Southcentral Field Officer Report  - February 13, 2015

Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that three Tyrone residents have entered guilty pleas to charges stemming from theft of firewood and attempt to flee officers on State Game Lands 60. Each defendant was sentenced to pay at least $1,500 in fines, and will have his license privileges revoked for a minimum of two years.

Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that, during time leading up to the 2014-15 hunting seasons, an increase in spotlighting while in possession of firearms was noticed. Sixteen citations were filed for this violation.  

Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports he is conducting several illegal-deer investigations. One involves a hunter who shot three antlered deer during the season. Game lands violations also are on the rise with the recent snowfall, with instances of driving through fields on the rise. Fetchkan reminds readers that driving on closed roads and in fields on game lands and cooperators’ properties is unlawful. Along with fines for the activity, violators can be charged for property damage and repairs, as well.

Group 4 Land Management Group Supervisor Eric Horsh reports that, every year when the snow starts, people begin to drive in game lands fields and damage parking lots. Crops are often damaged as well. It costs time and money to fix damages – money that could be spent on habitat instead. Anyone with information about individuals using the game lands as their personal playground should call their regional office and provide the information for the local WCO or LMO.

Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem advised that, while investigating a complaint of a possible illegal deer, he discovered that the same individual shot a deer in the regular firearms season and failed to affix the completed tag as required by law.  Citations have been filed.

Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn reports that he issued two citations to a trapper for setting traps using bait visible from the air, and two citations for untagged traps.  Malehorn issued four warnings for additional untagged traps as well. He had a crow carcass and an opossum carcass, each used as bait in traps. 

Group 1 Land Management Group Supervisor Chris Skipper reported that his Food and Cover crews are busy this time of year doing timber stand improvements, maintaining equipment and prepping for the upcoming spring planting season.

Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich reports that he’s investigating nine separate incidents of off-road vehicles driving on a local Hunter Access property near Mount Holly Springs. One subject has been identified so far, and there are leads on several others. The violations are strictly enforced and the violators will probably face additional charges of damaging the property. Local patrols and surveillance will continue.

Cumberland County WCO Tim Wenrich repots that he is seeing deer (some already dead) with symptoms indicative of supplemental feeding of corn. Such feeding can be detrimental to deer, because their digestive systems are conditioned to process woody browse and vegetation during this time of year, not grain. If you truly want to help deer during the snow-covered months, it might be better to provide them with browse. 

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