Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 3, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission 

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that multiple people have been cited for hunting with a centerfire rifle during the late flintlock season. Butler County has not been part of the overlapping, extended antlerless season in WMU 2B for several years.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports bald eagles appeared to be rebuilding a nest that blew down last fall at Union City Dam. The nest is along French Creek and easily can be seen from the Wattsburg-Waterford Road.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless and Land Management Group Supervisor Jesse Bish recently finished up a case they investigated during the first week of rifle deer season. The incident involved a report of trespassing and possibly shooting from a road. When the individual involved was interviewed, he stated that he shot at coyotes he said ran across the road in front of him. He said he then went onto the posted property to look for a dead or injured coyote. The individual had actually shot a sublegal buck and then covered the carcass with grass in an attempt to conceal it. The individual involved pleaded guilty to three charges, which included illegally taking a deer.

Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports ongoing complaints of unlawful ATV activity being investigated.

SOUTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission

Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that multiple hunters were found to be hunting unlawfully during the extended firearms season with improper antlerless deer ear tags.

Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a local man is facing charges for shooting an antlerless deer from the road during the last week of the extended antlerless deer season. Information provided from a local homeowner was vital in the investigation and eventually led to his apprehension.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that two hunters pleaded guilty to discharging firearms within a cemetery. The hunters were shooting at pheasants being released nearby in State Game Land 173 in Ohioville Borough. The hunters were outside of the safety zone of the stocking truck, but were advised of the safety and ethical issues surrounding their practices.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports an Allegheny County resident pleaded guilty to charges of possessing an untagged deer and having a loaded gun on a vehicle not in motion. The untagged deer and the loaded firearm were found by two deputy officers patrolling during the regular scheduled deer season.

Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that a Hopewell Township man pleaded guilty to archery hunting in multiple safety zones. The man was walking on the berm of the road, looking over the bank, while in possession of a compound bow with a nocked arrow, and while he was in multiple safety zones. The man did not have permission to be in any of the safety zones at the time he was hunting.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Andy Harvey reports that a Fayette County woman was found guilty of shooting an antlerless deer and not having a valid hunting license. She was ordered to pay $1,000, plus court costs.

Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports that a hunter was charged with unlawfully killing an antlered deer and two antlerless deer. He did not have a valid hunting license and was on license revocation for prior offenses at the time the field check was conducted.

Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that, on the final day of the regular firearms deer season, four individuals were cited in Montgomery Township for charges including unlawful taking of big game, numerous license violations, and trespass while hunting.

Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that one individual has been charged with operating a large passenger vehicle on a property enrolled in the Hunter Access Program. The operator drove into a large agricultural field to observe deer that were in the field and caused damage. The operator was charged with causing damage to property and operating a motorized vehicle on lands under commission lease.

Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas credits good information from a witness in leading to charges against an individual for target shooting and littering during the last day of the rifle deer season on State Game Land 296. The individual left behind the targets, casings, and a box, and also caused damage to two trees. Several warnings were also issued.

Westmoreland County WCO Bill Brehun reports that charges have been filed on two Unity Township women after investigating a dump site located on a Hunter Access property in Derry Township.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports that two individuals were cited for spotlighting for deer during the rifle deer season while in possession of a firearm.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that several recent summary trials have resulted in successful prosecutions. Several individuals have been found guilty of possessing loaded firearms in vehicles, locating game through the use of a motor vehicle, shooting on or across highways, and alighting and shooting at game within 25 yards of the traveled portion of a road open to public travel. These prosecutions were the result of deer decoy operations conducted in Centre and Clinton counties.

Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports an individual pleaded guilty to multiple beaver-trapping violations. The trapper failed to assure identification tags on his sets were above the waterline as required.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports charges have been filed against a person trapping a fisher out of season.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports charges have been filed against a person for unlawful possession of a bobcat.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports charges have been filed against a person operating a snowmobile within a restricted area on State Game Land 90.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports a person was found guilty in Magisterial District Court for killing a bear within a baited area.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that sale of wildlife permit was completed for a bear.

Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports an Ohio resident was cited for not wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange while small-game hunting, and because the individual failed to respond to the citation, a bench warrant was issued. Additional failure to respond could result in the loss of the individual’s Pennsylvania hunting privileges. And the hunter’s Ohio licenses also will be suspended though the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact until there’s a response to the warrant.

Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports investigating several beaver-trapping violations, and at least one violation involving the unlawful taking of deer during the closed season.

Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reports that a bobcat trapper was found guilty of setting traps with meat or animal products visible from the air. Several trap sets were identified with deer and beaver parts used as bait without any attempt to cover the bait. The sets were in an area of the Elk State Forest where several research bait sites have been established to monitor for bald and golden eagles.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports a Montgomery man has pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife. The man killed a protected 3-point buck during the fall archery season. The defendant was ordered to pay a $500 fine and now faces the revocation of his hunting and furtaking privileges.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports a Williamsport man pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife. An investigation revealed the defendant possessed an unlawfully taken deer at his home in Williamsport. The deer had been killed through the use of bait on the morning of Jan. 13 in Clinton County. The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $400 and now faces the revocation of his hunting and furtaking privileges.

Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports an individual who was cited for possession of a loaded crossbow in the vehicle during the archery season was recently found guilty. The individual paid fines totaling over $250.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports the most common violation from this past hunting season, once again, was having loaded firearms in, on or against motorized vehicles. Every person charged either pleaded guilty or was found guilty after a hearing.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports handling several cases where individuals had killed deer that should have been reported as mistake kills, but weren’t. Instead of a $25 administrative fee they would have paid for the mistake, the penalty for their actions was $400 and the loss of their hunting privileges for at least a year.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Montour County WCO Michael College reports that several individuals were charged for hunting ducks in the North Zone during the closed season.

Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports that two Bloomsburg men were cited for operating ATVs on state game lands near Maineville just before Christmas. Both were found guilty at a hearing. Both said, in addition to a large white sign posted on a 4-foot board in the parking lot, there should have been more signs telling them they couldn’t ride ATVs there.

Sullivan County WCO Rick Finnegan reports several individuals were charged with providing false statements to officers. Interviews with violators may result in persons making intentionally false statements or interfering with lawful investigations by withholding information or destroying evidence.

Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow reports that two individuals were cited for having loaded firearms in their vehicle while hunting coyotes. Both face fines of up to $200.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports a father and three adult sons from New Jersey recently pleaded guilty to several game-law violations. The charges included several baiting violations, license violations, and the possession of two illegal deer and one illegal bear. Fines and court costs were over $5,000, and two of the sons face several years’ revocation of their hunting license privileges.

Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa reports several people were cited for a variety of trapping violations in Porter Township. These include not checking traps at least every 36 hours, safety-zone, and untagged trap violations.

Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County man recently pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of an antlerless deer on the first Saturday of the rifle deer season. The individual harvested two antlerless deer when he was only in possession of one valid harvest tag. The man returned to the location of the kill the following day to retrieve the unlawful deer. Information received from the public led to this a successful prosecution.

Lackawanna County WCO Aaron Morrow reports that a Lackawanna County man pleaded guilty to hunting deer in muzzleloader season without having a muzzleloader license. This was the individual’s second big-game violation in the past two years.

Lackawanna County WCO Jared Turner reports 15 citations were adjudicated in January, which resulted in $2,525 in fines and penalties. Charges were filed for the unlawful taking of game or wildlife, hunting in safety zones, failure to tag big game, shooting on or across roads, shooting-range regulations, and restrictions on recreational spotlighting.

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