Game Commission field officers report on outdoor happenings

Field officers for the state Game Commission’s Northcentral region filed the following reports on Oct. 13, according to the agency’s website:

• Clinton County Wildlife Conservation Officer Kirk Miller reported it was nice to see good hunter participation on the first day of archery season.

• Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reported that, on the opening day of archery season, multiple citations were filed against two individuals for violations on State Game Lands 44 in Fox Township. One man was hunting over a large pile of corn and a second was hunting at a site where corn had been present less than 30 days prior to the season opening. In addition, both men were hunting from tree stands placed overnight, without being tagged, and they were using screw-in hangers and had cut down multiple trees.

• Centre and Clinton counties WCO Dan Murray reported finding a deer hunter in an area baited with corn and a mineral block. Charges have been filed.

• McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reported that he and Deputy WCO Wayne Foltz caught two nonresidents operating there side-by-sides on state game lands. Charges were filed.

• McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reported that, even with a dry summer, there is a good food source and plenty of game being seen.

• Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reported an injured red-tailed hawk he picked up Aug. 21 near Larry’s Creek in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County, had been banded on Oct. 28, 2016, as a juvenile near Franklinville in Huntingdon County. Unfortunately, the hawk’s injuries required it to be euthanized.

• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a bull elk was discovered dead by a photographer. Necropsy results indicate that animal had a fractured femur, most likely sustained while fighting with other elk during the breeding season.

• Gritzer also reported that a Lanse individual was encountered hunting through the use of bait on the opening day of archery deer season.

• Gritzer said multiple ATV operators on Hunter Access property refused to stop for identification or inspection while the emergency lights on his vehicle were activated. Numerous subjects were identified based on past encounters, and charges are pending.

• Gritzer also reported that bear-trapping efforts are underway in agriculture areas due to corn damage.

• Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reported encountering recent baiting violations. One crossbow hunter had salt and grain placed within 20 yards of the stand. If anyone encounters baited areas, they may note the location and report it to a state Game Commission office or via the commission website.

• Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder said two new deputies completed the school, passed their final exams and now are out in the field, training and working.

• Tioga County WCO Robert Minnich advised all hunters make sure to check the seasons, laws and regulations that apply to the areas they hunt. Just because something is in season in one wildlife management unit does not mean it is in season elsewhere. If signs are posted, be sure to read them.

• Minnich also reported weather and leaves are beginning to change and wildlife is moving more for food to fatten up for the winter. “Be careful driving, especially in the early morning and evening hours,” he advised.

• Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reported euthanizing a large bull elk that was injured while fighting. This type of incident happens most every year. While results like these unsettling, the meat in this case was donated, and antlers were purchased by a Good Samaritan who offered his help.

• Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports numerous ongoing nuisance bear and mangy bear complaints, as well as the citing of an individual for hunting deer over multiple food sources.

NORTHEAST REGION Field Officer Reports — Nov. 9

• Bradford County WCO Blake Barth said he charged an individual for unlawfully hunting through use of a motorized vehicle, having a loaded firearm in vehicle and possessing an unlawfully harvested deer. The defendant faces fines, restitution for the deer and loss of hunting license privileges. The violation was reported by witnesses who provided crucial information to solve the case.

• Bradford County WCO Michael Goodenow reported an individual cited for spotlighting after 11 p.m. faces up to $200 in fines.

• Pike County WCO Bob Johnson reported a Philadelphia man was found guilty on appeal in Commonwealth Court for killing a bear through the use of bait during the 2016 archery season. The man scattered a 50-pound bag of corn in his yard and waited for the bear to come up his driveway, and shot the bear as it got to the corn. Fines and costs totaled over $2,800, and the man lost his hunting privileges for three years.

• Susquehanna County WCO Mike Webb reported that most pheasant hunters seem pleased with this year’s season, and birds are very plentiful in stocked locations. “The habitat improvements to the area state game lands has really taken off this year, providing excellent cover may species of wildlife,” said Webb.

southwest REGION Field Officer Reports — Nov. 9

• Westmoreland County WCO Bill Brehun said charges have been filed against a 67-year-old man for exiting his vehicle while on a public road and shooting a ring-necked pheasant standing along the same road. Upon making contact with the individual, it was found he placed the loaded firearm, yet another violation, back into the vehicle.

• Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reported one individual was charged with unlawfully taking a nine point buck on the first day of the statewide archery deer season. The deer was taken without first purchasing a hunting license.