Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 28, 2022

From the Game Commission

Allegheny County Game Warden Evan McDaniel reports citations were filed against an individual for illegally killing a whitetail in May.

Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties Game Warden/Land Manager Dan Puhala reports construction on the new State Game Land 203 archery range began the first week of October. “The new range will be a welcome addition to this area and should be done before the Thanksgiving holiday,” Puhala said. “The parking lot associated with this project will be closed during construction. This temporary inconvenience will be worth it for the long-term benefits of having the new range.”

Armstrong County Game Warden Christopher Bence reports charges have been filed against an individual for unlawfully taking a whitetail during a closed season. 

Beaver County Game Warden Michael Yeck filed citations against an individual who set up and used a large campsite on State Game Land 285. The campsite, which was located behind a food plot in a remote section of the game lands, had enough materials and equipment to fill a full-size pickup truck when ultimately removed. Aside from charges, several warnings also were issued regarding the campsite.

Fayette County Game Warden Zachery Hay reports two individuals recently were cited in Dunbar Township for offenses including hunting while using bait, unlawfully attempting to take a white-tailed deer, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both individuals also failed to obtain Hunter-Trapper Education certification prior to obtaining a hunting license.

Greene County Game Warden Tanner Hazlett said a Washington County resident who kept a skunk in a live trap for a week pleaded guilty to charges.

Indiana County Game Warden Jon D. Walker reports charges have been filed against a Westmoreland County resident for multiple violations of feeding/baiting wildlife within Disease Management Area 3 in Indiana County.

Indiana County Game Warden Jon D. Walker reports volunteers from the National Deer Association, the Conservation District, and Rep. Struzzi’s office were among those completing a successful cleanup along the Two-Lick Reservoir Allen Bridge recently. The group removed 25 bags of trash, seven tires and multiple pieces of miscellaneous garbage from around the popular Homer City Generation property. These efforts not only improved the looks of the area, but also safety for hunters, trappers and anglers there.

Somerset County Game Warden Ned Kimmel reports many archery hunting locations were found on the opening day with mineral-type bait residue. Hunters should be reminded that all residues should be removed 30 days prior to hunting in an area where any form of bait was located. Even if there are no visible minerals on the surface of the ground or a stump, the mineral content is likely still highly prevalent in the soil or the stump itself. Multiple citations were filed stemming from incidents occurring on the first day of archery season.

Westmoreland County Deputy Game Warden Ben Bawden and Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak report that a weeklong investigation of a baited area could not conclusively determine who had been in the stand on the opening day of archery deer season in WMU 2B. However, citations were filed for the damage done to the tree by screw-in accessories.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual was found to be unlawfully operating as a nuisance wildlife control operator. Charges are to be filed.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Bill Brehun reports Deputy Game Wardens Joe Firtz and Robert Painter contacted two Unity Township men who were hunting using bait on the opening day of the statewide archery deer season. Charges have been filed for hunting through the use of bait and for placing feed out inside DMA 2.

Cadet James Crown reports that, while on field assignment with Bill Brehun in Westmorland County, charges were filed against one man for hunting over bait and feeding in a disease management area in Fairfield Township.

Cadet Kyle Lubak, on field assignment with Game Warden Dan Sitler in Washington County, reports four junior hunters were checked on the opening day of youth pheasant season. Each was happy to be seeing many pheasants and getting multiple opportunities at harvesting a bird. They were enjoying their hunt at Cross Creek County Park with limited hunting pressure.

Cadet Brian Johnston reports that, while on field assignment with Game Warden Brandon Bonin in Greene County, charges were filed for illegal use of bait while hunting. A 9-point buck was shot, but never recovered. A Game Commission K-9 found the arrow used, along with hair and blood evidence. The individual confessed to his role in the incident.

Cadet Brian Johnston reports that, while on field assignment with Game Warden Brandon Bonin in Greene County, charges were filed for placing bait on state game lands. The individual had two separate bait sites in proximity to his hunting blind.

Cadet Brian Johnston reports that, while on field assignment with Game Warden Brandon Bonin in Greene County, there was a great turnout for the youth pheasant season opener. 

Cadet Helen Karp, on field assignment with Game Warden Madison Pugh in Allegheny County, reports the parking lot on State Game Land 203, off Markman Park Road, will be closed through mid-November due to the construction of an archery range.

Cadet Luke Mentzer, on field assignment with Game Warden Brian Witherite in Somerset County, reports a successful search and rescue joint operation was conducted in the Mount Davis area. Pennsylvania State Game Wardens, DCNR rangers, Pennsylvania State Police Troopers and Somerset Search and Rescue all participated, bringing a lost person to safety.

From the Game Commission

Bradford County Game Warden Praveed Abraham reminds the public to sign their licenses before going into the field. Unsigned licenses while hunting may result in a fine. 

Bradford County Game Warden Praveed Abraham is filing charges against an individual for hunting in a previously baited area during the archery season. 

Sullivan County Game Warden Rick Finnegan reports an individual pleaded guilty and paid his fines for tearing up a game lands parking lot. Also, several baited areas have been reported and are under investigation. 

Lackawanna County Game Warden Benjamin Johnson encountered hunters without required tags in their possession. 

Pike County Game Warden Alex Meyer reports issuing citations to a man shooting squirrels out of season. 

Pike County Game Warden Alex Meyer reports an increase of ATV activity on State Game Land 180.

Northumberland County Game Warden Michael Workman reports seasonal gates and access roads are now open. Most will stay available to the public through the end of the late archery season. Hunters and state game lands visitors are reminded of the requirement to wear 250 square inches of orange on the head, chest and back combined from Nov. 15 through Dec. 15. 

Luzerne County Game Warden Dale Ambosie reports investigating the unlawful taking of a 9-point antlered deer during a closed season in Hazle Township, Luzerne County. The deer was found in a city park by police, and it was determined that a wound from an arrow killed the deer prior to the beginning of the 2022 archery deer season. “The deer was likely shot near an elementary school and within a safety zone. We are actively looking at home and business surveillance systems as well as conducting interviews,” says Ambosie. The investigation is ongoing.

Susquehanna County Game Warden Ben Rebuck reports investigating a vandalism in the parking area on State Game Land 70 off of Barton Road.

From the Game Commission

Berks County Game Warden Ryan L. Zawada reports, early in the archery deer season, he already had located several baited areas. Those areas will be checked frequently to see if anyone is hunting through the use of the bait.

Bucks County Game Warden Shawna Burkett reports investigating an incident where a deer was dumped at the intersection of Perry Auger Road and Stanley Road in Nockamixon Township, close to a section of State Game Land  56. The head and backstraps of the buck were removed, and it had an obvious broadhead wound. This occurred late Sept. 24 into Sept. 25. 

Chester County Game Warden Matthew Johnson reports an Exton man was prosecuted this summer for running over Canada geese goslings with his car. A witness described the act as intentional. The driver said it was an accident, but said he drove in reverse after the initial collision to put to injured goslings out of their misery. The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully taking wildlife.

Chester County Game Warden Zachary Salsgiver reports that, during the first weekend of the 2022 dove season, he had the opportunity to help track down an individual who shot 18 doves from the road. During the course of the investigation, officers from four districts, as well as two cadets from RLSC, all worked together to find the violator and close the case.

Dauphin County Game Warden Zach Soles reports a good turnout to start the dove season on State Game Land  290. Only one individual was cited for not having a Migratory Bird license. 

Delaware County Game Warden Nicholas Visser reports a tip from the public led to an illegally baited area. “My deputy started to investigate who was baiting the area,” Visser said. “We found out who the person was and found out that he had taken an 8-point buck from that baited site. Charges will be filed regarding the illegally baited site and the illegal take of game and wildlife.”

Lancaster County Game Warden Greg Graham reports, with assistance from Game Wardens Daniel Gibble and John Veylupek, Deputy Game Warden Torrey Landis and Cadet Charles Onder, charges are pending against two hunters who failed to tag and report their Virginia bear harvests and unlawfully transported the bears into Pennsylvania. Graham and Landis discovered the untagged bears at a local game processor. The investigation determined the bears were legally harvested, but neither was reported as required by Virginia law. Once learning the Game Commission was investigating, the men reported their harvests. Charges also are pending in Virginia. 

Lancaster County Game Warden Gibble reports charging several individuals on several different properties for feeding deer within Disease Management Area 4. Hunters are encouraged to visit and review the CWD Interactive Map showing all the DMA boundaries. 

Lehigh County Game Warden David Furmato reports there was a hunting -related shooting incident on State Game Land 205 on the opening day of dove season. After a full investigation, it was determined the incident was accidental. Based on the facts, circumstances, and topography of the landscape, a reasonable person would not have known the victim was in the line of fire. No charges were filed. 

Lehigh and Northampton counties Game Warden Jesse Cunningham reports confiscating an 11-point buck which had been shot over a salt block in the violator’s backyard. This case came from an anonymous tip. Call the Operation Game Thief hotline if you have information on poaching activity in your area. Also, Cunningham reports confiscating three antlerless deer, all of which were shot out of season by two individuals during the early season opening weekend. Criminal charges are pending for both individuals. 

Montgomery County Game Warden Raymond Madden reports investigating a deer carcass found at the side of the road, near game lands on the opening day of archery season. The meat was removed from the carcass and the entrails dumped along the road. Further examination revealed that the deer was shot with 00 Buckshot. Not only is it illegal to kill a deer with a shotgun during this time, but it is also illegal to use buckshot. This case is still under investigation.

Northampton County Game Warden Tyler Barnes cited an individual for harvesting an antlered deer prior to the season being open. 

Schuylkill County Game Warden Jason Macunas reports that a Lancaster County man recently pleaded guilty to violations stemming from an incident occurring in West Brunswick Township, while engaging in the Red Tag program.  The charges included alighting from a motorized vehicle and shooting at game/wildlife within 25 yards of a highway, and failure to wear the required amount of fluorescent orange.

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