Southeast Field Officer Report   - September 12, 2014

Berks County WCO Matt Teehan reminds hunters to check the Hunting & Trapping Digest for changes made to laws and regulations. “In my district last year, all hunters lost access to four farms that were previously open to hunting due to the actions of a few individuals,” he said. 

Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that while several hunters were checked during the early goose season, they were outnumbered by the dove hunters. Warnings were issued for failure to possess additional identification, and citations for unplugged shot shotguns.

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that early dove- and goose-hunting pressure is light. Perhaps the hot and humid weather kept hunters in more comfortable settings. Those who did venture afield for doves have found the birds in good numbers in harvested cornfields. Violations encountered include safety zone, unplugged shotguns, unlawful use of an electronic decoy and one hunter who failed to purchase a hunting license.

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that good numbers of nice-racked bucks are being seen throughout his northeastern Lancaster County district. Spotlighting activity is up and there have been numerous reports of shots fired at night resulting in ongoing investigations. Nighttime patrols increased when bucks antlers reached full growth, and patrols will continue throughout the upcoming months.        

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that biologist Jack Gilbert caught an excellent numbers of ducks for banding at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Be sure to report the harvest of banded birds to ensure the information becomes available to waterfowl managers. Duck season soon will be here and it should be a good one.

Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reminds all hunters to ask for permission to hunt on private property by contacting landowners before the season. Offer a 3-by-5 index card with your name, address, telephone number and a description of the vehicle you drive. Once you have hunted, offer some game as well. Landowners appreciate responsible and ethical hunters on their property.

Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that numerous citations have been filed for drug use on State Game Lands 145 at Dinosaur Rock. In one weekend, Sheetz and DWCO Jeff Kawich dealt with 10 individuals that either had drug paraphernalia, controlled substances or had used a controlled substance on the game lands.

Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that the start of early goose and dove seasons have been busy. Citations were filed for unplugged shotguns, safety-zone violations and hunting without a license.  “After a brief investigation and interview with the person it was determined that he was indeed hunting,” he said.  “The license was not on the hunter’s person as required by law. It was 25 miles away at a friend’s house. The person had tried to hide his shotgun and doves that he had taken and say he was not hunting.”

Lehigh/Northampton County WCO Shawna Burkett reports that the beautiful weather for the dove/goose opener allowed for many goose hunters to get out on the Lehigh River early Labor Day morning. At the Fish and Boat Commission boat launch of Route 33, the parking lot was full of trucks with empty boat trailers.

Montgomery County WCO Raymond Madden reports that during the first week of dove- and goose-hunting season, multiple license checks were conducted and the majority of those checked were in complete compliance, but a few were not. “Of those who were not, the majority were ones who did not have their duck stamps signed or did not read the regulations and were hunting prior to noon for doves,” he said. 

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider received two separate reports of wild turkeys with noticeable diseases covering their heads. These reports were about 25 miles apart in the district. “Fortunately we did recover one of the turkeys as we were able to walk within a few feet and net it,” he said. 

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that porcupine numbers are definitely increasing south of the Appalachian Trail with increased sightings and several recovered roadkills.

Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that cadets from the Ross Leffler School of Conservation 30th class received their assignments for the early goose and dove season openers. “As cadets, this will be their first working day in the field as commissioned officers,” he said. They will start their 10-week assignments the beginning of October.

Chester/Lancaster/York LMGS Linda Swank reports that during the last week of August, the crews spent time working on the public shooting ranges.  “Our ranges here in the southeast take a lot of use and abuse,” she said.  The ranges on SGL 242 and 43 were each closed for a day while the crews worked quickly to accomplish all the needed upgrades. “The crews get a lot done in a short amount of time so the ranges could be reopened as soon as possible.”

Chester/Lancaster/York LMGS Linda Swank reports that the crews are busy with landowner contacts before the rush of the hunting season begins. “All our cooperating landowners are personally visited prior to the season to assure they have signs they may need or to determine any other questions they may have as part of the public access program,” she said. “We try to get these done prior to pheasant stocking time arrives.” These visits are usually made by the person in the crew that works as the Farm Game Manager for their area.

Chester/Lancaster/York LMGS Linda Swank reports that fall food plots are being planted and this year they started the fall burning of warm season grass fields. “It was amazing how those grass fields that looked so green burned,” she said.  “As those burns green up going into fall they will provide great habitat for wildlife.”

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