Police: Drunken mobile party led to alleged deer poaching, DUI charges

It allegedly all started out as a drunken ramble through the countryside. Four local men had spent the afternoon drinking together and driving around, police said, and when they spotted a deer in an open field, one of the men allegedly shot and killed the doe.

Now, at least one member of the party faces felony charges.

Eugene H. Colegrove, 55. of 242 Route 284, Trout Run, faces one felony charge for possession of a firearm as well as misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a small amount of marijuana. He also faces two summary charges.

On Dec. 4, local resident Mandy D. Ridge was traveling along Roaring Branch Road in Jackson Township when she came upon a white SUV, which had pulled to the side of the road, police said. As she drove past, Ridge noticed at least three people in the vehicle.

Her suspicion grew when she noticed two small deer standing in a field owned by George Ridge, of 3217 Roaring Branch Road. She became unsettled when she noticed that the SUV did not return to the road until her vehicle had approached a bend, records state.

As Ridge drove, she lowered her driver’s side window and heard a single gunshot. She turned her vehicle back around and once again came upon the SUV. She took down the vehicle’s license plate number and contacted the Northcentral Regional Office of the state Game Commission, police said.

County wildlife conservation officers met with Ridge near the field. She led them to the corpse of a freshly killed doe, records state.

After running the vehicle’s plates, officers traced the SUV to Colegrove, according to court records.

Officers drove to Colegrove’s home shortly before he pulled into his driveway. Upon speaking with Colegrove, officers informed him that his vehicle had been involved in an incident earlier that afternoon.

Colegrove replied “that he did not shoot any deer,” according to the affidavit.

When asked if he had any firearms in the vehicle,Colegrove responded that he did not own a gun, police said. However, authorities soon discovered a rifle shoved between the passenger seat and the center console of the vehicle.

Officers said they noticed that Colegrove appeared to be heavily intoxicated and asked him to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed.

“I observed his pants were soiled in the groin area and I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath,” authorities wrote in the affidavit.

Colegrove was transported to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center where tests revealed his blood alcohol content to be 0.215 percent, according to court records.

A search of Colegrove’s vehicle revealed a grey plastic bag containing two pieces of backstrap meat from a female white-tailed deer, a .22-caliber Winchester rifle with scope, .22-caliber ammunition, a detachable magazine for the rifle that contained five rounds, 13 empty cans of beer and one empty bottle of Crown Royal, and a plastic bag containing 14.8 grams of marijuana, according to authorities.

Colegrove admitted he had spent the day driving around with three friends but denied killing any animals, police said.

He was arraigned before District Judge Allen Page on April 11 and has been released on $15,000 bail.