Northcentral Region

Barry Zaffuto, Director

Serving the following Counties:Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Union

1566 South Route 44 Highway
P.O. Box 5038
Jersey Shore, PA 17740

Open Monday - Friday
7:30AM - 4:00PM

Phone: (570) 398-4744, (570) 398-4745

View Larger Map

Prescribed Burn Units for State Game Land 176
2010 Scotia Barrens Controlled Burn Fire Units Map

News Releases
August 8, 2014: Game Commission Plans Prospective Deputy Open Houses

Seasonal Roads, Designated Routes, Snowmobile Trails and Access for Hunters with Disabilities
Seasonal Roads Open for Hunting & Trapping
Designated Routes for Horses and Bicycles
State Game Lands 176 (The Barrens) Designated Routes brochure
Snowmobile Trails
Access Routes for Hunters with Disabilities
State Game Lands 311 Equestrian Trail

Public Shooting Ranges
Public Shooting Ranges in the Northcentral Region

Field Officer Reports - May 8, 2015

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a Clearfield man has pleaded guilty to a charge of disturbing wildlife. This particular case originated on a social media website and depicted the defendant operating his vehicle while chasing an elk down a snow-covered road in the Moshannon State Forest. The defendant's actions put the animal at risk of injury based on the road conditions. He was fined $ 1,000 by Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reminds residences that Hunter-Trapper Education classes are in full swing. Check for availability.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig checked several youth turkey hunters who had successful hunts and harvests on the opening day.

Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee reports that he, WCO Steve Brussese and DWCO Ralph Youmans were able to process two separate Tioga County bear den sites in early April. A total of five cubs were tagged ranging in size from 5 pounds, 2 ounces to 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports successfully introducing an orphaned bear cub from Somerset County, with a radio collared sow in Clear Creek, Cameron County. "I first learned of this situation by watching the evening news, and I received a call from black-bear biologist Mark Ternent the next morning." The cub was one of two captured near a restaurant parking lot by WCOs from the Southwest Region. An attempt to introduce the other cub was made in the bear-study area of the Sproul State Forest.

Tioga County WCO Steve Brussese reports that although he has not received many nuisance bear calls, the bears are moving out of hibernation and into the backyards of many landowners. Brussese has heard many accounts from the public of bear sightings, birdfeeders being toppled and trash being eaten throughout the night.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports he trapped four bears in a week-and-a-half for research purposes.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that he came upon an underage drinking party on a Collins Pine property located in Moody Hollow in Eldred Township. Approximately 30 people were drinking near an open fire and nearly half of them scattered into the woods when they saw the state vehicle. They looked like fireflies scattering into the woods because of the lights on their cellphones. Pennsylvania State Police backed up Officer Sabolcik, as did WCO Skyler Dibble, and in each seven people were cited for various offenses.

Lycoming County WCO Jonathan M. Wyant reports there are turkeys everywhere. These truly are the good ol' days of turkey hunting.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that an individual was charged and pleaded guilty for intentionally driving off of the road and killing a skunk with his vehicle.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that an individual was charged and pleaded guilty for late spotlighting and for possessing a bow and arrows in his vehicle while spotlighting.

Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that several citations have been filed recently for the unlawful use of ATVs and UTVs on state game lands and public access cooperator properties.

Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that warnings have been issued to individuals for leaving traps afield after the close of the furtaking season. Trappers are reminded that, regardless of the weather or conditions at the close of the season, traps must be removed from the field by sunset on the closing day.

Potter and Tioga counties Land Manager Denise Mitcheltree reports that the Food and Cover Crews have started breaking ground in preparation for spring planting season. They are always anxious to get started on the planting of wildlife openings because it is a sure sign that spring has arrived. The crews also finished cleaning out the hundreds of culverts on our game lands roads, pruning several hundred fruit trees, constructing brushpiles for wildlife cover, and removing the many trees and limbs from game lands roads after a long winter of storms.

Tioga County WCO Rob Minnich reports that April was a month of change from winter weather to spring, and it brought new tasks. Minnich attended several trainings and meetings, processed a road-killed black bear, processed bear cubs at den sites, handled complaints, conducted law-enforcement patrols and interviews, worked on bear traps and monitored bald-eagle nests. "We monitored eagle nests this past month and all nests have been active with incubation taking place," he said. "They are a little later this year than in the past couple years. Two new nests have been located this year, which brings the total of known nests in Tioga County to 12. By the end of April, most nests indicated that hatching had occurred. Within a couple weeks, we should be able to get a good count on hatchlings."

Tioga County, WCO Rob Minnich reports that bears have begun to move and complaints are starting to roll in. "Remember to be vigilant in keeping potential food items cleaned up to avoid attracting bears and other critters," he said.

Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports that he is seeing the yearly increase in calls concerning bears coming into houses for food. He relates that the bears are no different than any other animal looking for a quick and easy meal. "If they find a good "restaurant" they will return," he said. "The bears finding food around a house is no different than feeding a cat once, the cat doesn't want to leave." To prevent the bears from becoming habituated to going to houses for food, we need to eliminate ALL perceived food sources (items animals think could be food).  This will help keep the bears in the woods looking for food instead of coming in for the quick and easy meal.

Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports that, during the last month, much time has been spent dealing with bear issues. Ondik reminds all that, when living in bear country, it is important to consider how your actions may be contributing to bear habituation in your neighborhood. Making small efforts at keeping all foods (mainly birdseed and garbage) out of a bears' reach, as well as making an effort to protect outside pets and livestock, can go a long way toward a peaceful coexistence with this very tolerant and mostly tolerable mammal.

McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble reports that citations have been issued for three individuals riding ATVs on cooperator property in Eldred Township, McKean County.

Potter County WCO William Ragosta reports he recently prosecuted an individual for multiple trapping violations. Investigations continue into two unlicensed turkey hunters, one of whom has had his hunting privileges revoked as the result of other violations.

Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reports that an individual was cited for digging leeks on state game lands. Game lands users are reminded that only mushrooms and fruits of berry-producing plants may be lawfully gathered and removed from game lands.

Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports multiple deer carcasses were illegally dumped along Creek Road in Castanea Township. Anyone with information is asked to call the Game Commission Northcentral Region Office at 570-398-4744.
Lycoming and Union counties LMO Thomas M. Smith reports he is starting to see positive results from the early successional establishment projects on State Game Lands 252 as he has seen more woodcock using these areas this year than the previous 14 years he has been the land manager.

Centre County WCO Mike Steingraber reports seeing and hearing quite a few woodcock and whip-poor-wills on State Game Lands 176. If you are near Scotia Range at dusk toward the end of April or early May, you can expect hear whip-poor-wills and woodcock, each of which are easily identified by its calls.

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Regional Offices

Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797