COGAN HOUSE - Five men and two 17-year-old boys face misdemeanor charges after they were caught allegedly spotlighting and killing two white-tailed deer in Cogan House Township one night early last October, according to Kristoffer Krebs, a wildlife conservation officer for the state Game Commission.
The seven were inside a pickup truck that game commission officers stopped in the area of Cogan House and Buckhorn roads while investigating gunshot blasts about 9:40 p.m. on Oct. 5.
The charges were filed as a result of investigators finding two dead deer inside the truck's bed, Krebs said.
The game commission has charged Jeremiah Paucke, 20, of 1374 Chestnut Grove Road, Jersey Shore; Shaun Elkin, 35, of 186 Mountain Ave., Cammal; Kyle L. Persun, 29, and Mark Richard O'Connell, 32, both of 3842 Cogan House Road, Trout Run; Tyler Jacob Myers, 19, of 1324 Hesker Hill Road, Jersey Shore, and the two teens.
The seven have each been charged with two counts each of unlawful killing of big game during closed season and unlawful use of lighting while hunting. The two 17-year-olds, one from Cammal and the other from Trout Run, will be petitioned into juvenile court.
The five adults also have been charged with two counts of corrupting the morals of a minor, Krebs said.
Myers admitted to investigators that "We were going to shoot two deer to make bologna," Krebs wrote in an affidavit.
Investigators seized from the vehicle a Remington rifle that is believed to have been used in the shootings.
While one of the teenagers held a spotlight, Paucke allegedly "shot the deer while standing in the bed of the truck," Krebs said investigators were told.
The game officers impounded the truck, and after obtaining a search warrant, found more incriminating evidence, including a spotlight and two rifle shell casings, Krebs said.
All five men have been sent a summons to appear before District Judge James H. Sortman.