Northcentral Field Officer Report  - November 21, 2014

Tioga County WCO Robert Minnich  reports the month was busy with sportsmen’s club meetings, a sick bald eagle, an awards banquet, road-killed bears, a law-enforcement meeting, pheasant stockings, deputy training meetings, a cable-restraint training course, the Mill Cove meeting, patrol rifle training, two school-active-shooter training drills, and also law-enforcement patrols and interviews. Wildlife is moving now that weather is changing, mast crops are dropping and farmers are harvesting crops. Deer and bear are being hit on roads, so be vigilant in travels, especially in early mornings and evenings.

Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports answering many questions from hunters regarding chronic wasting disease. The recent discovery in Jefferson County and the newly established DMA 3 covering portions of Jefferson and Clearfield Counties has brought the concerns into the Northcentral Region.

Lycoming County WCO Jonathan M. Wyant reports the rut is in full swing in Lycoming County. Several large bucks have been spotted and a few harvested.

Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that several charges were filed for unlawful devices and methods, and hunting through the use of bait. Several other charges were filed for hunting without the required amount of daylight fluorescent orange material and for various state game lands violations. Two individuals were charged with unlawful use of lights while hunting and loaded firearms in vehicles for spotlighting and searching for deer while having a loaded crossbow in the vehicle.

Cadet Jared Turner reports while on field training in Wayne County and Tioga County he’s encountered numerous baiting violations. In particular, the violations were almost all baiting with corn and mineral blocks during the archery deer season. The violations have resulted in closures of baited properties and thousands of dollars in fines.

Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports that he received a call from dispatch about two bears in traps. He states that this is not unusual when he has a trap set. Cole states that these bears were both cubs in foothold traps set for coyotes. Cole noted that the trapper was rather excited about the bears in his traps. Cole went to the scene, tranquilized the approximately 90-pound cubs and processed them. Cole states that he had the sow looking on the whole time. The sow was back in the woods about 40 yards from her cubs waiting patiently. The cubs were no worse for wear when they came out of the drugs and were reunited with the sow.

Centre County WCO Mike Steingraber reports that he has encountered a high number of unplugged shotguns this fall. He urges hunters to check the magazine on their shotgun and make sure it is plugged to a two-shell capacity. The shotgun is unlawful if you can put more than two shells in the magazine.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that Frank G. Buchanan Jr. pleaded guilty to his charges for killing three bull elk during the month of September near the town of Karthaus. Buchanan was sentenced to repay $22,652, which includes fines and restitution. He was also sentenced to serve 90 days of imprisonment. Jeffrey Bickel and Cody Lyons were the other actors involved and they recently waived their preliminary hearings.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that Old Town Sportsmen’s Club is in the initial phases of eradicating its winter wildlife feeding program, which consists of distributing corn to members. The detection of chronic wasting disease in a two captive deer facilities in Jefferson County was the driving force in this decision. All citizens should be informed that the feeding of white-tailed deer is prohibited within the Disease Management Areas because it could facilitate the spread of the disease through animal interaction.

Potter County WCO Mark Fair reports he released a mature bald eagle from a leg-hold trap. The bird was captured because the trapper had bait visible from the air. This is a violation of the Game and Wildlife Code. In this case, a whole exposed opossum carcass was the reason the eagle landed in the trap.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports finding a hunter’s field jacket which the hunter forgot prior to leaving the area he where he parked. The hunter got his jacket and license back after WCOs made contact with him and delivered his jacket to him.

WCO Tom Sabolcik recently filed several citations against several hunters for Safety Zone violations as well as alighting from a motorized vehicle and shooting at turkeys from the side of the road.  Both men admitted their roles in the events of that day and readily admitted their guilt once it was known that he landowners had video taped their actions.

WCO Tom Sabolcik recently filed several citations against two individuals for placing or possessing loaded firearms on their vehicles. The first was a crossbow with the bolt in the carrier that was in the rack of an ATV, and the second was a .22 caliber rifle loaded and on the back of a pickup truck. 

Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports several successful prosecutions for illegal deer among other things. Among these prosecutions are one for a closed season deer that was shot at night with a light, one for a deer shot with a bow prior to the archery opener, two shot with rifles during the archery season and one unmarked deer transported into Pennsylvania across the New York state line in violation of New York, Pennsylvania and federal law.

Lycoming and Union counties LMO Thomas M. Smith reports his Food & Cover Crews teamed up and constructed a new bridge on State Game Lands 75’s Larson Lane. The bridge replaces an aging high maintenance culvert pipe and can support fully loaded log trucks for future timbering operations.  Food & Cover Crews are “jacks of all trades” within the Game Commission; they can create new food plots in the woods and also construct the roads for the hunters to access them.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reported that a Lock Haven man recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident involving a junior hunter. In this incident the junior hunter exited a vehicle stopped on a public road with a loaded firearm. The junior hunter scoped a deer and was not wearing any fluorescent orange safety material at the time.  The father of the junior hunter was cited for one count of unlawful devices and methods.

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