Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 24, 2022

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Evan McDaniel reports two individuals were charged for illegally killing a gobbler during the spring turkey season. The turkeys were seized from the individuals, and they both pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Puhala reports two separate woodcock nests were found on the same day at State Game Land 285. While conducting a site visit, one active nest and another with the eggs hatched were discovered. “It is exciting to see these interesting birds nest on this game lands in an old strip mine area,” Puhala said. 

Fayette County Game Warden Zachery Hay reports a Perry Township resident will be cited for unlawfully possessing a raccoon, which escaped from an enclosure and bit another person. The raccoon tested for negative for rabies.

Somerset County Game Warden Ned Kimmel reports bear complaints and sightings are on the rise in northern Somerset County. Residents with nuisance bear problems should remove all food sources first, for at least one to two weeks. Often the bears will move on. Game wardens have a limited number of traps to use for nuisance issues. Call the Game Commission to speak to an officer about steps that you can take to mitigate any bear issues.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reminds groundhog hunters they always must wear a hat containing at least 100 square inches of fluorescent orange material while hunting.  

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reminds those operating UTVs, ATVs and dirt bikes that riding is prohibited on state game lands and enrolled Hunter Access properties.    

Somerset County Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a Pittsburgh man was found guilty at his summary appeal hearing for operating his vehicle on a road closed to vehicles. While doing so, he interrupted a hunter who had parked in the appropriate parking area and walked to his hunting spot.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports that while checking a hunter who had finished for the day, he discovered the hunter’s shotgun was not plugged to the 3-shell maximum.  A warning was issued.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports charges have been filed against a St. Clair Township man for unlawfully operating of a motorized vehicle on State Game Land 42 off Sugar Run Road.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Adams County Game Warden Taylor Knash reports that two spring turkey hunters harvested turkeys with six and five beards. 

Cumberland County Game Warden John Fetchkan reports that, in early May, a good number of spring gobbler hunters were encountered, but the number drastically dropped during the second half of the month.   

Juniata County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports charges were filed in a case involving an unlawfully taken deer, littering and several violations related to state forest regulations. 

Juniata County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports charges were filed against an individual who failed to check a live trap and release the wildlife that was captured in it. 

Juniata County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports multiple incidents where fawns were removed from the wild unnecessarily, with the person who did it believing the doe was dead since it wasn’t in the immediate area. 

Juniata County Game Warden Timothy L. Wenrich reports charges were filed for state game lands violations involving driving on closed roads. 

York County Game Warden Scott Brookens reports continued damage to the State Game Land 242 range. Anyone witnessing users purposely damaging the shooting pavilion are encouraged to get pictures of the suspect’s license plate and report it when they safely can. 

York County Game Warden Justin Ritter reports two individuals were charged for unlawfully camping on Hunter Access property. 

Perry County Game Warden Michael Smith is seeking places to place bear traps for research this summer. “Although my quota is only a few bears here in Perry County, I still need to catch them,” he said. 

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Columbia County Game Warden Justin Faus reports a detail was conducted on Pagnotti Hunter Access property near Centralia, resulting in 21 citations and 28 warnings.   

Columbia County Game Warden Jake Klinger recently ran an ATV/UTV detail on Pagnotti Hunter Access property (Graffiti Highway) in Centralia. This property is in an agreement with the Game Commission and follows the same rules as state game lands. Klinger reminds everyone that state game lands and Hunter Access properties are closed to motorized vehicles and if you don’t have direct permission to ride an ATV/UTV there, or don’t know where you’re at, you should not be riding there.

Lackawanna County Game Warden Benjamin Johnson reports individuals have been feeding black bears, which is unlawful statewide.

Lackawanna Game Warden Eric Kelly reports charges pending against two individuals for vandalism on State Game Land 300.

Luzerne County Game Warden Andrew Macko reminds homeowners it is legal to live trap nuisance wildlife and relocate to state game lands, however, the trap must be checked every 36 hours. In addition, no poison shall be used to entice/kill the wildlife.  

Luzerne County Game Warden David Van Solkema reminds everyone that state game lands shooting ranges are a great asset for the public. “Please pick up after yourselves and make sure to follow the rules and regulations for those ranges so they can be enjoyed for many more to come,” Van Solkema said. 

Montour and Northumberland counties Game Warden Jared Turner reported several juveniles were stopped for unlawfully riding ATVs on State Game Land 325, near Muncy. These individuals were driving around gates, creating ruts in the roads and causing damage to the gravel parking lot surfaces.

Northumberland County Game Warden Michael Workman reports encountering successful turkey hunters in the field this year. “I would like to note the positive encounters and congratulate all those practicing safe turkey hunting ethics the past month,” he said.

Pike County Game Warden Patrick Sowers assisted state police and other agencies in the seizure and destruction of a large amount of illegal drugs.

Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports that, at a recent revocation hearing, an individual received a three-year hunting license revocation for killing a black bear in a baited area and also within a safety zone.

Susquehanna County Game Warden Ben Rebuck reports investigating turkeys being hunted through the use of bait.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada recently charged a Spring Township man for setting a body-gripping trap in his backyard over a fox den. The trap subsequently caught a red fox pup.

Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada reports attending numerous license-revocation hearings stemming from violations in the 2021-22 hunting season, noting there were many more than previous years.

Berks County Game Warden Alexander Murray reports an Oley Township man was cited for harvesting a fox without first purchasing a furtaker license. The man was also cited for discharging a firearm in a safety zone. 

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports looking for information about several sets of large white-tailed deer antlers that were dumped at the ponds by the brickyard in Richland Township, Bucks County, in late March 2022. Anyone with information is urged to call the Southeast Region at 1-833-PGC-HUNT.

Bucks County Game Warden Hannah Robinson is investigating an incident where two Canada geese where shot with a bow in Doylestown Township.

Bucks County Game Warden Hannah Robinson is investigating the illegal trapping of raccoons in her district.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports citing two men, one from Reading and one from Illinois, for killing a 9-inch spike, which did not meet antler restrictions, during the regular firearms deer season and transporting it. The Illinois hunter claimed he was unaware of Pennsylvania’s antler restrictions. The Pennsylvania resident he was hunting with also was charged as he transported the deer to a local butcher shop for the hunter.

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports charging two Maryland men for transporting three deer, including critical parts, to a butcher shop in Pennsylvania. The deer were harvested in Maryland and brought across the state boundary contrary to the export ban placed on importing the critical parts of cervids into the commonwealth from other states and provinces. One of the hunters was also charged for purchasing a resident Pennsylvania hunting license while being a resident of Maryland.

Chester County Game Warden Zachary Salsgiver reports, “on the opening day of spring turkey season, I was patrolling southern Chester County when I noticed two hunters exiting the woods with a turkey. The hunters harvested a beautiful mature tom that morning, unfortunately they failed to properly tag the bird before leaving the woods.”

Chester County Game Warden Zachary Salsgiver reports that, on Memorial Day weekend, he worked on a detail on State Game Land 43 in Chester County, detecting multiple violations and helping ensure the game lands are being used for their intended purpose.

Dauphin County Game Warden Zach Soles reports two individuals attempted to poach a turkey on the opening day of the statewide season. The vehicle used was described as a silver Toyota sedan. No other information was given to help identify the violators. The K-9 unit was deployed in the area of where the incident took place to recover evidence. This investigation is still ongoing.

Dauphin County Game Warden Zach Soles reports receiving information that a large group of people were walking into the game lands with tents and supplies. After locating the party as they were trying to set up a campsite, Warden Soles informed the group it is unlawful to camp on state game lands and had them clean everything up and leave. 

Dauphin County Game Warden Russell Kreider reports that three individuals were found guilty at a summary trial of the illegal killing two white-tailed deer in January. 

Delaware County Game Warden Nicholas Visser reports that, while responding to an injured bird of prey on I-95, he witnessed a vehicle hit the exit ramp barrier and fly across two lanes of traffic. The vehicle was facing backward on I-95 and the driver appeared to have minor injuries. Visser contacted EMS and state police and provided assistance to the driver of the car 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham and Deputy Warden Torrey Landis investigated a trespass complaint where a hunter placed a trail camera on a neighbor’s property and then hunted there. The hunter admitted to the violation, and charges are pending. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports investigating eight separate fires on game lands have been extinguished by local fire departments and Game Commission personnel. The investigation is ongoing.

Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble reports charging a Lancaster County resident for killing two fox pups with body-gripping traps. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Daniel Gibble reports charging a Lancaster County resident for possessing a squirrel. 

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek cited individuals for spray-painting rocks on State Game Land 156. Other individuals were cited for possessing spray paint cans on State Game Land 156.

Lancaster County Game Warden John Veylupek charged a turkey hunter with violating safety zones and with unlawfully taking or possessing wildlife.

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