|Keith Harbaugh, Director
Serving the following Counties:Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren
P.O. Box 31
Franklin, PA 16323
Open Monday - Friday
7:30AM - 4:00PM
Phone: (814) 432-3187, (814) 432-3188
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2015 Youth Field Days
2015 Youth Field Days
Making a Better SGL 314: Stepping Up for Migratory Birds
Logging at SGL 314
June 30, 2015: PGC Snowmobile Trail Closed
June 24, 2015: Game Commission Northwest Region Announces Hunter-Trapper Education Classes
June 19, 2015: Outdoor Opportunities Abound at Youth Field Day Programs
June 18, 2015: Game Commission Offers Advice To Avoid Attacting Bears
June 15, 2015: PA Game Commission Hunter Access Program
June 8, 2015: Bald Eagle Shot
May 13, 2015: Game Commission Northwest Region Announces Hunter-Trapper Education Classes
April 20, 2015: State Game Lands 330 Tour
Seasonal Roads, Designated Routes, Snowmobile Trails and Access for Hunters with Disabilities
Seasonal Roads Open for Hunting & Trapping
Designated Routes for Horses and Bicycles
Access Routes for hunters with Disabilities
Public Shooting Ranges
Public Shooting Ranges in the Northwest Region
Field Officer Reports - June 19, 2015
Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports the warmer weather has turned the hunter into the hunted. One cannot walk out in the local woods without suffering at the hands of multiple ticks. Everyone should be using tick spray when out in the woods, to prevent the possibility from ticks latching on and potentially transmitting Lyme disease.
Butler County WCO Chip L. Brunst reports that he recently caught a 481-pound bear near the town of Bruin. This bear soon became a celebrity. With the help of Mr. Brian Dean's class, it was processed in front of many students at Moniteau High School for one of their last days of school.
Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that multiple individuals were found in possession of unlawful shot and unplugged shotguns during the spring turkey season. Hunters are reminded that permitted devices for spring turkey season consist of a manually operated or semiautomatic centerfire shotguns plugged to a three-shell capacity, or muzzleloading shotguns. Shot may be no larger than No. 4 lead, No. 2 steel or No. 4 of any other composition or alloy of nontoxic shot approved by the director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports several incidents of litter being dumped this spring on cooperator property and on game lands. Citations have been filed in some cases. In one instance, criminal charges are pending. If you don't want the garbage at your house or on your property, no one else wants it on theirs either, so please dispose of it properly. A $50 fee, at most, at the landfill is more cost-effective than a $250 to $500 fine, along with close to $100 in court costs.
Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports an eaglet that fell from its nest at Canadohta Lake was taken to Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They are treating the bird.
Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts Jr. reports an increase in juvenile wildlife being taken from the wild and kept as pets. Wild animals do not make suitable pets and should be left in the wild where they belong.
Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reminds sportsmen and sportswomen that 2015-16 hunting licenses now are on sale. Remember that you need a new license starting July 1 to use any Game Commission shooting range, or to hunt or trap during the new license year.
Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that there have been multiple bear complaints in the county over the last couple of weeks. Young bears are moving this time of year and take advantage of an easy meal. To avoid problems, keep garbage and birdfeeders in at night, and if you have beehives, make sure they are properly fenced. These simple measures will eliminate most problems.
Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports seeing his first wildlife young of the year on May 23. He reports seeing several Canada geese goslings on the Allegheny River, two fawn deer and several small cottontail rabbits. He also reports seeing several dozen adult gray squirrels throughout his western Forest County District. He's not quite sure why there were so many squirrels out and about.
Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports having a busy weekend over the Memorial Day holiday. He and DWCO Charles E. Worley assisted Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officer Erik Shellgren patrol Salmon Creek. They also helped local EMS with a serious all-terrain vehicle accident along a township road in Kingsley Township. Schmidt commends the Tionesta Volunteer Fire Department and EMS for their work and their prompt response on the busy weekend. Schmidt reports illegal ATV activity was once again a problem in his district. The State Game Lands 24 rifle range also was very active. Six citations and approximately a dozen warnings were given throughout the weekend.
Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger reports that a group of four ATV operators were apprehended on the Allegheny National Forest on Memorial Day weekend by units from the Game Commission and the U.S. Forest Service. All of the persons operating the off-road vehicles were under 18 and had been running the machines on illegal trails, township roads, and Forest Service roads throughout the area. They had also ridden through the yards of a number of camps, spinning "doughnuts" in at least one of them. This is not an unusual occurrence, but was a little surprising because the oldest two had been given verbal warnings several years ago for operating ATVs and dirt bikes on a Forest Service road in the same area. The younger two operators were just following them and had no idea where they were or how to get back to their starting point. Two groups of adults were notified and came with trailers to collect the riders and their machines. The first group to arrive, who came to get the two older kids, had an individual that had been cited for the same violation one or two years before.
Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that evidence of illegal drug use left behind on game lands and other secluded properties is on the rise. Almost every day he is discovering some type of drug packaging or drug paraphernalia in a parking lot or along a back road somewhere in the county.
Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that citations have been filed against a woman for having a total of nine wild skunks as pets in an outdoor enclosure in her yard. All of the skunks were capable of spraying.
Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports that charges have been filed against a woman who took a wild raccoon as a pet for the several children living in her home. In addition to being illegal, taking a wild mammal into a home as a pet subjects the residents of that home to the risk of diseases such as rabies, and parasites such as ticks, lice, fleas, mange, and worms.
Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that there have been questions from the public concerning the use of boats and motors on the state game lands portion of Lake Wilhelm. Interstate 79 is the dividing line on Lake Wilhelm. Maurice K. Goddard State Park lies to the east of Interstate 79, and State Game Lands 270 lies to the west of the interstate. Boats on the state park are allowed to use gasoline engines up to 20 horsepower; however, only electric motors are permitted on the state game lands. There is a Game Commission boat launch on Creek Road, just west of the Interstate 79 bridges. All boaters may use this launch area, and there are Game Commission signs posted and instructions on buoys indicating that electric motors are permitted on the state game lands. Farther west on State Game Lands 270, there is an established "Propagation Area" that is well posted and no entry is permitted by either land or water. That also includes kayakers who are neither hunting nor fishing. All persons using game lands for recreation should be familiar with the regulations.
Mercer County WCO Patrick L. Cull reminds everyone that it not only is illegal to pick up young wildlife that might appear to be abandoned by its parents, but it might also be detrimental to the health and well-being of the wildlife that was picked up. Adult animals are usually nearby.
Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports that a witness reported seeing an individual get out of a car along the side of the road and shoot at some geese, but the information provided has not led to any suspects in the case; the investigation continues.
Warren County WCO Matthew R. Savinda reports that residents in Cherry Grove Township have complained about ATVs on State Game Lands 29 and in the Allegheny National Forest. A lead is being pursued on one of the offenders, but any further information can be submitted to the Northwest Region Office in Franklin by calling 814-432-3187.
Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that 500 tons of lime was spread on 167 acres of herbaceous openings and vegetated roads on State Game Lands 54 in Jefferson County to improve soil conditions for vegetation and help improve water quality in the North Fork Watershed.
Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander reports that he recently attended the Coastal Zone Management Advisory Committee meeting in Harrisburg. Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive, outlined her proposal to apply for a National Marine Sanctuary in the Pennsylvania portion of Lake Erie to highlight historical shipwrecks.