Field officers report outdoor happenings

Field officers for the state Game Commission’s Northcentral region filed the following reports on Feb. 15, according to the agency’s website:

  • Lycoming County Wildlife Conservation Officer Jonathan Wyant said bears are still out roaming around:?”I had a bear get into a beehive on Dec. 21.” Similar reports came in from Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole and Tioga County WCO Robert Minnich. Cole encouraged residents to “help train the bears (and all other wildlife) to stay in the woods looking for food by keeping all perceived food sources picked up so when they come into the houses the bears won’t find anything.” Minnich said that “with a good bear kill this past year again and receiving complaints this early, (it) looks like another good year for bear this coming year.”

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs said on Jan. 28, a Coatesville man pleaded guilty to charges from a Nov. 17 incident during the firearms season for bear in Cogan House Township. The man shot and killed a bear while trespassing on the property of the Corn Hill Hunting Club. Officers discovered he had not completed the required hunter-trapped education course. He was charged with one count of trespass while hunting and one count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife. Magisterial District Judge James Sortman ordered the defendant to pay $1,200 in fines.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder said with the prices of the fur market increasing this year he has seen an increase in the number of trappers and fox and coyote hunters.

  • Denise H. Mitcheltree, land management group supervisor for Potter and Tioga counties, said slippery conditions and gusty winds have slowed down the food and cover crew efforts on their aspen regeneration and browse cutting operations. On days when the wind causes unsafe cutting conditions, the crew has been cleaning and repairing nesting structures on game lands. In January, crews cleaned out, repaired or replaced 59 duck boxes, 350 bluebird boxes, four flicker boxes, nine kestrel boxes, and two owl boxes in preparation for the spring nesting season.