called in violations and I was able to prosecute violators,” Minnich said. “Thanks to all the concerned citizens who take the time to call and report what they have witnessed.”

Lycoming County Game Warden Kristoffer Krebs reported that two individuals recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an October incident where two antlerless deer were killed through the use of an artificial light. A Linden area man was sentenced to pay fines totaling $2,200. A Jersey Shore area juvenile was ordered to pay fines totaling $2,100. The pair now face the revocation of their hunting and trapping privileges.

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reports that, with the help of witnesses, charges were filed against an Erie County man for shooting an antlered deer from the road. He then took the deer to his camp and attached his antlerless tag to the deer. The deer was scored by Law Enforcement Supervisor Rick Macklem with a Boone and Crockett green score of 1493⁄8 inches. Scoring more than 115 Boone and Crockett adds a trophy-class replacement cost of $5,000 to the fines.

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reports that shed hunting can start early this year. Several hunters reported that many bucks were already dropping their antlers during the rifle  deer season.

Potter County Game Warden Mark Fair reports seeing large numbers of beavers. The high water has revealed many new beaver dams on both private and public property. Many residents have complained about the high water on their properties due to recent beaver settlements.

Clinton County Game Warden Kirk Miller reports that, during the two-week firearms deer season, multiple individuals were cited for loaded firearms in motorized vehicles. Individuals face fines ranging from $100 to $300.

Land Management Group Supervisor Rodney Mee reports a local gas company requested he respond to a Wellsboro home where a 300-pound female black bear was denned under the back porch. While excavating its nest, it had bit through the main gas line feeding into the house. Mee eventually coaxed the bear from under the porch to allow the gas company workers to fix the dangerous leak. 

Lycoming County Game Warden Jonathan M. Wyant reminds successful hunters to submit their harvest reports. If every hunter reported deer harvests as required by law, there would be no need to estimate the annual harvest.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports that two individuals from out of state have been charged for the unlawful taking and possession of game and wildlife, hunting through the use of bait, and various other charges. 

Bedford County Game Warden Brandon Pfister reports that a Bedford County man has pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking game in a closed season. The defendant harvested two large bucks in archery season with a rifle. Fines totaled over $8,000 and he will lose his hunting privileges for at least six years. 

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that a man was cited for hunting without the required muzzleloader license during the flintlock season.  The man with whom he was hunting also was cited for having a loaded crossbow in a vehicle.

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that multiple citations are being filed for violations of removing high risk deer parts from Disease Management Areas and transporting them outside of those areas.

Mifflin County Game Warden Amanda M. Isett cited a group of people for killing a deer at night while using a spotlight.  

Snyder County Game Warden Harold J. Malehorn filed charges against an individual for one count of possession of a firearm prohibited by a felon, one count of felony flight to avoid apprehension, one misdemeanor count of flight to avoid apprehension, one count hunting under the influence of drugs or alcohol, one count resisting or interfering with an officer, two counts of attempting to take deer over the limit and one count of hunting without a license.

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