Northwest Region Field Report  - November 21, 2014

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that there has been an upturn in citations filed for failure to wear the required daylight fluorescent orange. Hunters are reminded that there are many types of hunters, both relating to skill levels and quarry pursued, in the fall woods. It is only smart to wear the safety apparel required.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that guilty pleas have been entered in a recent case. The adult was assessed $9,257.17 in fines, costs and restitution; one juvenile was assessed $18,631.17; and a second juvenile was assessed $5,598.66. The charges stemmed from a prolonged poaching spree.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that a sandhill crane was shot and killed in the Pymatuning Goose Management Area. Charges will be filed on the party involved in taking the bird.

Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that an individual in Millcreek Township was cited for hunting over bait and killing a 10-point buck in the backyard of his residence.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reports seeing an increase in the number of deer. The largest increase is in the number of large bucks, which are present in many areas of the district.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that he received a call for a dog in a trap. The dog had been running loose out in a farm field and got caught in a fox trap. The trapper was legally trapping and was not at fault. The dog was removed and held until the next day when the dog license could be traced to find the owner. By morning the dog was no longer limping and showed no signs of injury, and was returned to the owner. It is important to remember that dog owners are required to keep their dogs under control at all times.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless recommends that hunters look over their hunting and furtaker licenses to make sure they have the privilege panels they need while hunting and to be sure that their harvest tags are still attached to their licenses. Some hunters checked in the field did not purchase add-on licenses, like archery privileges, and some have just misplaced portions of their licenses or big game kill tags.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman reports, as a follow-up to a previous field report where two defendants killed a turkey and a porcupine in a closed season: the one defendant was found not guilty and the other defendant was found guilty of all six charges. Fines, replacement costs and court costs totaled $5,202.50. The same two defendants had previously been found guilty of killing two geese several days after killing the turkey and porcupine. Fines and replacement costs on that case were $4,600.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that a French Creek Township resident made an immediate call to the Northwest Region Office when a rifle shot was heard just after a vehicle passed the home at 10 p.m. on a Friday. Provided with a detailed description of the vehicle and its occupants, officers began an immediate search of the local area. That information enabled officers investigating the call to locate the subjects involved back at their residence. Subsequent interviews have led to charges being filed against a Cochranton area couple for their attempted deer poaching.

Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that multiple people have been charged and have pleaded guilty to hunting without displaying the required amount of protective daylight fluorescent orange material. WCO Amory would like to remind hunters of the various overlapping big-game seasons and the requirement to wear protective orange. Compliance with orange requirements makes hunting safer.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports his crews have been completing parking-lot maintenance and sign postings on state game lands parking lots for the upcoming hunting seasons.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports that many archers have been seeing multiple
bucks, especially during the rut; and some really nice bucks with exceptional racks are being harvested.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports his crews have been busy stocking pheasants on a weekly basis. The Mercer County crew has been stocking pheasants twice weekly on state game lands and cooperators properties. The crews have been receiving twice the number of pheasants as in past years, and in speaking to hunters in the field, hunters are seeing and harvesting the birds.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports seeing numerous fox squirrels, especially in agricultural areas bordering woodlots in Mercer County. Deer are being seen on a regular basis and the number of black-bear sightings continue to rise in both counties. The upcoming bear and deer seasons should be very productive for hunters that do some preseason scouting.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that he has spent many hours this fall out on night patrol without incident. Miller stated, “You’d think this would make me feel good to know that people are abiding by the law and following the rules of fair chase. However, I’ve had several reports of night shooting and late spotlighting on some of the nights that I wasn’t out there.”

Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander reports that he is seeing lots of hunting activity on state game lands, especially by pheasant hunters.

WCO Cadet Eric McBride, working with Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak, reports several illegal traps have been found already this season; investigations are ongoing.

WCO Cadet Eric McBride, working with Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak, reports there is an ongoing investigation regarding an illegal duck blind that was found on game lands.

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