Northwest Region Field Report  - March 13, 2015

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that, after compiling this year’s arrest reports, the No. 1 violation this past hunting season was hunters failing to wear the required fluorescent orange. Many were asked why they did not wear the required orange; the No. 1 answer was they “did not feel like it.” Anyone that has hunted in Pennsylvania for any length of time knows that fluorescent orange is required when hunting during many hunting seasons. Safety and consideration for others should not be left up to a whim, but should be a priority for everyone.

Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports that the extreme temperatures are playing havoc with beaver trappers. Thick ice on the waterways is making it difficult to check traps or get them set.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that a Corsica homeowner reported a bear hanging around their house and taking up residence in their barn. The bear was reported to have substantial hair loss. A trap was set at the location and the bear was caught overnight. The bear was then assessed for sarcopic manage. The bear needed to be euthanized. About 70 percent of the bear’s body was covered in the contagious parasite.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that a Knox man was cited for hunting geese without first securing a migratory bird license. On Jan. 3, some goose hunters were reported hunting inside a safety zone along the Clarion River. A license check determined one hunter failed to possess the required migratory game bird license.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that a  Fisher man was cited and found guilty for hunting deer without first securing a muzzleloader license. While patrolling on Jan. 3, in Millcreek Township, Clarion County, Bish heard some shots in a particular area and began to move in that direction where he found a hunter walking in the woods adjacent to the road. WCO Bish performed a field check and determined that the man did not possess the required muzzleloader license. The hunter also admitted to taking a shot at a deer prior to the check.

Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports that, with several cases still pending and evidence still being processed at labs, the hunting season rush is still on. There are one or two more substantial cases awaiting hearings or awaiting evidence to be processed by labs. The cases seem to be getting more complex every year.

Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports that a Titusville man was found guilty of unlawfully possessing an owl.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports charges are being filed on two men in possession of no fewer than five illegally taken deer, which were found while a search warrant was being executed at their home.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports a local resident stated the reason he shot two deer in his yard this February was because they were eating his shrubs. Charges are pending.
Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports while conducting a search warrant at the home of a man who shot a very large shed-antlered buck behind his house with a crossbow, marijuana was found and confiscated. Charges have been filed.

Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports a resident living across the road from a state game lands parking lot in Scott Township wanted to test out the 4-wheel-drive capabilities of his truck by trying to drive up an embankment that led to a stand of warm season grass. He got his truck stuck. Charges have been filed against him.

Mercer County WCO Patrick L. Cull reports that, despite all the recent cold and snow, he has been hearing increased songbird activity each day.

Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports she found a pile of corn and apples on State Game Lands 45. It is unlawful to feed wildlife or place any food or mineral on the state game lands. Penalties range from $100 to $200, plus court costs.

Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports she has been watching several turkeys take advantage of a gas pipeline where underground temperatures are warm enough to melt the snow. Wildlife is well equipped to adapt to its surroundings. Just like finding the spring seeps early in the spring, these turkeys have learned where they can find a natural food source all year.

Venango County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that a group of three Erie County men were successfully prosecuted for trespassing while hunting; and hunting through the use of bait in Eldred Township. The men either entered guilty pleas or were found guilty by Judge Arthur Zerbe, of Youngsville.

Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports having four bear complaints during the month of February. That is more than he’s ever had during the winter and is surprising, too, because the temperatures were at or below zero.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports his Mercer County crew has been busy checking duck boxes and constructing new bat boxes. The Venango County crew has been busy plowing snow, doing maintenance on vehicles, and recently had doors replaced on one of its buildings on State Game Lands 47.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that the Green Hills land purchase was finalized on Dec. 26, thus adding 2,130 acres to State Game Lands 195 and connecting it solidly to State Game Lands 87. “We’re starting the process of surveying the boundary line,” Miller said, “and you should start seeing the ‘Welcome State Game Lands’ signs going up as soon as the snow melts!”

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