|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 - September 25, 2015
Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that charges filed during the spring-turkey season remain to be adjudicated. An individual was found hunting past the noon closing time with an unplugged shotgun and five shells in his magazine. Another was found hunting with a license illegally acquired due to never taking a Hunter-Trapper Education course.
Allegheny County WCO Tom Kline reports that a number of tree stands in the western Allegheny County area have been found with a form of natural or artificial food source placed in the immediate area. Hunters are reminded that any food source, whether natural or artificial, must be removed in its entirety no later than 30 days prior to hunting in that area.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports a hunter recently was found guilty of trespassing while hunting. The hunter had been previously warned by the local police about being on the property where he was found hunting again during the spring gobbler season. The hunter was also found to be hunting without possessing his hunting license while in the field.
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that many opportunities to attend a Hunter-Trapper Education course are available throughout this fall. Several large-capacity classes are scheduled during October and November in Allegheny County. Please visit the Game Commission's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, for location and registration details.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that he and his deputies have been busy prosecuting garbage dumpers. "In one case, I was checking a fresh dumpsite and spoke to a canoer in the area. Later the same day this canoer noticed a truck full of trash heading back to this same dumpsite and recorded the license plate number and notified our dispatch center," he said. "I then checked out this new information and found all of the new trash at the old dumpsite location. Charges were filed against the person involved."
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that he and his deputies have been prosecuting illegal off-road riders on the "rails to trails" system. The area commonly being abused is marked as illegal for motorized vehicles, is part of our Hunter Access Program and also travels through state game lands.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports the recent discovery of two illegal bucks has reopened an investigation from 2014, in which a large amount of venison was taken out of a bar in the Kittanning area. Anyone that has any information regarding the illegal killing of these multiple deer is asked to call our Southwest Regional Office at 724-238-9523.
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that an illegal trash dumper recently was charged after a large amount of burnt garbage was found on a Hunter Access program cooperator's property. "While interviewing the man who dumped the trash, he stated that he thought it was not a "big deal" since he burnt it. Unfortunately for him, not everything burned. Information that pointed to him as the guilty party was found along with the trash," he said.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that multiple individuals have been charged for operating vehicles on game lands roads posted against travel. Even with adequate and visible signage, illegal use of vehicles still remains a major problem.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that game lands maintenance workers have completed a new parking area for State Game Lands 285 in South Beaver Township. The parking area was a joint effort between the Game Commission and the North Country Trail Association, and will provide for hunters and trail users a safe parking area along Blackhawk Road (state Route 251) near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that several individuals have pleaded guilty to charges of operating motorized vehicles on state game lands. One subject also pleaded guilty to possession of alcohol while on game lands. Even with increased enforcement in areas, some subjects continue to ignore signs or bypass gates and enter onto game lands.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that an illegal dumpsite was discovered on Hunter Access cooperator property in Economy Borough. An asphalt company discarded some unused asphalt along a stream and, encased in the asphalt, were several trash items. The person doing the dumping was located using surveillance photos, and citations were issued.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that an Aliquippa man entered a guilty plea to charges filed for litter deposited on State Game Lands 189 in Hanover Township. The trash was dumped in a parking area and contained items with the name and address of the person. The total in fines and costs was in excess of $350.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that an investigation is being conducted into an illegal dumpsite along Cottage Road in Hanover Township. "The dumpsite contains several gallons of paint, paint thinner, car parts and assorted household items. In addition to being an eyesore, these items pose a possible environmental hazard to the Raccoon Creek Watershed. Anyone with information is asked to call the Southwest Regional Office at 724-238-9523," he said.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that goose-hunting pressure was light in the early season. Flocks have be seen along the Ohio River and near golf courses. Hunters should target these areas to harvest a goose and assist in the reduction of the resident goose population in Beaver County.
Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that ATV and UTV use seems to be at an all-time high in the area. "Over one weekend, eight citations and 12 warnings were issued for violations involving the unlawful riding of ATVs. It is the rider's responsibility to know where they are permitted to ride," he said
Cambria and Indiana counties GLMGS Dan Yahner reports that while camping at Prince Gallitzin State Park, DWCO Erin Kabler received information late one night, that a car had driven illegally through a private property and proceeded onto the nearby State Game Lands. "Like most officers, Erin has his equipment with him at all times, and he quickly responded to investigate. He was able to apprehend three individuals who were driving through the food plots, and much more seriously, had illegal drugs and alcohol in the vehicle. The evidence suggests that at least one of the individuals was not only using, but also dealing in drugs," he said.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that charges were filed against a Jeanette man for littering on State Game Lands 296 after he dumped the trash from his car in a parking lot.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that charges were filed against an individual from Vanderbilt for unlawfully traveling on state game lands with a motorized vehicle
Fayette County WCO Andrew Harvey reports that charges were filed against an individual who shot a turkey from the road within a safety zone.
Fayette County WCO Andrew Harvey reports that charges have been filed against five individuals for operating ATVs on Hunter Access cooperative property.
Fayette County WCO Andrew Harvey reports that nine citations have been filed against three individuals for an incident that stemmed from shooting at an opossum from the road. Charges included hunting without a license, spotlighting after 11 p.m., possessing a firearm in the vehicle while spotlighting, possessing a loaded firearm in a moving vehicle, shooting within a safety zone, using a motorized vehicle to hunt for game, and unlawful taking of game or wildlife.
Greene County WCO Jeremy Febinger reports a local resident was charged and has pleaded guilty to unlawful killing of big game for her involvement in the killing of an antlerless deer during closed season. The fine was set at $1,000 and several other charges are to follow from this case as the investigation continues.
Indiana County WCO Chris Reidmiller reports that several individuals were charged with various game and wildlife offenses in connection to an underage drinking party that was occurring on property enrolled under the agency's Hunter Access cooperative program.
Somerset County WCO Zack Edwards reports that a statewide ATV detail on state game lands was conducted in July and was largely successful. "Over 400 contacts were made by officers and over 80 citations were handed out for ATVs on game lands alone. All together, over 150 citations were issued or filed for violations of game-lands regulations. It seems no matter how much we continue to tell people to find a new place to ride, they just continue to use the areas that are purchased and set aside for hunting and trapping. The success of this detail will undoubtedly lead to many more in the future so we can continue to make sure these lands are used by the right people and for the right purpose," he said.
Somerset County WCO Zack Edwards reports the lead-up to the archery season is a good time to talk about what the law requires. "Not only are the serious archers tracking movements of the deer, but most will want to capture a picture on a trail camera of that big buck that is moving around the area. For many, this is done by placing salt, mineral licks or bait piles in and around the areas that they want to hunt. With the expansion of Disease Management Area 2 for this hunting season, hunters must be aware of the regulations that come along with hunting inside the Disease Management Areas (DMAs)," he said. "Though bait, in any form, cannot be used to hunt deer, no one, including non-hunters, may place food out that entices deer in any form within a DMA. Practices that cause deer to congregate increases the chances of disease spreading among the deer. As the state tries to get a handle on the chronic wasting disease and manage its spread, those who live or hunt within the DMA are reminded to do their part to maintain a healthy deer herd."
Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that, with the expansion of DMA 2 into Somerset County, local sportsmen are frequently asking questions on the procedures for this fall. There is a link to CWD information on the Game Commission's website that explains what hunters must do when hunting in a DMA and outside the Commonwealth.
Somerset County WCO Brian Witherite reports that individuals have been cited for unlawfully operating ATVs and motorized vehicles on Hunter Access cooperator property.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that three individuals operating dirt bikes were apprehended on State Game Lands 111. The individuals each face a summary citation with fines ranging from $100 to $200 each.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that several citations have been filed for violations at the State Game Lands 50 shooting range. Violations range from shooting over the maximum number of rounds allowed at a time to using the range without a permit or license.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that three ATVs and five individuals were apprehended on State Game Lands 111 in Somerset County. Seven citations in total will be filed including resisting or interfering with an officer and operating a vehicle to avoid identification.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that two individuals were apprehended after a traffic stop for spotlighting at approximately 2 o'clock in the morning.
Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that a man living along the Allegheny River shot and killed six Canada geese, and is believed to have wounded others. The geese, all of which were molting at the time, were herded into orange snow drift fence and shot with a .410 shotgun. The man pleaded guilty to all six charges.
Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas reports two individuals were stopped for littering on a Hunter Access property in Sewickley Township. The individuals were target shooting on the property and failed to collect any of their targets or spent casings. This is an ongoing problem on this property.
Westmoreland County Officer Matthew Lucas reports early archery hunters in the Rostraver, Sewickley and Hempfield township portions of WMU 2B could have a good chance of harvesting a bear. "I have had multiple reports of bears in each township throughout the summer months," he said.
Westmoreland County Officer Matthew Lucas reports multiple ATVs and Jeeps were stopped during an enforcement detail on State Game Lands 296, resulting in citations for unlawful operations of motorized vehicles and possession of alcohol. Additionally, warnings were issued for various other offenses.
Westmoreland County WCO Brian Singer reports a Derry man recently pleaded guilty to 33 violations of the Game and Wildlife Code. "His charges stemmed from one investigation where officers found 15 traps and cable restraints set out in April. It was later discovered that the individual had unlawfully killed animals in those traps out of season by not checking them in the required 36-hour period. He has also taken several whitetail deer beyond his season limit. He could lose his hunting privileges for 11 years," he said.