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Southwest Region


News Releases

February 5, 2018: State Game Lands 203 Rifle Range To Be Closed February 15 & 16 For Building Demolation
January 26, 2018: Multiple Charges Filed Against Two Johnstown Area Residents In Connection To A Deer Poaching Spree
January 12, 2018: Chronic Wasting Disease Open House Announced



SGL 267 Sasquatch Prescribed Fire (PDF)
Barrens Habitat and Management (PDF)
SGL 82 Golden-winged Warbler Habitat Project (PDF)
SGL 228 Road Daylight/Habitat Transition Zone Project SGL (PDF)
SGL 228 Scrub Oak Restoration/Prescribe Fire Project (PDF)
Game Lands road Improvement Projects (PDF)

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

Seasonal Roads Open for Hunting & Trapping
Designated Routes for Horses and Bicycles
Snowmobile Trails
Access Routes for Hunters with Disabilities (PDF)

Public Shooting Ranges

Public Shooting Ranges in the Southwest Region

Field Reports - March 16, 2018

Allegheny County Game Warden Douglas Bergman reports a Fayette County man faces charges for setting a cable restraint that was in danger of becoming entangled with some woody vines. Trappers are reminded to use caution when using these specialized tools of the trade.

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local hunter recently entered into a plea agreement in district court for shooting a sub-legal antlered deer in a safety zone. The hunter shot five times at the deer behind an elderly woman’s home. The hunter agreed to pay fines totaling $650, plus court costs, and faces the loss of his hunting privileges.

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local individual recently was found guilty at summary trial in district court for illegally taking a 9-point buck in a baited area. The hunter was assessed $550 in fines, plus court costs, and possible hunting-license revocation. A witness who reported the incident to the Game Commission testified that such behavior is not fair to all of the hunters who work hard to get a nice deer by doing it legally. Witnesses who are willing to step up make all of the difference in being a voice for that which has none.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, while on night patrol and during a rainstorm, he and Deputy Don Berry watched a spotlighter shoot a deer from a vehicle. The two women involved in killing the deer entered guilty pleas.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, during the fall deer seasons, numerous baiting violations were prosecuted in his district. Other violations encountered while investigating baited areas were failure to wear fluorescent orange or possess and carry valid hunting licenses or tags.

Armstrong County Game Warden Rod Burns reports that, while patrolling a wetlands area during small-game season, he investigated suspicious shooting and discovered a father and mentored youth sharing a shotgun and taking turns shooting at protected songbirds as they flew overhead. When approached, the father said his son needed shooting practice. But he didn’t have an answer when asked why he too was shooting at protected birds.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports an Ohio resident pleaded guilty to multiple charges in the unlawful killing of a coyote. Information received through the Game Commission’s Operation Game Thief program stated that, while travelling through Pennsylvania, the subject observed a coyote in a foot-hold trap, retrieved his archery equipment from Ohio, then returned to dispatch the animal. The subject was charged with unlawful taking or killing of wildlife, trespass while hunting and disturbing a trap belonging to another person.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a Lawrence County man pleaded guilty to several violations during the firearms deer season in South Beaver Township. On property enrolled in the Hunter Access Program, the man drove through a field to recover a harvested antlered deer without landowner permission. He had not properly tagged the deer, nor had he successfully completed Hunter-Trapper Education, as required.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a New York state resident attending college in Beaver County was found guilty of purchasing resident adult hunting licenses in Pennsylvania for a period of three years. In addition to the Pennsylvania resident licenses, the subject also was purchasing resident licenses in his home state of New York. This individual also received several warnings for the acquisition of antlerless deer licenses, as well.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a man pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $1,100 in fines for entering Casparis mine on State Game Lands 51. The mine is a restricted area and has barriers to prevent access due to unsafe conditions.

Fayette and Westmoreland counties Game Warden Andy Harvey reports a man recently pleaded guilty to setting a body-gripping trap outside of an established waterway. The individual was warned for not having the trap tagged and for having bait visible from the air at another of his sets.

Somerset County Game Warden Zachary Edwards reports a hunter who encouraged a 12-year-old to participate in road-hunting and trespassing recently pleaded guilty. Noticing deer in a field, the man stopped his truck in the landowner’s driveway, and he and the juvenile walked 10 yards from the vehicle through a patch of trees. Both hunters shot at and killed antlerless deer before being confronted by a Deputy Game Warden, who had been called to investigate. Fines for the mentor topped $2,000.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports trapping violations have been filed recently for trapping in a safety zone, using bait visible from the air and tending to another person’s traps.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports several farms will be taking part in the “Red Tag” program because of agricultural deer damage. Licensed resident hunters are permitted to participate and must comply with big-game hunting regulations on the farms enrolled.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports that, during the first week of the rifle deer season, an ATV with two occupants was observed traveling a public road in Somerset County. The vehicle was approached to conduct a safety check of the firearms on board and it was discovered the driver was in possession of a loaded firearm and had been hunting while his privileges were suspended for a previous violation. It was also discovered the driver was classified as a felon not to possess a firearm. This led to the application of a search warrant for the driver’s residence which yielded another five firearms. The individual was charged with six felony counts of possession of a firearm, hunting while licenses were suspended or revoked, and possession of a loaded firearm on a vehicle.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual has been charged for one count each of failure to tag traps set for furbearers and having bait visible from the air. The individual was given warnings for four additional incidents of failing to tag traps, and another incident of having bait visible from the air.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports a two-week investigation into unlawfully set traps led to the filing of three citations on a Somerset County man. Charges were filed for failing to tag traps, having bait visible from the air, and failing to visit traps every 36 hours. Along with the three citations filed, several warnings were given including four counts of bait visible from the air, three counts of failing to tag traps, dumping on property open to hunting or trapping, and unlawful taking of game or wildlife.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports an individual was cited for having unlawful cable restraints. The unlawful sets were discovered when the violator called to report being bitten by ensnared feral cat.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports that, within moments of the opening of firearms deer season, he and LMS Scott Tomlinson were in foot pursuit. The chase through the woods behind a home resulted in two individuals being charged with failure to have a license and not wearing the required orange. They were also charged with hunting through the use of bait./p>

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports two individuals were found guilty of using a vehicle to locate game and not meeting fluorescent orange requirements during firearms deer season. They stopped their vehicle in the middle of the road and the passenger went onto the hillside with his rifle in search of the deer they said had seen crossing the road.