Game Commission field officers report on outdoor happenings

Field officers for the state Game Commission’s Northcentral region filed the following reports on June 16, according to the agency’s website:

• Lycoming County Wildlife Conservation Officer Jonathan M. Wyant reports observing several bucks sporting visible racks.

• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports results are in regarding two bull elk submitted to the animal diagnostics lab in State College in April. One animal died due complications from being infested with ticks, and the other death was related to rumen acidosis. Rumen acidosis is a disruption in the digestive tract caused by a sudden change in diet, causing the stomach content to become acidic. An abundance of corn was prevalent in the rumen during the necropsy.

• Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports issuing a fair number of written warnings for feeding bears. Aside from the obvious nuisance such activity creates, feeding bears is especially troubling given the mange epidemic in certain parts of the state.

• Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports that local police officers are becoming very adept at helping to rescue wildlife. In two weeks, police officers assisted in reuniting a fawn deer with its mother and did the same with two broods of ducklings that fell into a storm drain.

• Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that several violations were encountered on state game lands on Memorial Day weekend. Citations were filed for possession of alcohol and camping on state game lands. Citations also were filed for riding ATVs and dirt bikes on Forest Game cooperator properties open to public hunting.

• Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reports that instances of bears with mange are on the rise in the district and that wildlife feeding likely is the main cause of mange spreading in bears.

• McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble reports, while traveling near Lewis Run, a fisher ran from a hemlock stand and in front of his vehicle. “This was the first fisher I have seen alive,” he said. “I’m glad to see them doing well.”

• Centre and Clinton counties Land Manager Eric Erdman was looking over areas recently treated with controlled burns on State Game Lands 33 in Centre County when a ruffed grouse false charged his vehicle. “While I was slowly driving along a wide grass firebreak, I briefly noticed something moving in short grass off to the side of my vehicle. Before I could identify the chicks, a protective adult grouse flew out of the burn area, toward my open window,” he said. “Luckily it didn’t perceive me as a real threat and let me pass by without incident. When I drove by a second time to leave the area, I gave the group a wider pass, but received the same treatment.”

• Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports that, during the last full week of the 2017 spring gobbler season, a hen with about a dozen poults was spotted in Sproul State Forest.