WCO Cadet Blake Barth, while on field assignment with Armstrong County WCO Rodney Burns, reports that it has been a great experience in Armstrong County and Southwest Region. “The people here have been a pleasure to work with and I have learned an incredible amount in just the short time I’ve spent here,” he said.
WCO Cadet Blake Barth, while on field assignment with Armstrong County WCO Rodney Burns, reports that it was encouraging to see the interest in a recent tour through State Game Lands 108. “It is nice to see people come out and just enjoy the outdoors. There were plenty of hunters and non-hunters alike that made the 8-mile drive through the game lands,” he said.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that several large trash bags were discovered in a parking area of State Game Lands 285 in Darlington Township. Upon investigation, it was learned that the material belonged to a local resident who is disabled and, because of health problems, had just been relocated to a new home. In exchange for no citations being filed, the resident made arrangements with several acquaintances to assist him in a complete cleaning of the entire parking lot.
Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that an Allegheny County man was recently found guilty for allowing his minor sons to operate dirt bikes on property enrolled in a Hunter Access program.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that the Beaver County Sportsmen’s Conservation League hosted its annual youth pheasant hunt at Raccoon Creek State Park on Oct. 11. With over 30 youth participating, and many of those first-time pheasant hunters, the participation was excellent. The hunters took over 40 pheasants and all involved, including the mentors, had a great time.
Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports last year’s extremely cold winter limited many beaver-trapping efforts here in the district. As a result, nuisance beaver complaints are at a high level. In the past month alone, three nuisance beavers have been trapped and relocated to more-suitable habitat. Trappers should enjoy success here in Beaver County, if the weather cooperates.
WCO Cadet Jason Wagner, while on field assignment with Cambria County WCO Shawn Harshaw, reports that on the opening day of archery season, several hunters were cited for hunting through the use of bait. Several warnings were issued for shooting-range violations and a case is being investigated in which an individual on game lands disposed of household trash – complete with bank records, a pay stub and a court summons. Charges are being filed.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that two Uniontown men were charged for digging and removing wild American ginseng roots on state game lands. The digging of any rooted vegetation on game lands is unlawful and ginseng, which is listed as a Pennsylvania vulnerable plant, can only lawfully be removed from private land with permission.
Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that hunting through the use of bait continues to be an issue this archery season. Hunters are reminded that the term “bait” includes any artificial or natural bait, hay, grain, fruit, nut, salt, chemical, mineral or other food used as an enticement for game or wildlife, regardless of kind and quantity. It is unlawful for hunter to use bait, or take advantage of any such area that’s been baited until at least 30 days after the removal of all material and its residue
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that an immature Bald Eagle was released back into the wild after receiving treatment at a rehabilitation facility. This eagle had been rescued in late June.
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that an increase in baiting violations have already been encountered this archery season. One archer hunting over five mineral blocks, a corn feeder, and other piles of corn and apples was encountered. He claimed that he was “only hunting groundhogs.” Bonin noted it is also illegal to hunt groundhogs over bait, but there was more to the story. “His groundhog story never held up after I located a dead and untagged button buck,” he said.
Fayette County WCO Brandon Bonin reports that a Greene County man is facing charges in Ohio. “I was contacted by an Ohio wildlife officer, who requested I investigate the hunter for harvesting a buck during an antlerless-only season. After receiving a written confession, I seized the 8-point buck,” he said.
WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that on the first day of the archery deer season, three people were cited with hunting through the use of bait. Penalties for the violations could reach fines as high as $300, plus court costs. WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that in the past week, three nuisance bears were captured at the Laurel Hill Trout Farm. All three bears had were processed and released at various locations on the state game lands.
WCO Cadet Michael S. College, while on field assignment with Jason Farabaugh in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, reports that on the first day of the archery deer season, during night patrol, a vehicle was stopped for spotting after 11 p.m. The stop resulted in a citation that could result in a fine of $200, plus court costs.
Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports many baited areas were found being hunted on the opening day of archery season.
Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports three individuals were found smoking marijuana near the Quemahoning Reservoir recently. “As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw three people standing closely at the back corner of the parking lot and they quickly began to walk away down a small trail. Where they were standing, I began to see a small amount of smoke rising from the grass where it appeared as though they had dropped something. Upon further investigation, I found that it was a marijuana cigarette that they had thrown into the weeds. Charges have been filed,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that during the first two days of archery season, three individuals were cited during separate investigations for hunting through the use of bait. Baited areas ranged from salt blocks to shelled corn. One of the individuals was cited for unlawfully taking an 8-point buck through the use of shelled corn.
WCO Cadet Jeffrey Orwig, while on field assignment in Westmoreland County with WCO Matthew Lucas, reports several individuals were cited while hunting over bait in East Huntingdon and Rostraver Townships on the first day of the archery deer season. Each individual could face up to $300 in fines, plus court costs.
WCO Cadet Jeffrey Orwig, while on field assignment in Westmoreland County with WCO Matthew Lucas, reports an investigation was conducted on trash dumped in East Huntingdon Township. Through several interviews, an individual admitted to dumping the trash. Charges were filed in the local District Court.