Pennsylvania Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 17, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION
From the Game Commission 

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports that he recently investigated and prosecuted a case against an individual who trespassed on posted property while beaver trapping, and knowingly set traps without the required identification tags.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports an Erie man faces charges that could result in up to $3,250 in fines and the loss of hunting privileges for four years. The charges include hunting through the use of bait, trapping without a license, failure to provide a license to an officer, possession of unlawful firearms while hunting big game, unlawful taking of game, unlawful taking of big game and possession of marijuana.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. is seeking information about a bear that was illegally killed in Springfield Township. The bear was reported to be killed in January behind a residence on Pond Road.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman cited an individual for not purchasing a muzzleloader license before he went out muzzleloader hunting. When asked if he had a muzzleloader license, he pointed to his antlered deer tag (which turns into an antlerless tag during the late flintlock season if you have a muzzleloader license) and said that was it.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that a Little Beaver Township man has been charged for dumping garbage bags full of household and agricultural waste on Hunter Access property.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that a Mercer County man has been charged for trapping without a license.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that a man from Hadley, Mercer County, had a difficult evening when he crashed his truck into a ditch with an untagged antlerless deer in the back. Pennsylvania State Police, who first responded, noticed the violation and had the truck towed. Charges have been filed.

Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda said charges have been filed against a coyote hunter for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

Mercer County WCO Jeff Giardina was patrolling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project at Shenango Lake and found a clear plastic bottle with a white hose extending out of the cap with a white substance in the bottom of the bottle laying on the ground at the Golden Run Access parking lot. Upon further investigation, it was confirmed that the bottle was part of a larger methamphetamine lab operation. State Police were notified and the bottle and its contents was properly collected and disposed of.

On two occasions, Erie County WCO Matt Visosky responded to complaints of anglers snagging steelhead trout at Cascade Creek in Erie’s city limits and at Seven Mile Creek in Harborcreek Township. Two resident anglers were cited at Cascade Creek and two non-resident anglers were cited at Seven Mile Creek. Charges for both incidents included unlawful taking of fish by snagging,  and anglers at Seven Mile Creek were also charged for over the limit. Fine amounts totaled over $700 for both incidents, and the steelhead were also seized into evidence.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION
From the Game Commission

Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports an individual was found hunting geese through the use of bait (corn), electronic decoys and lead shot – all of which are illegal. Further investigation revealed a duck had been shot and left to waste. This individual will be receiving multiple citations pertaining to unlawful devices and methods and retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife.

Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports a New Enterprise man was charged with multiple violations from a road-hunting incident the last day of the regular firearms deer season. A witness saw someone jump out of a vehicle and shoot an antlerless deer from the road. The deer was standing on private property at the time. And two men dragged the deer from the field and placed it in the back of the vehicle without field dressing it. The witness was able to provide a license plate number, which led officers to a home where they found the untagged deer. The individual confessed to being the shooter.

York County WCO Kyle A. Jury encountered several violations on the Susquehanna River while checking waterfowl hunters in January. Several of the hunters were hunting ducks without having their federal Duck Stamp, or had committed other minor violations. Jury also reports finding one individual in possession of an unfilled antlerless deer tag after harvesting a doe during the regular rifle deer season. Charges have been filed.

Adams County WCO Darren J. David said  two waterfowl hunters face multiple citations for violations on state game lands. They were hunting and shooting after legal hunting hours, neither had a federal Duck Stamp, one of them did not have a migratory bird license and had an unplugged shotgun, and they had a cooler of beer.

Cumberland County WCO Timothy L. Wenrich located a subject who unlawfully shot an antlerless deer, without an antlerless license, in a safety zone, with a .22 rifle, and without wearing the required fluorescent orange for the firearms deer season. The subject never took the required Hunter-Trapper Education course. Charges are pending.

Bedford and Huntingdon counties WCO Brandon Pfister said a defendant has pleaded guilty to numerous charges for shooting a deer within a safety zone in Blair County. The defendant will pay more than $800 in fines and lose his hunting privileges for at least a year.

Bedford and Huntingdon counties WCO Brandon Pfister said two defendants pleaded guilty in the assault on a Huntingdon County officer. Both received fines in excesses of $1,000 and will lose their hunting privileges for at least three years.

NORTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Bradford County WCO Eric Kelly reports an individual from Wyalusing pleaded guilty to charges of having a loaded firearm in a vehicle, shooting on/across a road, hunting through the use of a motorized vehicle, and unlawful taking of big game.

Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley issued warnings for multiple shooting range violations at State Game Land 58 range in Mifflinville.

Monroe County WCO Bryan Mowrer cited  a 20-year-old man from Marshalls Creek for the unlawful killing of an 8-point buck, shooting on or across roads, safety-zone violations, and use of unlawful devices. The man shot the deer with a shotgun during the archery deer season, inside a private community. Fines totaled $850, plus court costs.

SOUTHEAST REGION
From the Game Commission

Berks County WCO Dave Brockmeier reports observing a vehicle enter into a field on game lands, in a closed area. The occupants fired a shot from the vehicle and then did multiple “doughnuts” in the field before quickly leaving A vehicle stop was initiated and a 12-gauge shotgun was removed from the vehicle. Multiple citations have been filed.

Chester County WCO Keith Mullin reports that charges have been filed for several violations during the regular Canada goose season. The charges include possessing unplugged shotguns, exceeding the daily bag limit, and not having the required federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl.

Dauphin and Lebanon counties LMGS Steven Bernardi reports that, while checking the rifle range at State Game Land 211 on a Sunday afternoon, several citations were filed and numerous warnings issued.  Violations included using the range without a valid hunting license, furtaker license or range permit, loading and firing a firearm with more than three rounds, shooting from a location other than the established firing line, shooting at objects other than paper targets properly posted on the target backers and using ammunition other than single projectile ammunition. All of the people involved stated that they didn’t know about all these regulations, even though there was a bulletin board at the entrance to the range with all the regulations posted.

Lehigh County WCO Kevin Halbfoerster reports that charges have been filed and are in the process or have been adjudicated within the court system for numerous illegal deer violations. In one case, a hunter gave his harvest tag to his brother for an unlawfully harvested deer. In another, an individual shot a very nice buck during the early archery season and did not lawfully tag it. These individuals paid substantial fines and replacement costs, and also risk losing the privilege to hunt in Pennsylvania and other states in Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Chester County WCO Matthew Johnson reports a Downingtown man was charged and found guilty for allowing his dog to chase and injure a deer. The incident happened on the opening day of the regular firearms season. A hunter witnessed the subject’s dog chasing, tackling, and attempting to kill a doe. The dog’s owner was not accompanying it, and the hunter recognized it from a previous similar incident. He chased the dog away, contacted the Game Commission, and provided cellphone video as evidence that proved critical in identifying the owner and allowing for his conviction.

Delaware County WCO Justin Ritter reports that two citations were filed recently. One individual was charged for taking a buck that did not meet the required antler restrictions, and the second individual was cited for allowing dogs to chase and pursue big game animals.

Lebanon County WCO Brian W. Sheetz filed charges against two individuals for numerous violations. The individuals trespassed and shot 17 snow geese in a safety zone, after they were denied permission to hunt on the property. Sheetz also observed an individual drive down a road past a field with hundreds of snow geese feeding. The individual parked his car and walked up the road and killed five snow geese, while trespassing on private property.

From the Fish & Boat Commission

Berks County watersways conservation officers, working in plain clothes and in uniform, conducted an inspection of the reptile show and sale recently held at the Hamburg Field House. During the inspection, the officers identified two individuals who were illegally offering native species for sale. One dealer had a common snapping turtle for sale. Snapping turtles are the only Pennsylvania native species that it’s legal to sell, but only if the person holds a valid Commercial Harvest Permit for snapping turtles, which in this case, the man did not. Another dealer was apprehended for offering Musk (Stinkpot) turtles for sale, another species that’s native to Pennsylvania. In addition to these two men who are being prosecuted for illegally offering native species for sale, two other men are being charged with Interference with Officers for attempting to assist one of the defendants by trying to sneak additional illegal turtles out of the show before officers could confiscate them.

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