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Southwest Region

 

News Releases

January 15, 2019: Westmoreland County Resident Reaches Plea Agreement In Regards To Multiple Game Law Voilations

Updates

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 - November 21, 2018

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports seven individuals were encountered the first week of regular firearms deer season hunting or preparing to hunt with high-powered centerfire rifles in Allegheny County. Since the 1970s, deer hunting in Allegheny County has been limited to shotguns (slugs only), blackpowder firearms and archery equipment. Anyone hunting with a centerfire rifle faces a fine of up to $200, plus court costs.

Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a local man is facing charges unlawfully taking an antlerless deer in a baited area, then failing to tag it. The three violations carry fines up to $1,300 if the defendant is found guilty.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports a November 2017 late-night poaching case has been adjudicated. The incident occurred in New Sewickley Township where three men attempted to take a deer from the road using a spotlight and a .22 caliber rifle. One passenger pleaded guilty to operating a spotlight while in possession of a firearm and spotlighting after 11 p.m. A second passenger pleaded guilty to spotlighting while in possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm while in a vehicle in motion, shooting on or across a highway and unlawfully attempting to kill big game. At a preliminary hearing, the driver pleaded guilty to the unlawful attempt at killing big game and driving under the influence, second offense. Fines for all three defendants totaled $3,400, and all face possible hunting-license revocations.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports that, during the two-week firearms deer season, the violation he encountered most was possession of a loaded firearm in, on or against a motorized vehicle. Of those, half possessed loaded firearms while the vehicle was in motion.

Beaver County Game Warden Mike Yeck reports several hunters were charged with failure to display the required amount of daylight fluorescent orange material outside of an occupied hunting blind. In one such case, a hunter was using an improperly marked blind along a standing corn field. The blind was directly in the line of fire and not visible to a second blind less than 100 yards away.

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports an Oakdale man was cited for hunting doves within a safety zone. The man shot a dove 46 yards from a home. Hunters are reminded that, no matter the trajectory of the shot, it is unlawful to shoot into, through, or from within a safety zone.

Beaver County Game Warden Matt Kramer reports several safety-zone violations were encountered during the two-week firearms deer season. The violations included hunting within 150 yards of playgrounds in a township park, hunting within 25 yards of occupied homes and in one case, driving deer from within over 30 safety zones behind a neighborhood of homes. In some of these cases, the offenders were not wearing the required fluorescent orange. Appropriate citations were provided to all offending parties.

Cambria County Game Warden Seth Mesoras reports that, while working with Cadet Andy Hueser during the first week of deer season, many violations were encountered – especially hunting through the use of bait. Poor weather may have impacted the hunting pressure, but several large bucks were taken in the local area.

Cambria and Indiana counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Yahner reports that, while on patrol in Pine Township, Indiana County on the first Saturday of firearms deer season, he and Deputy Game Warden Dave Vasses apprehended a man transporting a deer that was not lawfully tagged. In addition, the man possessed two loaded firearms in the vehicle and a hunting license belonging to his girlfriend.

Cambria and Indiana counties Land Management Group Supervisor Dan Yahner reports that, while on patrol in Pine Township, Indiana County on the last day of rifle deer season, he and Deputy Game Warden Dave Vasses apprehended a man hunting without a license or valid ID, and he was also in possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Further investigation revealed he had already harvested a large buck during the first week of the season.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports encountering numerous loaded firearms in vehicles on the opening day of the statewide bear season, as well as hunters without bear licenses.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite would like to remind successful deer hunters to report their harvests. DMAP and mentored-hunter harvests need reported within five days, while other harvests must be within 10 days. Hunters can report online, by phone at 1-855-PAHUNT1, or they can mail in one of the postcards they received when they bought their licenses.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that hunter participation during the first week of the statewide firearms deer season was down, largely due to adverse weather conditions – rain, wind and snow.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite would like to thank the New Centerville Rural Fire Department for hosting the Game Commission’s bear check station. This site annually is a community gathering spot for an event that continues to grow in popularity in Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports that, on the last day of the statewide firearms deer season, an antlerless deer jumped through a window and entered an apartment in Berlin. With the assistance of State Police in Somerset and Deputy Game Warden Kris Wyant, the situation was addressed. Unfortunately, the deer needed to be euthanized and the damage it caused required an extensive cleanup, but the property owner was thankful for the response.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports observing higher participation on the last day of the statewide firearms deer season. Despite the cold temperatures, hunters took advantage of the sunny conditions and light snow on the landscape.

Somerset County Game Warden Brian Witherite reports multiple individuals were cited during the firearms deer season for being in possession of deer that were not tagged.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual has been charged for harvesting a bear before purchasing their bear license. The individual attempted to check in the bear and a check station worker noticed that the time of harvest was before the purchase time of the bear license. The defendant faces misdemeanor charges for this violation.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports an individual on revocation placed a friend in a tree stand he’d been actively baiting. The individual also was in the process of putting on a deer drive when he was encountered. Both individuals will be charged for hunting through the use of bait and one will be charged for hunting while on revocation.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports several individuals face charges for alighting from the vehicle and shooting from the road during the firearms deer season.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports three Somerset men were charged for spotlighting while in possession of a firearm. The firearm was found during a search after the vehicle was stopped for spotlighting a building.

Somerset County Game Warden Shawn Barron reports three individuals from Confluence have been charged after two antlered deer were taken with rifles during a closed season. One buck was taken at night with the use of a spotlight. The larger buck green scored 142 inches. Trophy-class replacement costs will be sought for that buck.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports two hunters on a side-by-side with loaded firearms attempted hastily to unload them when they saw his vehicle during the firearms deer season. All loaded guns in or on a vehicle are a safety risk, however, some really stand out. The driver was operating the side-by-side with a loaded .270 rifle between his legs, the muzzle pointed at his chin! Charges have been filed.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports investigating a report of a deer being brought out of an area closed to hunting. Following the tire tracks, then the drag marks, led to a gutpile. The gutpile was about 10 yards from a feed block. The hunter’s footprints stepped directly over the feed block and back to his home 50 yards away. Charges have been filed.

Westmoreland County Game Warden Michael J. Papinchak reports stopping a vehicle to find the driver had a loaded crossbow on the seat. He was charged for several game violations and heroin possession.