Northwest Region Field Report  - August 29, 2014

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that guilty pleas have been entered in cases involving ATVs, dumping, unlawful hunting in the Pymatuning Goose Management Area, and tagging violations.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that an individual was found guilty in court for hunting past noon during the first part of the spring gobbler season. The hunter was still in his blind hunting at 3:30 p.m. The judge spoke to the serious nature of attempting to poach and assessed the defendant over $1,000 in fines and costs.

Erie County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that there is an ongoing investigation into remodeling debris that was dumped on State Game Lands 314 off Old Lake Road. If anyone has information, please call the Game Commission at (814) 432-3187.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reports he was able to recover a sick or injured immature bald eagle on Presque Isle. Numerous people were approaching the sick bird, which aggravated its condition. With the help of several DCNR rangers, he recovered the stressed bird and took it to Tamarack Rehabilitation Center.

Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports his first five days of August were spent working the Forest County Youth Field Day; processing and tagging a nuisance 108-pound female black bear; citing an individual for buying a hunting license without taking the required Hunter-Trapper Education class; issuing several warnings to shooters at the State Game Lands 24 rifle range; handling a raccoon and groundhog incident; picking up a crop-kill deer, and preparing for upcoming firearms training.

Forest County WCO Daniel P. Schmidt reports conducting three educational programs during the second week of August. The first was at West Forest School where he taught summer-school kids about different characteristics of wildlife tracks. The students then had the opportunity to make a plaster cast of their favorite track. Two programs were then conducted at the Tionesta Indian Festival. Forty-five people had the opportunity to build bluebird boxes, which they got to take home.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reminds archery hunters to check areas they plan to hunt prior to the start of the season to make sure there is nothing in the area that would be considered bait. A definition of bait can be found in the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest. If a baited area is located or the hunter isn’t sure if an area is “baited”, the hunter should contact their local WCO and get a determination before hunting that area. WCOs can be contacted by calling the appropriate PGC regional office.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that citations were issued to a pair of individuals for unlawfully entering the propagation area on State Game Lands 270. The kayakers parked at the parking area, surrounded by signs that delineate the propagation area boundary, and launched their kayaks. Instead of paddling east and into the main body of Lake Wilhelm, they went past the signs along the old roadbed and entered the propagation area. WCO Chaybin spotted the kayakers near Cemetery Road and directed them to shore where information was obtained. They claimed they hadn’t really paid attention to the signs, as they thought it applied to the lands and not the water; but wondered why they were the only ones in that area.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin and DWCO Thomas R. Jones recently investigated an incident where sugar gliders were being offered for sale in Hermitage. It  is unlawful to import these animals into Pennsylvania,  or possess them here. With the assistance of WCO Byron D. Gibbs and DWCO Michael V. Kalpich, Jr., these animals (an adult pair and two offspring) were confiscated and transferred to a temporary holding facility. Charges are pending in the case.

Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports Wildlife Conservation Officers from across North America met in Reno, Nev. on July 23 for the annual North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association Conference. Officers meet to attend various training sessions, a memorial service for fallen officers and compete in other events while building law-enforcement networks and camaraderie among those in the profession.

Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports that there are several changes listed in the annual Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest for 2014-2015. Hunters are reminded to review the digest prior to engaging in any hunting or trapping activity. Many of the violations that sportsmen are cited for could easily be avoided if they simply review the digest that is issued to them when they purchase their hunting license.

Clarion/Jefferson County LMGS George J. Miller reports that the Clarion County Food and Cover crew recently received a new tractor. “This tractor will allow the Food and Cover crew to plant more food plots and mow more herbaceous openings with fewer breakdowns,” Miller said, “and our yearly maintenance cost will be lower.” The purchase was funded by federal Pittman-Robertson funds, which are derived from an excise tax placed on sporting arms and ammunition.

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