Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 31, 2020

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Clinton County Game Warden Kirk Miller reports a Clinton County resident faces up to $200 in fines for feeding a black bear. 

Land Manager Eric Erdman reports a road upgrade recently was completed on State Game Land 295 with partial financial assistance from the Clinton County Conservation District’s Dirt and Gravel Road program. Located mostly in Clinton County, near Lamar, State Game Land 295 has several access points, but few exist on the north side. The local habitat crew worked on the quarter-mile stretch of Bluebird Lane that provides access, and extended the road. A parking lot now exists at the end of the road. “This seasonal access road has been an issue since the 1980s, and I’m glad to report the problem is now fixed,” Erdman said.      

Lycoming County Game Warden Harold Cole reports he still hears comments from people who think summer is a slow time of year for game wardens, but that’s not the case. While many people see wardens patrolling during hunting seasons, what they don’t see are all of the phone calls wardens return, the special permits that require inspection by wardens, the training that is completed, or the carrying out of most of the other duties wardens have. 

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reports investigating illegal dumping on Hunter Access property.

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reports that wildlife food sources are abundant this year. “I am already seeing a ton of bears and some whitetails with impressive racks,” he said.

Lycoming County Game Warden Jonathan M. Wyant reports that several citations have been issued to people picking up young wildlife and trying to raise on their own. “Not only is this illegal, it’s dangerous and likely will result in the animal dying,” Wyant said.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports a road-killed deer found in Burnside Township, Clearfield County, came back positive for chronic wasting disease.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports that an elk hunter and two guides were found guilty for killing a bull elk illegally in September 2019. The guides conspired in locating the elk by vehicle, and the hunter shot the animal within 25 yards of the road after alighting from a motor vehicle. Total costs, including fines and the replacement cost for the elk, are more than $10,700.

Tioga County Game Warden Thomas Nelson reports that, in order to prevent nuisance-bear issues, it’s important to clean up any food sources that are easily accessible to bears. 

Tioga County Game Warden Michael Smith reports ATV drivers continued to ride unlawfully on state game lands after the COVID-19 stay-at-home order was lifted. Citations will continue to be written.

Land Management Group Supervisor Rodney Mee reports that three new bridges have been installed on State Game Land 114 in Lycoming County. The complete Dirt and Gravel Road Program project should be complete in July, providing a much-needed makeover. “The road should be great to drive on and more friendly to the adjacent Larry’s Creek trout waters,” he said.

Land Management Group Supervisor Rodney Mee reports that, during the first three weeks in August, the Army’s 333rd Engineering Company will be operating on State Game Land 134 in Proctor, Lycoming County. The unit will be conducting training operations there, which will assist the Game Commission in removing the old levee that protected the former Northcentral Game Farm.  The levee material will be used to help improve Huckle Run Road on the same game lands. The operation will help offset over $135,000 in costs, bringing a great benefit to Plunkett’s Creek, the landowners downstream and to the improved habitat around the creek.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Luzerne County Game Warden Justin Faus cited an individual on State Game Land 91 for dumping household trash, resulting in a guilty plea and a $500 fine, plus court costs.

Bradford County Game Warden Blake Barth reports conducting several investigations and issuing citations for numerous state game lands violations that occurred in May and June. Most violations stemmed from unauthorized use of motorized vehicles on state game lands.

Columbia County Game Warden Rick Deiterich reports issuing several warnings at the State Game Land 58 shooting range to shooters without valid hunting licenses or range-use permits in their possession. 

Wayne County Game Warden Adriel Douglass reports that citations were filed against people who took possession of live wildlife. “Please leave sick, injured or orphaned animals alone and contact the nearest Game Commission Region Office for direction,” said Douglass. 

Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports that only a few minor violations were encountered during a patrol detail in Sullivan and Bradford counties over the July 4 weekend.

Bradford County Game Warden Mike Goodenow reports that an individual faces charges for unlawfully discarding several bags of deer parts and other material on private property.

Susquehanna County Game Warden Ben Rebuck reports citing an individual for dumping garbage on state game lands in his district.

Pike County Game Warden Patrick Sowers reports seeing an increase in spray-paint vandalism on State Game Land 180. Anyone witnessing persons causing damage to state game lands is asked to contact the nearest Game Commission region office. 

Susquehanna County Game Warden Mike Webb anticipates a good bear season based on his observations. “Bears are showing up in areas where they are not typically seen or hunted, including areas around Susquehanna and Oakland boroughs,” said Webb. “Susquehanna County traditionally has had a high number of bears and low number of bear hunters.”  

Monroe County Game Warden Praveed Abraham reports investigating a major trash dumping violation that occurred on State Game Land 91. 

Monroe County Game Warden Praveed Abraham reminds the public that their 2019-20 shooting-range permits expire on Aug. 1. 

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Berks County Game Warden Ryan Zawada reports an increase of state game lands violations during the time of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Several dumping cases on State Game Lands 280 (Blue Marsh Lake) were investigated throughout the month of June.

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports continued illegal use of a cultivated field as a clay-bird range on State Game Land 196, despite increased patrols of the area. Anyone who witnesses those shooting clay birds outside of designated areas is asked to report the activity to the Southeast Region Office. 

Chester County Game Warden Keith Mullin reports that, after lengthy delay due to the coronavirus, hearings were held at local district courts where two hunters were found guilty of license violations while waterfowl hunting. Another hunter pleaded guilty to license violations while waterfowl hunting.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek retrieved a downy woodpecker that had been stuck in spotted lanternfly tape wrapped around a tree. Unfortunately, the bird did not survive.  

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek, with the assistance of two Good Samaritans, used a rope to climb down into an old building foundation and rescue a fawn that had been trapped. Getting out was harder than getting in.  

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports encountering a reduced number of state game lands violations now that many people are back to work. Unfortunately, there are still violations being detected and handled with citations or warnings. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham has received multiple reports of black bears in his district. The downside of an increased bear population is the increase in the number of bears that make their way into Lancaster County. Please report Lancaster County bear sightings to the Southeast Region Office. Safety of the public is top priority, and the Game Commission would like to safeguard the bear as well.

Montgomery County Game Warden Raymond Madden reports multiple state game lands violations are now being handled in court. Violations included damage to gates, littering, and range violations. 

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that an individual from Frackville recently pleaded guilty to safety-zone and property-damage violations as the result of an incident during the general firearms deer season. During the investigation, it was determined that the hunter shot multiple rounds at antlerless deer with the closest being approximately 34 yards from an occupied residence near Pine Grove. One of the rounds struck a window frame at the residence. In addition to the court-ordered fines, restitution also was ordered to pay for the damage.  

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