Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 29, 2022

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Evan McDaniel reports a Pittsburgh resident received a warning for possessing a raccoon for a short time during a snowstorm. The public is reminded to leave all wildlife alone. Do not pick up or move wildlife.

Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties LMGS Dan Puhala reports that results already can be seen from early March prescribed fire activities. Areas burned on State Game Land 232 are becoming lush green areas already being used by wild turkeys.

Fayette County Game Warden Zachery Hay reports an increased amount of littering and ATV use. Operating ATVs on lands under control or jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is unlawful, and disrespectful to those using the lands or waters for hunting or furtaking activities. 

Fayette County Game Warden Zachery Hay reports the number of bear sightings and nuisance bear reports has increased with the warming weather. He urges homeowners to be cognizant of where they place their trash, and to take down birdfeeders if bears begin to disturb them. 

Greene County Game Warden Tanner Hazlett reports he is seeing increased signs of off-road vehicle activity on State Game Land 179 and is reminding individuals that it is unlawful to use off-road vehicles on game lands.

Indiana County Game Warden Ned Kimmel reports a recent Indiana County poaching case has been adjudicated. During the 2021 firearms deer season, a witness observed individuals’ road-hunting and subsequently shoot a trophy-class 11-point buck on their posted property. After collecting pertinent, identifiable information, the witness called the Game Commission. The suspects were interviewed, but their stories didn’t align. DNA evidence collected at the scene confirmed the buck was unlawfully killed on the posted property. Fines and costs of the case totaled over $4,800 for the two actors and will likely result in license revocation.

Somerset County Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a man was cited for using the range on State Game Land 50 without having a hunting license, furtaker license or range permit. The individual also was shooting and AR-15 with a 100-round drum magazine. This was well over the six-round maximum set by regulation.

Washington County Game Warden Adam Traynor reports three individuals have been charged with the unlawful killing of multiple deer during a road-hunting spree that spanned nearly three months. With the help of the Game Commission’s K-9 Unit, multiple deer, bolts and broadheads shot from the vehicle were recovered from the area.  

Washington County Game Warden Adam Traynor advises all users of the State Game Land 245 rifle range to read the rules and regulations prior to shooting. The regulations are posted on each bench, as well as on two bulletin boards.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports charges have been adjudicated against a Ligonier Township man stemming from multiple illegal deer that were taken during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Fines totaled $5,600 and with a potential license suspension of 15 years.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports a defendant entered a guilty plea for an illegally killed deer after a warrant was issued. 

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports warnings for ATVs on co-operative agreement properties have been given.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Lycoming County Game Warden Andrew Butler reports that many of the people he has been talking to on patrol have been finding lots of ticks on them while in the woods scouting and shed hunting. Take measures to prevent tick bites.

Potter County Game Warden Thomas Nelson reports an individual pleaded guilty to harvesting an antlerless deer without a license in Harrison Township during the firearms deer season.

Lycoming County Game Warden Harold Cole reports he started receiving calls in March about bears being seen near houses, getting into birdfeeders, garbage cans, compost piles, pet food and other food sources they can take advantage of.  

Centre County Game Warden Tyler Hegedus reports there have been multiple reports of bears getting into trash and birdfeeders. He reminds homeowners to remove any food sources left outside and keep trash inside until the morning.

Potter County Game Warden Blaine Groshek reports he’s seen increased wildlife activity with warming weather. Deer are moving to green fields. Smaller mammals such as raccoons, opossums and foxes are being spotted more often. Also, there’s an increase in beaver activity as they repair dams and lodges damaged by spring flooding. 

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reports a Smethport man pleaded guilty to shooting a deer from the vehicle.

McKean County Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig reminds hunters, with spring turkey season nearly here, to always identify their target and what’s beyond. 

Clearfield County Game Warden Thomas Henry reports individuals have been cited for ATV use on game lands, leaving traps out past close of season, feeding cervids in a CWD area, and leaving treestands on game lands.

Tioga County Game Warden Richard C. Lee reports that an individual pleaded guilty to hunting over bait on Sunday without a license back in October. 

Tioga County Game Warden Richard C. Lee reminds hunters that spring gobbler season is right around the corner, and urges them to scout. State game lands and state forests are great places to start, he said.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports participating a license revocation hearing involving a person who alighted from a vehicle and killed a deer along a public roadway. The defendant received two years of license suspension due to his actions.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports the popularity of searching for elk antlers is on the increase. The rising cost of fuel has not interfered with people participating in this activity, he said.

Clearfield County Game Warden Mark Gritzer reports a total of 96 turkeys were banded as part of the agency survival study. Sixty-five males and 31 females were captured at 10 sites. Hunters heading into the field for spring turkey hunting should be sure to report banded birds they harvest by following the directions on the band. This aspect of reporting is a critical component to the research.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Adams County Game Warden Taylor Knash reports that many people have been out scouting for turkeys in preparation for the spring turkey season. 

Bedford County Game Warden Austin Adams reports two people were warned for possessing raccoons and four people were warned for not wearing life jackets during the cold weather season. 

Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports the propagation area on State Game Land 169 is in effect. Visitors and hunters should become familiar with these boundaries as entry into this area is prohibited due to nesting waterfowl.  

Perry County Game Warden Michael Smith reports two individuals were cited for shooting a deer out of season in March. Another individual was cited for an untagged deer stemming from an ongoing investigation. Bear complaints also have been increasing in the county. 

York County Game Warden Scott Brookens reports a whitetail doe was shot from a roadway and wounded in Washington Township, York County. The deer was shot through the nose in front of the eye. The shot was not fatal, but incapacitated the deer. Officers responded after a caller reported the injured deer. 

York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports increased activity on state game lands with the warmer temperatures. 

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County Game Warden David Van Solkema warned an individual for disturbing an eagle’s nest to get better photos. The violation was reported to the Game Commission by phone and photos of the individual and his vehicle’s license plate were sent by email, as well. 

Lackawanna County Game Warden Benjamin Johnson reports encountering an individual consuming alcohol on state game lands. The public is reminded it is unlawful to possess alcohol on game lands. 

Luzerne County Game Warden Andrew Macko reports warming temperatures have brought a major increase in observed ATV activity on state game lands and Hunter Access properties. As a reminder, it is illegal to ride any motorized vehicle on state game lands or cooperator properties without the required disability placard. Wardens will be conducting more law-enforcement activities focusing on ATV activity.  

Luzerne County Game Warden Dale Ambosie reports participating in a successful turkey trapping season where important information and data were collected.  The results will be closely monitored by the biologists and compared to other years. 

Luzerne County Game Warden Dale Ambosie reports increased patrols of state game lands where illegal dumping and littering is common. 

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