Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 30, 2019

From the Game Commission

Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports that an investigation is ongoing involving trash and other items that were dumped on game lands. Several items that were found have names and addresses on them. 

Fulton County Game Warden Justin Klugh reports that even though there were multiple attempts to let the public know about the illegality of picking up and possessing wildlife this past spring, he had to investigate two such incidents in a month.

Bedford County Game Warden Jeremy Coughenour reports that a Buffalo Mills teenager has pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful taking or possession of wildlife and one count of unlawful acts concerning licenses. Information that was provided to wardens was enough for a search warrant of the teen’s residence and cellphone. It was discovered that he unlawfully killed a great blue heron, green heron, turkey vulture, raccoon, and a dove. He also possessed a live fawn taken from the wild. The teen’s hunting privileges are already suspended until 2024.

York County Game Warden Scott Brookens reports that several individuals have been cited for causing damage to the State Game Land 242 shooting range by using buckshot to shoot the frames.

Perry County Game Warden Kevin P. Anderson Jr. reports that volunteer trash cleanup was completed on State Game Land 170, off Idle Road. 

Blair and Huntingdon counties LMO Chris Skipper reports there have been two recent events of vandalism – spray-painting rocks and an information kiosk at the “1,000 steps” area of State Game Land 112 outside of Mount Union. The vandals have not been caught yet, and if anyone has any information in regard to this case, please contact the Southcentral Region Office at 814-643-1831. Members of the Standing Stone Trail Club removed  the graffiti.

York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports a Delta man pleaded guilty to a 2018 incident of hunting deer out of season and hunting without a license.  

Juniata County Game Warden Eric Kelly reports charges pending against multiple individuals for unlawfully operating vehicles on state game lands.

From the Game Commission

Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada reports a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator permittee pleaded guilty to four citations in June for failing to have his employees take the Game Commission’s Nuisance Wildlife certification exam and for failing to dispatch wildlife within the required timespan. Before someone is issued a Nuisance Wildlife Control permit, they must pass an examination on proper trapping techniques, laws and regulations, and wildlife identification. The permit holder had employed multiple individuals and allowed them to trap and kill nuisance wildlife without taking the exam or listing them on his permit. Some of the workers were also knowingly leaving animals in live traps until they died.

Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada issued several citations to individuals for using the State Game Land 43 rifle range without a valid hunting license or shooting range permit. One or the other is required of all shooters at the range, and each license or permit holder is allowed one guest.

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett is investigating two separate reports of youths harassing wildlife. The first occurred at the Nockamixon State Park pool, where an injured turkey was being chased in a fenced in area. The second report occurred during the Fourth of July holiday. An anonymous call was sent in to Operation Game Thief regarding teenagers shooting at geese on a pond outside of Quakertown during a holiday party. 

Bucks County Game Warden Tyler Barnes has been out on the Delaware River assisting the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. While on the river, they have encountered many boating violations. Multiple citations have been filed throughout the month.

Bucks County Game Warden Tyler Barnes and Philadelphia Game Warden Jerrold Czech were in Philadelphia dealing with a bear complaint. While searching the woods for the bear, they came across an individual rummaging through a purse. They detained the individual and with assistance from Philadelphia Police deemed the individual needed medical attention. He was transported to Einstein medical center for treatment.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports that the State Game Land 43 rifle range has completed renovations that included construction of a shelter over the firing stations, the addition of a 25-yard berm and firing points, rebuilding all berms and target points, and the regrading of the road. Users must recognize the importance of keeping the range in a good state by following all posted regulations, picking up trash (including targets and shell casings) when done firing and refraining from any actions that will damage structures. 

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports that a law-enforcement detail was held on the July 4 holiday, focusing on abuse of State Game Land 43. Nine Game Commission officers participated to provide a strong law-enforcement presence throughout the day. Eleven citations were filed, with violations encountered including possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on game lands, spray-painting graffiti, and various rifle range violations.

Dauphin County Game Warden Mike Doherty reports a Hershey man was apprehended when he shot a coyote from his treestand, without possessing a license, while using a semi-automatic handgun. Four years ago, the same man received an Operation Game Thief cash reward when he helped Doherty catch a poacher. 

Dauphin County Game Warden Mike Doherty issued two citations and three warnings for people camping illegally on State Game Land 211.

Delaware County Deputy Game Warden William Cosenza sends a reminder now that antler growth is underway. It is unlawful to take and/or possess parts of game animals without notifying your local Game Commission office or Game Warden. Every year there are many cases of game animals missing body parts, most commonly road-killed deer with missing antlers or entire heads. If you see someone taking game or parts, please report any information on the actors you can safely gather. This helps us determine whether or not the involved person(s) followed legal requirements. Pennsylvania residents may apply for a free permit to retain the edible portions of any deer, but the Game Commission must be contacted within 24 hours. Game harvest tags may not be used in these situations. If one wishes to retain the non-edible parts, for example antlers, the agency must be contacted to apply for a Sale of Wildlife permit. 

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek reports Lancaster County Game Warden Deputies Justin Brian and Jack Bennett, with the assistance of West Hempfield Township Police, investigated a case in which multiple individuals were spotting for game or wildlife after 11 p.m. with a crossbow in their vehicle. Multiple charges have been filed.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek has been investigating numerous cases of unauthorized vehicle usage on State Game Land 156.

 Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek had to euthanize a raccoon that had been handled by numerous people, in order to have it tested for rabies. The animal tested negative for rabies.  

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports he and Game Warden Daniel Gibble apprehended three individuals on State Game Land 46 who were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Seized were five bottles of liquor, multiple containers of marijuana, anti-depressant pills, various drug paraphernalia and crystal meth. The female involved wanted leniency stating, “I have three kids at home.” 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports investigating a Hunting Related Shooting Incident where a juvenile engaged in unlawful trapping activities injured a friend while shooting at a raccoon they’d trapped with archery equipment. Charges are pending.

Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble reports citing an individual for not removing his treestand from state game lands, causing damage to the tree as it grew.   

Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble cited an individual with trapping out of season and interfering with an active Canada goose nest.   

Northampton County Game Warden Bradley Kreider reports that, with social media, buying and selling items is quick and easy. Warden Kreider warns, “PGC Wardens do track these medias for the illegal commercialization (buying, selling trading or bartering) wildlife and wildlife parts, and vigorously investigate and prosecute these wildlife crimes.”

Northampton County Game Warden Bradley Kreider reports several individuals have been given courtesy warnings about feeding bears and asked to discontinue their handouts. Especially since the bears are creating problems for neighbors. 

Montgomery County Game Warden Raymond Madden reports multiple citations were issued for the unlawful possession of alcohol on state game lands, vandalism of property, and unlawfully riding horses through the planted fields where no horseback riding is allowed. Many of these cases have been finalized with some awaiting court dates.

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that charges are pending against an individual from Hegins for trapping out of season. A live raccoon was recently discovered in a foothold trap near Brandonville where it was released unharmed. 

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that an environmental agency conducting a bald eagle study in Hegins Township recently pleaded guilty to charges related to disturbing an active eagle nest. The agency was hired by an energy company to conduct the study, but their actions were invasive to the point that it caused the pair of eagles to abandon the nest.

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