Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 14, 2020

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports increased illegal use of ATVs and off-road vehicles on game lands this spring. The ongoing illegal activity has caused damage to trails that are crucial to habitat crews and for emergency access. Enforcement efforts have increased, and violators have been cited when apprehended.

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports black bear sightings have come from every corner of the county. Most of these bears are just passing through and do not spend any significant time in one location. The first step in having the bears move off is to remove any food sources, such as birdfeeders and trash containers, from the area.

Fayette County Game Warden Charles T. Schuster reports a man was given a warning for blocking a gate on State Game Land 296.

Fayette County Game Warden Charles T. Schuster is investigating several motorized vehicles that were seen traveling on State Game Land 51 in Dunbar Township.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Game Warden Andy Harvey reports seeing multiple broods grouse on state game lands across Fayette County. “This has been the most I have ever seen,” he said.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Warden Andy Harvey reports an ATV detail in Fayette County produced 14 citations and 28 warnings for individuals operating motorized vehicles on Hunter Access properties in areas that are closed to such activities.  

Somerset County Game Warden Zachary Edwards reports that bear activity through the late spring and early summer will be heightened due to limited food supply and breading season. Pennsylvanians are likely to see an increase in bear sightings during these months as bears take advantage of easy food supplies such as birdfeeders and trash receptacles. As a reminder, it is advised that all trash cans are kept inside until the day of trash collection and special attention should be placed on dumpsters to “bear proof” them. Some collection companies offer bear-proof dumpsters that have reinforced lids or ways to lock the lids to keep bears out. If those are not available, chains or heavy pipes can sometimes be used to lock the lids.  Also, removing any and all food sources, including bird seed is advised if there is a known sighting of bears in the area. Most of the time these animals will move on to new areas within days after a food source has been completely removed.

Washington County Game Warden Adam Traynor reports individuals were cited at the State Game Land 245 rifle range for shooting at targets they had set up in the grass lanes. They were also in violation of exceeding the 6-round limit.

Washington County Game Warden Adam Traynor reports an individual was cited for unlawfully taking two white-tailed deer fawns. The fawns were discovered in a dog kennel in the individual’s yard. They were released and reunited with their mother.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a group of several Johnstown residents are being charged for the illegal use of the State Game Land 42 New Florence shooting range located off Furnace Road. These individuals failed to have the required valid hunting or furtaking license, or Game Commission-issued shooting range permit. They were loading and discharging more than the permitted number of rounds, shooting ammunition other than single-shot projectiles, shooting at targets other than ones posted on the provided backers, and shooting from an area other than the designated shooting stations. The defendants were made to clean up the debris from the illegal targets which included shattered glass bottles, plastic, and a tire mounted on a rim. Charges have been filed on all parties involved. Please be sure to respect all shooting-range regulations. They help protect their users and help minimize conflicts with local landowners.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Huntingdon County Game Warden Amy Nabozny recently caught a sow black bear in a culvert trap, leaving her three cubs running around outside the trap, calling to their mom. The sow was surprisingly super calm inside the trap, and appeared to be enjoying the time to herself. “That time was short-lived,” Nabozny said. “When I released her, she was immediately surrounded and almost tackled by her cubs waiting to feed. She just sat down and looked back as to say, ‘Well, back to this again.’”    

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that the State Game Land 230 shooting range has reopened. It is being patrolled regularly and violations, including shooting early on Sunday and failure to have the required hunting or furtaker license, or Game Commission-issued shooting range permit, are being addressed.  

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports there have been multiple incidents of people unlawfully possessing wildlife. These include raccoons, squirrels and fawns. “This type of interference often ends with an animal having to be tested to ensure there is no concern for disease transmission,” Wenrich said. “These animals must be left alone to remain wild.”

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that two men pleaded guilty to hunting on the Appalachian Trail during the spring turkey season. “This is considered a national park, where many people congregate, hike and run,” Wenrich said. “Hunting on the trail or its corridor is unsafe and unlawful.”

Cumberland County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports that a man pleaded guilty to unlawfully dumping trash on State Game Land 170.

Mifflin County Game Warden Amanda M. Isett cited two individuals for killing game with an unlawful device.  

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