Southcentral Field Officer Report  - July 18, 2014

Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that an individual received multiple summary citations including disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and various game-law citations. These were brought on as a result of his actions which caused agricultural damage to a farmer’s field. 

Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reported that drug and alcohol use has increased on the game lands since summer has arrived. Recently, three people were charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia on State Game Lands 170.  

Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that charges were filed on an individual for operating his Jeep on Altoona City Water Authority property, Bellwood Reservoir. The defendant pleaded guilty to the above charge. He had been found crossing the spillway and making his own trails. This property is restricted against such activity.

Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that citations were filed against an Osterburg man for possessing two live deer that were taken from the wild as fawns. Fines and restitution for this case could total more than $1,500.

Adams County WCO Darren David reports that three teenage, or young adult, males were seen taking part in the killing of a beaver in early June. According to several witnesses fishing along a stream in close proximity to the three, one of the suspects bludgeoned the beaver to death with a log while the others assisted and then carried off the carcass. Although there are leads in the case, anyone with information is urged to contact the Game Commission’s Southcentral Region headquarters.

Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports that a Shippensburg resident was charged with shooting two juvenile Canada geese (goslings) that were in a pond by his house. The shooter said that he didn’t want them there because they had been leaving feces on his lawn.

Perry County WCO Steven Hower reported that groundhogs are usually thought of as nuisance animals and often destroyed when seen. They are in fact a “game mammal” as defined in the Game and Wildlife Code, and as such, there are regulations for hunting them. While responding to a report of hunters suspected of not complying with these regulations recently, he and Deputy Scott Hoyer encountered two men on a motor vehicle in a field with a loaded rifle, no orange hats, unable to produce identification, and one of the men unable to produce his hunting license. Citations were filed on them for the various violations they committed.  If you have any questions about the laws or regulations on hunting groundhogs please refer to your hunting digest or call the Game Commission’s region office.

York County WCO Kyle Jury reported that with the summer season upon us, recreational activity has picked up on the 3,000-plus acres of State Game Lands in the northern York County-area. All ponds posted as propagation areas are now open to fishing, and using unpowered boats is permitted. Also, Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply to these waters just as they would anywhere else in the state. Some common violations this time of year include possession of alcohol or controlled substances on State Game Lands, damage to property and littering.    

Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh stated that June was a busy month with Information and Education activities that included Hunter-Trapper Education, Youth Field Day and a Woman in the Outdoors event.

York County WCO Steve Knickel reports that an individual has pleaded guilty to all four charges brought against him in regard to the illegal, closed-season taking of two deer, with the fines totaling $3,536.50

Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem reported that he has been assisting the Fish and Boat Commission with patrolling Raystown Lake. They report to have encountered multiple violations such as unregistered boats, not enough life jackets and a few BUI arrests.

Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn reports that he is investigating a number of game-lands use violations. They include driving on closed roads, damage to property and removing rocks and firewood. 

Mifflin County WCO Jeff Mock reports that one case involving homeowners killing wildlife for no legally justifiable reason has been adjudicated, and a second is pending.  Just for clarification “because I don’t like them around” is not reason to kill wildlife around your house. If they are causing damage, some wildlife species may be killed by a homeowner. If you are experiencing problems with wildlife, your best bet is to contact your local WCO and see what your options are.

York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that an individual was charged with unlawfully killing two Canada geese out of season with an unlawful device, as well as not having the migratory-bird license or federal Duck Stamp. Even if waterfowl is shot out of season, it is an additional charge to not have the license and stamp.

York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that with the warmer weather, unlawful activity such as mudding and bonfires have increased on game lands and  co-op properties. In one such incident, I had to put out a fire on a Monday afternoon that had been burning since the weekend and the coals were very hot – so hot that the vegetation was starting to burn about 2 feet from the actual coals.

Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny has received numerous calls on deer fawns this year as well as various sightings. It appears that it has been a productive year for deer.  However, there have been few reports of turkey poults. The very wet spring might have proven a problem for the birds’ reproduction. 

Blair and Huntingdon counties LMO Chris Skipper reports that residents are reminded not to pick up young wildlife. Most times, they are not abandoned by their mother and picking them up in an effort to help is only causing more harm in the long run.

Cumberland County WCO Timothy Wenrich reported that he conducted a program for a great group of second-grade students at Highland Elementary School. They discussed Pennsylvania wildlife, food chains and foods webs.

Blair County WCO Albert Zellner reports that the illegal operation of ATVs and snowmobiles have caused patrols to be stepped up in his area. Damage-to-game-lands and alcohol-possession charges have also been processed on three separate game lands within his district.

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