Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 28, 2020
From the Game Commission
Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Puhala reports many state game lands shooting-range violations were encountered just after the holiday seasons. These included using the range without a hunting or furtaker license or range permit, shooting plastic jugs, shooting boxes, shooting clay birds, using shotguns with fine shot, shooting at targets not attached to the backstops, and loading and shooting more rounds than permitted. These actions can carry up to a $200 fine per violation, plus court costs.
Allegheny County Game Warden Zeb Campbell reports a deer hunter harvested an antlerless deer in a safety zone and without wearing any blaze orange. The deer was confiscated, and the hunter received fines of over $650.
Allegheny County Game Warden Zeb Campbell reports a hunter shot a turkey out his back door, within the safety zone of another dwelling. The turkey was shot over bait with buckshot and was not properly tagged. The turkey was confiscated, and the hunter received fines over $500.
Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports that, during the two-week regular firearms deer season, loaded firearms either in, lying on or leaning against vehicles were among the violations most frequently encountered. Other common violations were hunting without wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange or hunting from a blind without displaying 100 square inches of orange within 15 feet of the blind. Eleven individuals were charged and pleaded guilty to the loaded firearm charges while six were charged with the orange violations.
Fayette and Greene counties Land Management Group Supervisor Stephen A. Leiendecker reports that, as a result of four years of negotiations, Contura Coal Company has conveyed 149 acres to the Game Commission in Greene County. Due to proposed future mining operations off game lands, the company is required to enhance wildlife habitat elsewhere. This habitat work, also known as mitigation work, will be performed on State Game Lands 223 in Greene County. Instead of charging the company for the surface disturbances related to the mitigation project, the agency will receive the additional acreage. The new acreage adjoins State Game Land 223 in Whiteley Township and State Game Land 179 in Jackson Township, and varies from flooded stream bottoms to hardwood ridges. The new property was conveyed to the agency at no cost and will include a stream-improvement project, improved hunter access and the creation of five additional acres of wetlands. Contura also has 8,000 acres currently enrolled in the Hunter Access Program.
Fayette County Game Warden Charles T. Schuster reports a man was cited for a safety-zone violation while he was Canada goose hunting.
Fayette County Game Warden Charles T. Schuster reports two men were cited for the unlawful harvest of a white-tailed deer.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that with the mild winter weather conditions, wildlife is abundantly observed while on patrol. Deer and turkeys have been seen daily, and the occasional pheasant is observed.
Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports recent investigations have concluded regarding the illegal killing and transport of a white-tailed buck during the archery deer season. Information was provided through Operation Game Thief. This program is invaluable in prosecuting game-law violations.
Washington County Game Warden Adam Traynor reports there has been an increase in violations regarding traps visible from the air. Baiting traps in this fashion is unlawful and poses a great danger to raptors and other birds.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Chris Bergman reports investigations are underway in Rostraver and Sewickley townships for multiple violations including unlawful possession of big game, illegal trapping and illegal dumping.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual chose to enter a plea of guilty prior to his hearing for hunting deer with a centerfire handgun in the Allegheny County Special Regulations Area.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual pleaded guilty prior to a hearing for the unlawful possession of a trophy class 16-point buck head.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports that Deputy Game Warden Stan Marchlewski found an individual hunting within the safety zone of several buildings associated with Northmoreland Park. A guilty plea was accepted and fines imposed.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Unity Township female is being charged with littering on Hunter Access property located on Derry Ridge.
Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Ligonier Township man has been charged for feeding deer in a Disease Management Area. The subject was warned for this same violation just two months prior.
From the Game Commission
Columbia County Game Warden Rick Deiterich reports that two Bloomsburg men were cited for failing to wear the required amount of fluorescent orange while small-game hunting and for having an unplugged shotgun that was loaded with rounds at the time it was checked.
Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports that several violations were uncovered involving unlawfully set cable restraints in the Loyalsock State Forest. “Cable-restraint regulations are based on Best Management Practices to assure these devices are used properly, and illegal use will not be tolerated,” said Finnegan. Investigation is ongoing.
Lackawanna County Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County man recently entered a guilty plea for the unlawful taking and killing of two black bears during the muzzleloader bear season. Total fines were over $6,000 and the violator faces six years of hunting license revocation.
Lackawanna County Game Warden Aaron Morrow reports that a Chester County man was charged with unlawfully harvesting a black bear through the use of bait. The individual placed bacon grease on a rock as enticement. He was found guilty and fines of over $1,500 were over assessed. The violator faces three years of hunting license revocation.
Montour and Northumberland counties Game Warden Jared Turner reports individuals doing “donuts” and causing damage the gravel parking area at the end of State Game Lands Road on State Game Lands 115 in Danville. Anyone with information is asked to call the Northeast Region Office at 570-675-1143.
From the Game Commission
Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada reports that, thanks to a tip, he was able to file charges for hunting through the use of bait on State Game Land 110. The hunter, a Manheim resident, had shot two does, neither of which was tagged, when he was encountered. He only had two doe licenses for the WMU, and he admitted he’d already shot one doe earlier in the firearms season. All deer were seized, and 11 citations were filed. The defendant faces fines of more than $6,500 and up to seven years of hunting license revocation.
Bucks County Game Warden Tyler Barnes reports he cited three Delaware River waterfowl hunters for not having duck stamps and migratory bird licenses, using unplugged shotguns, and hunting waterfowl after legal shooting hours.
Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports filing charges against two individuals who were hunting in the antlerless-only Special Regulations Area shotgun season without required antlerless deer licenses.
Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports that a Lancaster County hunter was charged with unlawful possession and transport for removing high-risk deer parts from CWD Disease Management Area 2. The deer, including the high-risk head and backbone, was found at a Chester County processor. Because this was the hunter’s third violation relating to removing high-risk parts from a DMA, he was assessed the maximum fine of $800 and received license revocation for the offense.
Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble reports investigating several ATV issues. Signs declaring “Closed to Motorized Vehicles” apply to ATVs.
Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek is conducting follow-up investigations from last deer season, as well as investigating a dumping incident on State Game Land 156.
Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek recovered a juvenile red-shouldered hawk that was unable to fly. It was taken to a permitted wildlife-rehabilitation facility where it is being monitored.
Northampton County Game Warden Bradley Kreider reports all court cases have been adjudicated for the 2019 fall hunting seasons. Most of these contested cases involved hunting over bait and trespassing.
Montgomery County Game Warden Raymond Madden reports, multiple court hearings were concluded. The violations involved loaded firearms inside of vehicles. All cases led to a guilty verdict.
Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that a Tremont resident recently pleaded guilty to unlawful taking or possession of wildlife after killing a protected buck and making no attempt to report it as a mistake kill. An area resident observed the deer in the individual’s backyard and reported the violation.