Skip Navigation LinksPGC > Information & Resources > About Us > Contact Information > Southwest > Southwest Region News Releases

Southwest Region News Releases


​For Information Contact: ​Release #03-18
​Patrick L. Snickles February 5, 2018
​Information & Education Supervisor F​or Immediate Release​
 State Gamelands 203 Rifle Range To Be Closed February 15 & 16 For Building Demolition

BOLIVAR – The Pennsylvania Game Commission Southwest Region has announced the closing of the rifle range at State Game Lands 203 in Allegheny County for two days in February.

The rifle range will not be open for public use on Feb. 15 or 16 so agency personnel can safely demolish an old building.

Southwest Region Land Management Supervisor Scott Tomlinson stated, “This demolition is in preparation for a new maintenance building better suited to the upkeep of the recently renovated range.”

Keep in mind, the handgun range will not be affected and will remain open during these two days for normal use.


​For Information Contact: ​Release #02-18
​Patrick L. Snickles January 26, 2018
​Information & Education Supervisor F​or Immediate Release​
 Multiple Charges Filed Against Two Johnstown Area Residents
 In Connection To A Deer Poaching Spree

BOLIVAR – The Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed charges against two Johnstown area residents as a result of a deer poaching spree that occurred over the past several months in the Richland, Sidman, and New Germany areas of Cambria County. State Game Warden (SGW) Seth Mesoras filed multiple charges against Luke R. Plummer, 18, Summerhill, and Jacob Lewis, also 18, Johnstown, Pa.

After State Game Wardens became aware of the poaching they immediately started investigating the case, attempting to catch the individuals responsible. But it wasn’t until recently that several crucial tips were provided by different informants that the necessary information and evidence were gained in order to charge the defendants. “It was timely information provided by concerned local citizens that led to the apprehension of the defendants,” stated SGW Mesoras.

SGW Mesoras has filed charges with Magisterial District Judge Rick Varner’s office in Sidman, Pa. The criminal complaint against Plummer contains the following charges:

  1. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – three counts, felony third degree.
  2. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor first degree.
  3. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor ungraded.
  4. Unlawful use of lights while hunting – seven counts, summary fifth degree.
  5. Loaded firearms in vehicles - four counts, summary fourth degree.
  6. Retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife – three counts, summary fourth degree.
  7. Littering and restrictions on vehicles – two counts, summary third degree.

The criminal complaint against Lewis contains the following charges:

  1. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – six counts, felony third degree.
  2. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor first degree.
  3. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor ungraded.
  4. Unlawful use of lights while hunting – ten counts, summary fifth degree.
  5. Loaded firearms in vehicles – four counts, summary fourth degree.
  6. Retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife – four counts, summary fourth degree.
  7. Littering and restrictions on vehicles – three counts, summary third degree.

SGW Seth Mesoras stated, “Although it is satisfying knowing the hard work paid off in this particular case there are still other areas in Cambria County where poaching has occurred and individuals were not apprehended. We greatly appreciate the public’s assistance in providing information regarding these wildlife crimes.”

If you witness a wildlife crime against big game (deer, bear turkey or elk) or a species that is protected, endangered or threatened; call Operation Game Thief’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001 or fill out an “Operation Game Thief Reporting Form” online at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website: www.pgc.pa.gov. Violations can be reported 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Calls to the Operation Game Thief hotline are answered by a secure recording device. You can remain anonymous, however it is beneficial to provide your contact information so an officer can ask follow-up questions. Callers can still remain confidential, however, those who wish to claim any monetary reward must provide contact information. Other violations should be reported to the regional office serving the county in which the violation is taking place as soon as possible.


​For Information Contact: ​Release #01-18
​Patrick L. Snickles January 12, 2018
​Information & Education Supervisor F​or Immediate Release​
 Chronic Wasting Disease Open House Announced

BOLIVAR – The Pennsylvania Game Commission will conduct an Open House about chronic wasting disease (CWD) on Wednesday, January 31, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Portage Area High School, 85 Mountain Avenue, Portage, Pa. 15946; in the school cafeteria.

The “Open House” format is designed to maximize opportunities for citizens to access information on the topics that are important to them. There are no formal presentations. Five self-explanatory stations will guide citizens through several topics including: “what is CWD, specific information related to Disease Management Area 2 (DMA2), regulations specific to DMAs, Pennsylvania Game Commission actions taken regarding this important wildlife health issue, and proposed Pennsylvania Game Commission actions related to continued disease surveillance.

Participants may arrive at their convenience between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Agency staff will be on hand to interact on a one-on-one basis and answer questions. An opportunity will be provided for participants to provide written comments after participating in the “Open House.”

Chronic Wasting Disease is a member of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) family of diseases. Once contracted, it is fatal to cervids including deer and elk.