Northwest Region Field Report  - December 19, 2014

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports, throughout the deer and bear seasons, turkeys have been a common sight and their total numbers are looking good. Spring gobbler season looks promising.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that meth-lab trash was discovered along a back road in the Leeper area during a recent night patrol. Hunters are advised not to handle any household chemical bottles, bottles with white substances in them, or any other trash they might encounter that looks out of the ordinary. Report your findings to the appropriate authority.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports a juvenile that recently was charged with more than 30 violations, including 14 unlawfully taken deer, has entered guilty pleas on all counts. Fines and costs totaled over $18,000. Three days after his pleas were entered; the juvenile took an antlerless deer without a license and is again facing charges for unlawfully taking a deer over the season limit. The misdemeanor charge carries up to a $10,000 fine.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports trapping violations appear to be on the increase this year. Over thirty tagging violations have been discovered, animals have been left in traps for over 48 hours, and multiple safety zone violations have been found. Reports of other trapping violations have also been investigated. Charges have been filed on multiple individuals.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reminds hunters that there is a 150-yard safety zone around Game Commission vehicles that are stocking pheasants. He continues to have a problem with individuals shooting at the truck as birds are released.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that an individual was cited for setting several body-gripping traps outside of a watercourse. Trappers should remember that body-gripping traps, including those in manmade cubbies, must be set within a water course.

WCO Cadet Eric McBride, working with Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark, reports that an individual was cited for taking a deer out of season. A button buck was killed with a bow on the Wednesday of bear season.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that the two most-common violations encountered this fall have been hunters not possessing their hunting license and tags while in the field, and possessing someone else’s license and tags while in the field. Several other hunters were found possessing licenses and tags belonging to junior hunters who were not hunting that day.

WCO Cadet C. Jason Macunas, working with Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless, reports that they are currently investigating two hunting related shooting incidents. The first one occurred during the statewide firearms bear season when a hunter was struck in the arm by a bullet. The second incident occurred when an individual was small-game hunting with a .22 caliber revolver. The firearm was holstered when it accidentally discharged. The hunter was struck in the right leg.

Jefferson County WCO Andrew D. Troutman reports that many landowners are complaining about the lack of respect people have for their property. Driving through fields, littering, and trespassing are some of the examples given.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that this firearms deer season generated more complaints concerning safety zones than usual, and officers were also investigating an incident where a house was struck by a .243 caliber bullet on the opening morning. Other violations included hunting in a baited area, untagged deer, using a motor vehicle to hunt, loaded firearms in vehicles, hunting deer with a semi-automatic shotgun, hunting while on license revocation, hunting without license, and illegal deer. And that was just the first week!

Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports that she cited a hunter for leaving his 12-year-old son unaccompanied while hunting bear. The father was out of sight and had no control over what his son was doing. She also cited another hunter for having a loaded .22 caliber rifle in his vehicle. Several citations have been issued for hunting through the use of bait as well.

Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that multiple people throughout the district have been charged with hunting through the use of bait. These charges included one man who will be charged for unlawfully harvesting a black bear while using corn to lure the animal during the archery bear season.

Clarion/Jefferson County LMGS George J. Miller reports that 65 bears were checked at the State Game Lands 244 check station during the four-day regular rifle bear season. The biggest bear checked was shot by an archer the Friday prior and weighed in at 585 pounds estimated live weight. The second-largest bear was shot by a rifle hunter on the last day and weighed in at 552 pounds estimated live weight.

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