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Northcentral Region


Seasonal Roads, Designated Routes, Snowmobile Trails and Access for Hunters with Disabilities

Seasonal Roads Open for Hunting & Trapping
Designated Routes for Horses and Bicycles
State Game Lands 176 (The Barrens) Designated Routes brochure (PDF)
Snowmobile Trails
Access Routes for Hunters with Disabilities
State Game Lands 311 Equestrian Trail (PDF)

Public Shooting Ranges

Public Shooting Ranges in the Northcentral Region

Field Officer Reports - July 14, 2017

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a mange bear was euthanized in Lawrence Township near the town of Hyde. This is the third bear found with this disease in this area in 2017.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports a bull elk displaying clinical signs of infection from the brainworm parasite was euthanized in Girard Township and transported to Penn State for testing.

Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports that a Centre County resident was encountered with 40 grams of synthetic marijuana. Charges were filed and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July.

Cameron County WCO Wayne A. Hunt reports the West Creek Recreational Rails to Trails is now complete. The 19-mile trail has received the stone paving on the final section, and the entire trail is available for use for hiking and bicycling from St. Marys to Emporium. The trail travels through State Game Lands 293 in some areas, and the entire trail is enrolled in the Game Commission’s cooperative public access program. When weather conditions permit, it is open for snowmobiling. The trail is closed to ATV use.

Union County WCO Dirk Remensnyder reports that increased instances of bears with mange have been documented in the district.

McKean County WCO Skyler Gibble reports that, while assisting another officer, multiple arrests were made for ATV-related violations. Riders are advised it is their responsibility to know where they are and if they have permission to be riding where they are.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that he and DWCO Jeff Anderson recently held a cable-restraint class at the Eldred Conservation Club. Trappers came from McKean, Cameron and Warren counties to get certified.

McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik reports that, while working with several WCOs in Elk County, several UTVs were stopped on properties they did not have permission to be on. During the course of the investigation it was determined that two of the operators had their driver’s licenses suspended due to DUI. Neither thought that operating the UTVs was a possible violation of their suspensions.

Lycoming County WCO Kristoffer Krebs reports that a Montgomery man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a June 7 incident that occurred in Clinton Township, Lycoming County. The defendant killed an antlered deer for crop damage and failed to field dress the carcass or maintain it in a place of safe-keeping. The defendant reported the kill the following morning, but the meat was spoiled and not suitable for consumption by the time of his telephone call.

Centre County WCO Michael Ondik reports five individuals were cited and 12 were warned for shooting-range violations as part of a recent enforcement detail at Scotia Range. Violations included shooting at targets other than paper targets (cans and bottles) and discharging a firearm from a place other than the established shooting stations.

Centre County WCO Dan Murray reports a high number of bears with mange throughout his patrol area, and recommends that area residents cease all wildlife feeding to help stop the spread of the disease.

Land Management Group Supervisor Rodney Mee reports that several share-cropping contracts totaling nearly 150 acres ran out on State Game Lands 317. Native warm-season grasses were planted in those fields to help enhance small-game habitat.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reports that beaver complaints are up this year and trappers should have a great upcoming season.

McKean County WCO Jeffrey Orwig reports that charges were filed against several individuals for riding ATVs on cooperator properties

Elk County WCO Jason Wagner reports nuisance-bear complaints were steady throughout late May and June. Several reports of mange have been received throughout the county. One hotspot for mange has been the East Branch Lake area, where several bears showing signs of mange were captured and treated, and a yearling bear with severe mange over its entire body was euthanized.

Clinton County WCO Kirk Miller reports that multiple bears with mange have been reported in Clinton County. In severe cases, infected bears must be euthanized. The public is reminded that feeding bears is illegal, and all sources of food should be removed if bears are being drawn to them. This prevents a concentration of black bears visiting the same spot, which helps prevent the spread of the mange.

Lycoming County WCO Harold Cole reports healthy and sick bears were keeping him busy in the last week of June. On Tuesday of that week, a sow with cubs attacked a dog that was let out of nearby house. A trap was set for several days, but no bears were caught. Cole also met with a news reporter to discuss mange reports in the Waterville area. On Wednesday, Cole checked a bear trap he had set because a mange bear was reported nearby, but he caught a healthy-looking bear he transported and released a short distance away. He reset the trap, and again talked to a reporter about mange. On Thursday, Cole received a call a severely infected mange bear was in a yard outside a Waterville camp. The callers were able to keep an eye on the bear until Cole arrived, and he was able to quickly euthanize the bear. On Friday, Cole received calls for two bears in two different traps he had set for mange issues. Both bears had severe cases of mange and were euthanized. All of these bear calls involved bears that were habituated to food sources. Why was the sow with cubs around houses to begin with? She no doubt was showing the cubs how and where to get food, from people around houses. The dog owners had no food out and were doing everything right to NOT attract bears. However, someone nearby likely is doing things wrong and has trained bears that houses mean food. The other bears were all trapped within 40 yards of houses. Why were these bears there? It is simple – food. That is why a dog died and why mange is spreading so severely.