Southwest Field Officer Report  - February 13, 2015

Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that two local hunters are facing charges for hunting antlerless deer during the extended Allegheny County season without the required WMU 2B antlerless license. The hunters were also found to not be wearing any fluorescent orange (250 square inches required). Each hunter faces several hundred dollars in fines for the violations. As a side note, the license they needed costs $6.70.

Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that several anonymous tips led to numerous charges being filed for multiple deer, including a trophy-class 9-point, being shot at night. “A picture posted on Facebook showed the individual proudly holding the buck, and when the head was taken from the taxidermist, the tag had Nov. 8  as the date of kill.  The picture was posted Nov. 10, but the license wasn’t bought until Nov. 12. That was bad enough, but the .22 caliber hole between the eyes left no doubt about this buck’s fate,” he said.   
Armstrong County WCO Rod Burns reports that he interviewed an individual concerning his dumping a dump-truck load of trash, then going back to clean up the mess. “The story goes downhill from there, as two days later, deputies found the same load of trash at a new location and, this time, the dumper had driven past a CLOSED TO MOTORIZED VEHICLES sign and dumped it on public-access property. The individual was found guilty at a recent hearing,” he said.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that a North Sewickley Township resident recently pleaded guilty to shooting an antlerless deer during the regular deer season without first securing the required antlerless deer license. “The subject also used his vehicle to locate the deer. Fines in the case totaled $1,250. An additional $800 was added for the replacement cost of one white-tailed deer,” he said.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that two county residents were found guilty of possession of a controlled substance while on state game lands. “The subjects were found parked on an access road to State Game Lands 285 in Darlington Township. Additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed at a preliminary hearing,” he said.

Beaver County WCO Mike Yeck reports that a Darlington Township resident pleaded guilty to charges of hunting deer without first securing a hunting license. In addition to not possessing a current hunting license, the subject also was in possession of an altered hunting license. Fines for the violations totaled $1,300.

Beaver County WCO Matt Kramer reports that the extended firearms season in Allegheny County continues to be a busy time of year. “Investigations into hunting in safety zones, using a centerfire rifle in Allegheny County, and using hand-held radios have all resulted in citations being filed. In addition, mistake kills and unfit big game have required the attention of the officers covering this area,” he said.

Cambria County WCO Seth Mesoras reports that, during the 2014 rifle deer season, an investigation on two individuals revealed multiple game-law violations and numerous unlawful taking of animals. A total of 19 charges were filed against the two individuals who pleaded guilty to charges resulting in more than $8,500 in fines.

Fayette County WCO Doug Bergman reports that the annual Red Tag “season” has started up. “Hunters with a current, resident hunting license are eligible to harvest antlerless deer only using special tags issued by the landowners enrolled in the program. A list of farms in your area can be obtained by sending a self addressed stamp envelope to the regional office. Please contact the farmers enrolled for description of property boundaries and a summarization of rules and regulations to follow and specified dates when hunting can occur,” he said.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that a recent court hearing yielded guilty verdicts against a local man for trapping without a furtaker license and using untagged traps. Fines and costs totaled more than $550.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties WCO Jason Farabaugh reports that three hunter-education classes have already been scheduled in the district for March. Locations include South Connellsville Rod & Gun Club, Indian Creek Valley Sportsmen’s Association, and the Mount Pleasant Armory. Register for classes at the Game Commission’s website.

Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that information from the TIP hotline resulted in an investigation into a large 8-point buck that was unlawfully taken during the first week of the 2014 archery deer season. “The individual had mentioned to the officer he had harvested a buck during the second day of the archery season. A license check revealed that the individual’s antlered tag was still attached to his license. The individual admitted that he had not tagged the animal after it was harvested and he had taken it back to his residence and butchered it. The antlers from the deer were seized and charges have been filed,” he said.

Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports seeing plenty of hunters during the flintlock, late archery and extended antlerless seasons in Allegheny County. “Other than a couple of days with single-digit temperatures, the weather had been cooperating fairly well, with light snow cover and 30- to 35-degree temperatures, giving the hunters a great opportunity to harvest a deer. West Mifflin, Jefferson, Elizabeth and Forward townships yielded quite a few deer during this late season,” he said.

Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports that two individuals have been charged for riding ATVs on Hunter Access cooperative property in Forward Township.

Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports that cases from deer season are being adjudicated with defendants pleading guilty and magisterial hearings being held. One individual pleaded guilty to shooting an antlerless deer during the rifle season without having a valid antlerless tag. 

Washington and Allegheny counties WCO Chris Bergman reports that he investigated a poaching incident in the Jefferson Hills area of Allegheny County. “During the investigation, I received assistance from my brother, WCO Doug Bergman. Two individuals were involved in shooting a deer in the early morning hours and then transporting it, only to be dumped about 10 miles away. One, who was interviewed by Officer Bergman, admitted to shooting the deer. The other, who was interviewed by the other Officer Bergman, admitted to transporting the deer to be dumped. Officers Bergman and Bergman concluded the investigation by getting written statements from the West Elizabeth residents and numerous charges will be filed by Officer Bergman,” he said.

Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that charges have been filed on three individuals after they were caught preparing to load an untagged deer into a truck in the Barking area of Plum Borough. They admitted to using a truck to locate the deer. The driver alighted from the truck and shot it.

Westmoreland County WCO Michael J. Papinchak reports that an individual found guilty of charges related to trapping a Great-horned owl had requested an appeal.“That appeal hearing was held recently after more than a year since the violation. The court upheld the guilty finding for using a pole trap, a device/method of trapping not legal in Pennsylvania for any species, protected (as the owl is) or not,” he said.

Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas reports a Mount Pleasant man is facing charges for setting multiple traps with bait visible from the air. Penalties range up to $200 for each violation charged.

Westmoreland County WCO Matthew Lucas reports an East Huntingdon township man is facing charges for failing to properly dispose of deer carcasses and dumping them onto lands open to hunting.

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