|Pat Anderson, Director
Serving the following Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland
4820 Route 711
Bolivar, PA 15923
Open Monday - Friday
7:30AM - 4:00PM
Phone: (724) 238-9523, (724) 238-9524
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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 Southwest Region
Field Officer Reports - May 8, 2015
Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that wildlife-human conflicts continue to be an issue in the more populated areas of the district. "A leading cause of this is due to the feeding of wildlife. While it is not illegal to feed wildlife, except bear and elk, it is a practice not encouraged by the Game Commission. Wildlife will become habituated to that food source and lose their inhibition to humans. One central food source that is shared by multiple animals is also a high risk for the spread of disease," he said.
Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that three individuals recently were cited for operating all-terrain vehicles on property owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which has a forest-game agreement with the Game Commission. In order for us to maintain these public access lands open to public hunting and trapping, we must abide by the rules of the commission, as well as the landowners.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that, unfortunately, the Harmar bald-eagle nest did not hatch young this spring.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that game lands maintenance crews have begun work on a new parking area for State Game Lands 285 in South Beaver Township, Beaver County. The parking area will be located on state Route 251 (Blackhawk Road), approximately one-quarter mile east of the Ohio line. This parking area will provide access to the western side of the game lands, as well as hiker access to the North Country Trail. The North Country Trail Association has made a generous donation toward the purchase of gravel for the parking area.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that charges are being filed against a Dunbar man that transported and dumped household garbage onto state game lands, then proceeded to burn the items. "Not only was it unlawful to dump and burn the garbage, the individual risked starting a major forest fire and, if not for the fast action of witnesses who put out the spreading fire, the results would have been much worse," he said.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that several tree stands have been removed from State Game Lands 296 this spring in the Banning area. Hunters are reminded that all tree stands must be removed from state game lands within two weeks of the closing of the final deer season in that area. For information about a stand, please contact the Southwest Region Office at 724-238-9523.
Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports that an individual was charged with two counts of unlawful killing of big game and two counts of hunting without a license after he was found using WMU 2B tags on two deer he killed in WMU 2A this past season.
Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports an increase in illegal ATV use on cooperative-access properties near Lake Wilma. ATVs are starting to cause damage to the breast of the dam and surrounding areas. Increased patrols will attempt to resolve the problem.
Greene County WCO Amanda Powell reports that she has been investigating several individuals that have been dumping garbage on State Game Lands 223.
Somerset County WCO Zack Edwards reports signs of ATVs and UTVs are showing up in places where they shouldn't. "Riders must be aware of whose property they are riding on and make sure they have sought and received permission prior to their ride," he said. "State Game Lands are closed to ATVs and UTVs. Hunter Access property owners want to keep their property open to hunting and trapping, but do not want off-road vehicles to drive on their land. Remember to get permission, or get a ticket."
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that as the spring weather continues to improve, the use of public shooting ranges on state game lands increases. Several citations have been filed over the past week for range violations and users are reminded to read the rules and regulations carefully.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that two individuals were apprehended on State Game Lands 111 while riding an ATV. The individuals also were in possession of alcohol along with having no registration or insurance on the vehicle. Both individuals also failed to wear a helmet as required by law.
Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that bear dens have been visited and processed in recent months. Overall things went well, thanks to the various private landowners who were gracious in assisting us with this task.
Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reminds those who use public shooting ranges on state game lands that they must possess a valid hunting or furtaker license, or a valid range use permit. Please take time to read the regulations that are posted at the range locations, as well.
Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that increased ATV operation has been observed. Those operating ATVs need to be on land where they have permission to ride, and they must have their machines insured and registered. Riding is unlawful on Public Access properties such as State Game Lands, Allegheny Highlands Hiking and Biking Trail and Seven Springs Resort.
Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that, with the help of State Police, there is on ongoing investigation into individuals who were illegally hunting groundhogs. They claimed to be shooting nuisance animals. The law allows farmers to control nuisance animals, but the law is very specific as to who and how this can be done. Charges will be filed against at least one person involved.
Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports that, after a long winter, officers are seeing an increase in activity on game lands and cooperator properties in the district. Officers are deploying several camera systems on these properties to curtail illegal activity. Last year alone, these cameras produced hundreds of violations of which officers gave warnings and successfully prosecuted over 50 violations.
Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports many individuals are retrieving road-killed deer, which Pennsylvanians can consume as food. "However, you are required to call the appropriate Game Commission region office and obtain a free permit to possess the deer. A permit will only be issued for deer that are killed on the roadway. If the animal is euthanized by someone other than a police officer or conservation officer, a permit will not be issued due to the unknown cause of death. You might be asked to save the head and hide for an officer who will pick up the items for verification. Please be diligent when retrieving roadkills and call the office within 24 hours," he said.