Northwest Region Field Report  - April 10, 2015

Butler County WCO Christopher J. Deal reports that ticks are on the rise again. With the weather warming up, those afield are reminded to make sure they take precautions regarding ticks. It is all too common to walk on the game lands and bring a dozen ticks back to the vehicle with you.

Butler County WCO Randy W. Pilarcik reports that since the cold weather has passed he has been seeing flocks of turkeys with gobblers strutting around in many different areas.

Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that with the amount of snowfall Clarion County received combined with the prolonged winter that seemed as if it was never going to end, illegal snowmobile activity on state game lands was elevated this past winter season.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that a Conneautville area man was found guilty of charges he faced for his part in a poaching spree that occurred in 2014. The individual was assessed $4,600, plus court costs for aiding in the taking of a trophy class buck and processing another deer.

Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports an Erie County woman has pleaded guilty to attempting to take an antlerless deer without a license. She fired multiple shots at a deer for her boyfriend to tag as Wildlife Conservation Officers approached her to conduct a standard field check.

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports that the recent beaver season harvest was definitely impacted by the harsh winter weather.  This will more than likely result in a high number of nuisance complaints this spring, summer and fall.

Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports recent guilty pleas by a hunter that was apprehended and charged for hunting without a license twice within a week during the firearms deer season. An active arrest warrant is out on the same individual for an illegal deer that was killed while hunting without a license.

Crawford County WCO Randy R. Crago reports that the number of coyote hunters was down this year.

Erie County WCO Michael J. Stutts, Jr. reports seeing large numbers of turkey throughout the district. In an Elk Creek Township field, there were 42 turkeys out milling around the snow, including four longbeards, 12 jakes and 26 hens. The toms were in full strut competing for the hens’ attention.

Erie County WCO Larry M. Smith reports seeing a lot of deer and turkey over the last month as the weather was breaking. They all look in fair shape and roadkills that were checked had little if any fat, but were in good condition.

Erie County WCO Darin L. Clark reports that the turkeys are gobbling. He is seeing lots of birds moving, so it looks like they survived the winter and are in pretty good health. It is still a little cold, but it is not too early to start scouting for turkey season.

Forest County WCO Frank E. Leichtenberger recently spoke to a group of students, the Outdoor Club, at Sheffield High School. The main topics were the Game Code and firearms safety, but the audience asked many questions about the job of a Wildlife Conservation Officer. If you know of a group interested in this kind of program, or other programs related to the mission of the Game Commission, please contact the appropriate region office.

Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reminds hunters who purchased a second spring gobbler license and tag that there is a mandatory reporting requirement, regardless of whether they fill this second turkey tag. The second turkey license must be purchased prior to the start of the regular spring turkey season and, even with the second license, only one turkey can be harvested per day.

Jefferson County WCO Michael A. Girosky reports that an individual pleaded guilty to hunting over bait and was found guilty of hunting through the use of a semi-automatic pistol and spotlighting while in possession of a firearm.

Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that as we entered the last week of March, the ice was finally opening up on the Shenango Reservoir. The area of open water near the Route 18 Bridge was loaded with Canada geese and lots of gulls. The eagles have been around for several months, but the first osprey of the season was observed in that same area on March 24.

Mercer County WCO Patrick L. Cull reports increased ATV activity on Hunter Access properties. He wants to remind the public that it is illegal to ride ATVs on cooperator properties.

Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports that citations have been filed against an individual who caught a gray fox in one of two unlawful traps set after the close of season.

Warren County WCO Eric M. McBride reports that several species of waterfowl have been observed around the district and seem to be doing well.

Warren County WCO David W. Donachy reports the misguided efforts at winter feeding resulted in the death of at least one deer and one turkey. In different locations people had dumped corn along busy roads, and the animals were struck by cars while eating.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports his crews have been busy cutting trees on State Game Lands 39 in Venango County; and the Mercer County crew has been busy checking and servicing duck nesting boxes.

Mercer and Venango counties LMGS Mario L. Piccirilli reports hundreds of tundra swans taking a break on their migration north can be seen in the propagation area behind the Food and Cover Corps headquarters in Mercer County. Their dazzling white feathers and familiar “bup bup bup” vocalizations are easy to distinguish.

Clarion and Jefferson counties LMGS George J. Miller reports the most-common violation he encountered this past hunting season was for loaded firearms in vehicles. During a recent hearing, the defendant couldn’t quite understand why his gun was considered loaded with only having rounds in the magazine. Miller then asked him if he knew the phrase most often quoted when someone shoots themselves or someone else: “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.” Miller thinks he finally got it.

Crawford and Erie counties LMGS Shayne A. Hoachlander reports that late season snows and foul weather are inhibiting habitat and field work.

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