Northcentral Field Officer Report  - January 16, 2015

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik noted an alarming increase in the number of citations for hunting over bait. Several individuals stated that they were copying what they had seen on television.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that several individuals will be charged for failing to tend their traps within the 36 hours during the rifle deer season. Each stated that they had neglected to check their traps while they hunted.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that the most-common violation in his district once again was loaded firearms in, on or against motorized vehicles. Road hunting and alighting and shooting from the roadway were the most-common complaints received from the general public.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that he had to deal with two additional bears shortly after Christmas due to them suffering from severe mange.  Both were adult females that weighed less than 60 pounds. One was a cinnamon-phase bear.

Potter and Tioga County Land Manager Denise Mitcheltree reports that another parking area was constructed on State Game Lands 208, near the headquarters buildings for the Food and Cover crews. The parking utilizes space previously occupied by “the barn” foundation after the building was demolished. The new parking lot provides a safe location for hunters to park and unload their dogs away from the edge of the roadway, and several grateful hunters quickly put the new lot to use.

Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that an individual shot a black bear in a den in Lafayette Township, McKean County. The individual shot the bear on Dec. 1 in the extended season in WMU 3A. After taking the bear to the check station and reporting it as a legal harvest, he called the Northcentral Region office on Dec. 3 and turned himself in for taking the bear unlawfully. Confirming the bear was actually in a den when shot, a citation was filed. The individual was assessed the minimum fine of $1,000.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports citing a hunter for the second time in two years for hunting while on license revocation. Besides hunting while on revocation, the individual shot a doe from a vehicle, in a safety zone, during the first week of the antlered-only rifle season.

Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports that several people were cited this hunting season for hunting from tree stands that caused damage to trees. Most of these were on public ground. In many of these cases, hunters were also hunting over bait and not wearing or displaying the required amount of orange for the season.

Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports that a Lock Haven man recently had his day in court. Cole states that he and a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ranger filed joint citations on an individual for violations during the 2014 spring turkey season.  The defendant was cited for driving behind a closed gate on the state forest and for hunting without a license and hunting while on revocation. The defendant pleaded guilty to charges and will pay up to $3,000 in fines. The defendant was in his eighth year of his current 10 years of license revocation. With this violation, the defendant is looking at another five years of revocation.

Cameron County, WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports seeing bears utilizing the abundant mast crop throughout the four-day bear season as well as the two-week rifle deer season. In some instances, the animals were observed after dark in areas where good concentrations of hunters were actively pursuing them throughout legal hours.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that an investigation involving a Westport, Clinton County, home that was struck by a bullet during the second week of the 2014 rifle deer season is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission Northcentral Region office.

Lycoming County WCO Jonathan M. Wyant reports that, despite the bad weather, the deer harvest seemed on track with years past.

Lycoming and Union counties LMO Thomas M. Smith reports that his Food and Cover Crews have erected 50 new American kestrel nesting boxes on the state game lands within the two counties. Although the American kestrel is our most-common falcon the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania states confirmed nesting in the Commonwealth is down 19 percent and probable nesting is down a whopping 32 percent. These boxes will be monitored for use and any kestrel chicks hatched in them will be banded.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports that he cited numerous individuals for loaded firearms in vehicles throughout the fall hunting seasons. 

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