Southcentral Field Officer Report  - September 12, 2014

Adams County WCO Cory Ammerman reports that, in the month of August, two individuals were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol-drug combinations. Each suspect has had several DUI convictions in the past. Also, citations were issued to two individuals for possession of alcohol by minors, littering, fishing without a license, and being in a closed area after a certain time frame.  

Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reported that a Perry County resident recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident in December 2013. The defendant was caught dumping deer parts along a road at night, and a subsequent investigation, along with forensics testing, revealed the defendant had shot the deer illegally and did not tag the deer as required. The property where the parts were being dumped belonged to a local sportsmen’s club, and the defendant was a member of that club. The defendant was also charged with littering.

Franklin County WCO Douglas Barrick reports that a Shippensburg man was found guilty of hunting in a safety zone without first securing permission by the homeowner.

Land Management Group Supervisor Steven Bernardi reminds hunters that, with archery season approaching, now is the time to scout around for a place to put up your tree stands.  You may place a stand on game lands two weeks prior to the season opener and they must be removed following the late flintlock deer season.  If you have failed to remove stands on time in the past, and your stand is missing, please contact your local WCO or land manager.  It’s possible they may have it.

Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that increased patrols of Altoona Water Authority Forest Game cooperative properties have been increased. An overabundance of ATV and four-wheeling activity is present, along with multiple other violations including camping, littering and criminal trespass in restricted areas.

Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that 15 deer poaching incidents were investigated during the month of August. Most of the deer were partially butchered and dumped along backroads. Evidence obtained from the scenes suggests that several of the cases are related. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Game Commission’s TIP Line at 1-888-PGC-8001.

Adams County WCO Darren David reports that following a criminal (jury) trial involving a felony and multiple game-law violations from December 2013, the defendant was quickly found guilty. The defendant had been illegally hunting deer without a license, with a semi-automatic rifle, without the required fluorescent orange, all while trespassing. Because of his extensive felony criminal history, he was not allowed to possess any firearm. His brother, who was with him and charged with much of the same criminal activity, will be going to trial soon.

Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan said reports of poaching deer have been reported and are being investigated. Concerned sportsmen are thanked for the information that they provided regarding these incidents and the subjects involved soon will be cited.

York County WCO Kyle Jury reports that recently adjudicated charges in the Northern York district include various shooting-range violations and control-of-property regulations. 

Fulton County WCO Justin Klugh assisted Conservation Administrative Supervisor Kevin Mountz with a hearing that finalized a deer case from Mountz’s final year in Fulton County. The defendant, who refused to make a plea on his deer case until he was arrested for a theft, did not show up for the hearing he requested and was found guilty in absentia.

York County WCO Steven Knickel reports that recently, six individuals were apprehended for various game, county park and fishing violations that included but were not limited to; all six individuals not having a fishing license, the possession of alcohol, fleeing, and operating an unregistered and uninsured vehicle by an unlicensed driver.

Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn reports that he filed charges on and the defendant pleaded guilty to shooting an antlered deer in a closed season. He is also conducting an investigation on one or more individuals operating ATVs on game lands, damaging property and damaging trees. 

Mifflin County WCO Jeffrey Mock stated that active patrols to find baited areas are occurring around the state. Hunters are reminded that all bait and residue are required to be removed 30 days prior to the area being hunted.

Huntingdon County WCO Amy Nabozny recently held a Hunter-Trapper Education class in the northern Huntingdon area. The class was hosted by Standing Stone Creek Sportsmen’s Association and there were a total of 46 successful graduates from the class. 

Land Management Group Supervisor Chris Skipper advises that with the hunting season fast approaching, hunters are reminded it is illegal to use screw in steps, nails, screws, etc. in conjunction with tree stands on state game lands.  Although it may not be readily apparent, these items cause damage to the trees.

Cumberland County WCO Timothy Wenrich reports that a wayward bear was trapped in a residential area of Upper Allen Township and relocated to the Bald Eagle State Forest. He stated that “As always, the Upper Allen Township Police Department was instrumental in helping make this a safe and timely endeavor.”

Bedford County WCO Salvadore Zaffuto reports that a resident of Broad Top Township has pleaded guilty to poaching a spike buck in last deer season.

York County WCO Kyle Jury stated that recently, in the northern York County area, WCOs have handled several calls involving the placement of food for wildlife on State Game Lands. In most instances, a trail camera was also placed to capture images of the wildlife coming to the area. Placing any artificial food source on game lands is prohibited by Game Commission regulation and, in addition, the state game lands in the northern York County area are also under CWD special regulations prohibiting the feeding of any cervids.   

Perry County WCO Steve Hower related that a man who sold his farm last July shot and killed two antlered deer on opening day of rifle season in December. When interviewed he stated that he had killed both deer for “crop damage” and that the law as it applies to hunters did not apply to him. Hower reminded him that once his farm was sold, he no longer would qualify to shoot big game to protect crops since obviously, the crops no longer belonged to him. He argued that he had planted the crops and that the deer had damaged them. He was charged with failing to properly tag one buck and for the unlawful killing a second one over the limit.  A hearing was held before a local District Justice where he was found guilty of both charges. He appealed to the Court of Common Pleas in Juniata County where the verdicts were upheld. Hower states “There are strict guidelines and certain requirements must be met for killing big game to protect crops. Those who may have questions concerning this issue should contact the local WCO before taking action in order to avoid potential problems.”

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