Game Commission field officers report on outdoor happenings

Field officers for the state Game Commission’s Northcentral region filed the following reports on June 21, according to the agency’s website:

Lycoming County Wildlife Conservation Officer Harold Cole asks motorists to drive defensively when it comes to wildlife. He said he got a call to get a dead deer out of a Chevrolet Blazer at a tow company. When the driver hit the deer, it flew over the hood, through the windshield and landed on the backseat floor. It was reported to Cole that the driver was very fortunate and only needed a few stitches.

WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports that an individual was cited and pleaded guilty to dumping three bags of trash on game lands. A concerned sportsman found the bags while hiking and notified the commission.

  • Clinton County WCO Ken Packard said that after encountering heavy pollen and numerous bug hits on his windshield, he located an unusual car wash in Woolrich. The township workers had opened a fire hydrant that shot water 8 feet into the air on one lane of Park Avenue. Workers were surprised to see the commission’s truck drive under the waterfall and stop, instead of driving around it as everyone else was doing.
  • Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports sporadic areas of the county were hit with a heavy frost just as the trees were in flower. The hillsides are covered in large areas of brown as the trees are just now starting to leaf. Although the trees will recover, there will be no mast in some areas of the county.
  • Land Manager John Dzemyan reports that heavy frosts in May affected some plants and not others. As of June 1, red maple, hornbeams and red-berried elders already had plenty of maturing seeds on them, while red oaks, white ash and walnuts were just starting to grow a new set of leaves after having lost their first new leaves during the frosts.
  • Dzemyan also reported that, for the second year in a row, whippoorwills are calling at State Game Lands 062 near Mt. Jewett in the evenings.
  • Lycoming County WCO Jonathan M. Wyant reports he has observed that many bear complaints involve the intentional feeding of bears. This is against the Game and Wildlife Code and simply is not a good idea.
  • Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports settling a plea arrangement with a man who pled guilty to three counts of selling wildlife. He paid a few thousand dollars in fines and was placed on probation, not to mention the likelihood of losing his hunting and trapping privileges for many years.
  • Tioga County WCO Rob Minnich reports May was another busy month chasing bear complaints, patroling turkey hunters, sorting and delivering seedlings, attending meetings and providing programs for the public. He processed five nuisance bears and used all of them in programs for public. He assisted with several beaver complaints and removal of three beaver. And, he also attended or provided programs for the Arnot Sportsmen’s Club, Mansfield High School, Tioga county Envirothon, PSU Cooperative Extension Environmental Awareness Days, Hills Creek State Park Spring Fest, Arnie Hayden Memorial chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women in the Outdoors, Bogaczyk Farms school group and Buck Green’s Memorial Weekend gathering.
  • Lycoming/Union Counties Land Management Group Supervisor Thomas M. Smith reports the Food & Cover crews are busy planting food plots on state game and state forest lands. So far this spring the two crews have planted 94 acres of small grains and 37 acres of clovers.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that he became a celebrity during an encounter that involved a spring turkey hunter using scratch grain to attract turkeys to his permanent blind. The entire event was being filmed by an outdoor television show. The hunter was cited for hunting through the use of bait.

  • Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer euthanized a white-tailed deer that escaped from a captive deer facility near the village of Lanse. Local residents of the area indicated the deer was roaming wild for several weeks. CWD tissue samples were extracted and sent for analysis. Results are pending.


  • Luzerne County WCO Philip White responded to an incident involving the illegal dumping of several 55-gallon drums containing a chemical solvent. The incident occurred on State Game Lands 91, near Meadow Run Road in Bear Creek Township during the early morning hours of June 1. Anyone with information should call the Northeast Regional Office at 675-1143.


Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that a red fox pup was taken from a local family who illegally kept it as a pet for about three weeks. Supposedly it wandered into their yard, so they “rescued it,” and then as the mom stated, “My daughter fell in love with it.” Only when it started acting “sick” did they contact the Game Commission. They were treating the sickly fox pup with drugstore skin creams for what appeared to be mange. The teenage girl, who frequently held the fox, had developed a rash that her doctor couldn’t specifically diagnose. It was suggested that the doctor be informed that she had repeated direct contact and exposure to a possibly mangy fox. The fox was submitted for rabies testing and the results were negative. Charges will be filed.


  • Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek is investigating a number of incidents in which people have taken squirrels, groundhogs and raccoons into their homes. “It is both unlawful and unsafe to take wildlife out of the wild,” he said. “In some cases where human exposure has occurred, I have been obligated to put animals down and have them tested for rabies. If you see wildlife that you believe may be orphaned or injured, please do the smart thing and call the Game Commission first.”
  • Lancaster County WCO Dennis R. Warfel reports that a farmer in Paradise Township has been cited for improper use of the pesticide Avitrol. “His use was inconsistent with the manufacturer’s label instructions, other desirable birds and mammals were put at risk, including a nearby eagle nest,” he said.