Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 18, 2020

From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Zeb Campbell reports encountering many hunters who had not checked their shotguns for plugs before heading afield. All shotguns used for small game and waterfowl should be plugged to allow only two shells in the tube. Not having a plug is a violation.  

Allegheny County Game Warden Zeb Campbell reports a case where someone shot a turkey in a safety zone and did not properly tag the bird, resulting in over $350 worth of fines. A reminder that a safety zone is established around the person’s house even if they do not own the property.  

Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties LMGS Dan Puhala reports several individuals are facing charges related to pheasant-hunting violations. While working with Washington County Game Warden Daniel Sitler, Puhala apprehended three individuals who shot birds as they were flying off the stocking truck while within 150 yards of the truck. This is considered a safety zone and was enforced as such. Two of the individuals had already gotten their limit at another location that was stocked earlier that day. A safety-zone violation carries a fine of up to $500, plus court costs. The two individuals who were over their bag limits face up to $1,100 each in fines for the several charges they face. These types of unsafe actions demonstrate a flagrant disregard for the law, hunting ethics, and most importantly, the safety of the habitat crews stocking birds. The actions of these individuals are unacceptable and will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law, he said. 

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports the rainy, windy weather limited participation on the Sunday, Nov. 15, archery deer hunting day. The few hunters who braved the elements did appreciate the opportunity to be afield.

Fayette County Game Warden Brandon Bonin Reports an operator of an ATV pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor and four summary charges after resisting arrest and fleeing on a Polaris side-by-side. These charges stem from a foot patrol on State Game Land 51.

Fayette County Game Warden Brandon Bonin reports an investigation revealed a Greene County hunter unlawfully killed a black bear and an 8-point buck through the use of bait.

Fayette County Game Warden Brandon Bonin charged a Fayette County man with reckless endangerment of another person after he recklessly operated his Ford Super Duty truck in a construction zone on a state road. The individual accepted a plea agreement.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Chris Bergman reports a man pleaded guilty to charges of having a loaded crossbow on the backseat of a vehicle. Warden Bergman and Cadet Scaer encountered the violation in a state game lands parking lot.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Chris Bergman reports charges were filed against an individual for unlawful taking of game or wildlife. The man shot a protected deer and tagged it as an antlerless deer.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports a Ligonier Township man has been charged for killing an antlerless deer through the use of bait on the opening day of the statewide archery season. In addition to the charges for the illegal deer, the defendant was charged for placing feed out inside of Disease Management Area 2.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports charges have been filed against a Unity Township man for failure to tag a harvested antlerless deer. As a reminder to successful hunters, harvest tags must be completed fully and attached to big-game animals, according to the instructions on the tag, prior to moving the animal.

From the Game Commission

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports she investigated several illegally baited areas and handled trespass issues through the first few weeks of the Special Regulations archery season. 

Berks County Game Warden Ryan Zawada and Deputy Game Warden Jason Smith performed field checks on more than 100 pheasant hunters on the opening day of pheasant season at State Game Land 280. Hunter compliance was generally good, but several violations were detected for failure to possess a pheasant permit and hunting with unplugged shotguns.

Berks County Game Warden Ryan Zawada issued citations to a Cumru Township man for unlawfully possessing two deer. He had killed a doe and a buck on his property and butchered them without ever tagging the animals. He also did not have a valid antlerless tag for the WMU. The man pleaded guilty to all charges and faces six years of hunting license revocation.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports that a Downingtown man recently was found in possession of a live squirrel kept as a pet. The same individual was cited for possessing a live fawn in 2018. Since he had never responded to the court summons for the 2018 violation, he was served a warrant for that charge, then a new citation was filed for the 2020 squirrel violation.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek investigated an incident in which a 15-year-old who did not possess a hunting license and had never taken a Hunter-Trapper Education class, shot squirrels and a blue jay.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek reports Deputy Game Warden John Bennett found two individuals hunting pheasants with unplugged shotguns. He also found an individual pheasant hunting without wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange-colored clothing. Citations have been filed in those cases.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek reports Deputy Game Warden Justin Brian checked a duck hunter using lead shot; he also checked another duck hunter who had not purchased the required Migratory Game Bird License. Citations have been filed.

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham along with other PGC and PF&BC officers participated in a boat detail on the Susquehanna River on the first day of early duck season. Compliance was excellent, with few violations encountered.

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham received a report of mistake kill by a 58-year-old hunter who admitted to not looking at the head of the deer before he shot. During the investigation it was discovered the hunter had never completed the mandatory Hunter-Trapper Education and was not wearing orange while hunting with a muzzleloader. Charges are pending.

Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble reports citing an individual for using a vehicle to locate game, hunting in a safety zone, hunting without the required license, and parking in front of a gate posted, “do not park in front of gate.”

Montgomery County Game Warden Raymond Madden reports prosecuting multiple court cases where the primary violation was violating safety-zone requirements. “This year we had many issues where people were hunting too close to homes or shooting in unsafe directions,” Madden said. “All were found guilty.”

Northampton County Game Warden Brad Kreider reports that baited treestands and blinds still are reported by hunters. “There are many new baits/food sources on the market that are designed to blend in with surrounding area, but easily are found by wildlife,” Kreider said. “Game Wardens do keep up to date with these new baits.”

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that criminal charges are pending against an individual from Pottsville. During a traffic stop, it was discovered that there was an active warrant for the person. Additionally, he was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.   

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