Northwest Region Field Report  - September 12, 2014

Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports that on the first day of dove season he came across a group of hunters getting their share of birds in a particular field. He talked to one hunter who had eight doves; but the hunter told him he had shot three boxes of shells to get those eight birds.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that Clarion County residents were apprehended for camping, having a fire, possessing alcohol, damage to trees, closed-to-motor vehicle violations and shooting-range violations during the Labor Day weekend patrols.

Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports seeing a lot of Canada geese and mourning doves throughout the county. It should be a great season for both. Remember to follow the hunting hours for migratory game birds rather than the regular hunting hours for most other species.

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports that the bear activity throughout the central district seems to have exceeded normal levels and has been ongoing throughout the summer months.

Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that a meter reader was caught releasing a raccoon from the trap of a Wildlife Pest Control permittee. The trap was set because the raccoon was damaging the house of a resident who was paying to have it removed.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reports responding to numerous calls about shot falling into safety zones during dove season. The safety zone is 150 yards from buildings. 7½ shot will carry about 365 yards. This would mean for a hunter to shoot toward a safety zone they would need to be at least that distance away from the 150-yard outer limit to even shoot in that direction. Page 17 of the Hunter-Trapper Education Manual on the Game Commission’s website gives information on the distances ammunition will carry. Be aware!

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that several hunters were checked on the first day of goose and dove season that did not have the current or complete license with them. It is important that you remove last year’s license and replace it with the new one. Also, make sure you aren’t leaving parts of the license behind that you will need. We have checked hunters in the past that have torn-off kill tags and left them at home; which makes it very difficult to properly tag a big game kill.

Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports capturing and tagging another bear in his district. It was a healthy female weighing in at approximately 250 pounds. WCO Schmidt also commented that bear complaints are starting to increase as fall approaches.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reminds hunters to sign their antlerless licenses when they receive them and before they put them in their license holder or wallet. This would also be a good time to clean out past year’s licenses in order to avoid the risk of tagging an animal with the wrong tag later in the season.

Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports several complaints have been made about late spotting. Remember that spotting hours end at 11  p.m.

Butler and Lawrence counties LMGS Jeffery T. Kendall reports he cited two individuals for harvesting ginseng before the Sept. 1 opening of the season. The two also were on private land without permission. Additional charges of trespass and agricultural theft could be filed against the individuals. Total fines for each could be $1,500.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports construction has commenced on a new Food and Cover Headquarters building in Venango County. The building will replace the existing structure, an old farmhouse built in the early 1900s.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports his crews have been mowing fields for waterfowl and green strips for bugging areas to provide food for wildlife. The crews in both Venango and Mercer counties have been spraying for invasive plants on state game lands and preparing to plant winter wheat.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports that an evening of night patrol turned into answering a call for help from the Brookville Police Department. Two officers were dealing with two males and two females who were severely impaired by illegal drug use. “These individuals were eventually brought under control, but the one Brookville officer received an injury to his hand,” Miller said. Officers from the state police, Brockway Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also answered the call. Miller added, “It’s comforting to know that so many other agencies have your back when the call goes out for help!”

Erie and Crawford counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander reported that his crews are busy picking American Mountain Ash berries for the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery. These berries are used to produce seedlings that are available to public access cooperators free of charge, and are also used on game land habitat projects.

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