Pa, Game Commission Poacher Arrests Updates
Pennsylvania – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Pennsylvania Game Commission continues its crack down on poaching in Pa, with severel Poaching related arrests and investigations.
Game Commission Catches Up With Franklin County Poacher
HUNTINGDON – Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Barry A. Leonard, of Franklin County, recently charges Jonathan D. Goshorn, 33, of Fannettsburg, with 23 counts of unlawful taking or possession of deer.
If convicted of all charges, which were filed before District Judge Brenda Knepper, Goshorn faces fines and penalties of up to $23,000 and 69 years revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges.
Based on a tip, WCO Leonard confiscated from Goshorn’s possession: two sets of antlers from deer illegally killed in 1992; seven from 1995; four from 1996; four from 1997; one in 1998; two in 1999; two in 2005; and one in 2008.
“It was amazing that one person would illegally kill so many deer,” WCO Leonard said.
“Significant theft of wildlife, such as this poaching incident, may be treated more seriously in the future if the General Assembly approves legislation recently introduced to upgrade fines and penalties for this type of significant poaching,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.
House Bill 97, sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Edward Staback, proposes to increase fines and penalties for a variety of wildlife violations. This measure, which is similar to House Bill 2205, which Rep. Staback introduced last session, would create felony-level offenses, with the possibility of imprisonment, for significant poaching activity.
“This would elevate the punishment for those who willfully steal Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources to the same degree as any other major theft offenses,” Roe said. “Presently, such violations are classified as summary offenses, which are on par with a traffic ticket.”
LANCASTER COUNTY POACHERS CAUGHT IN DAUPHIN COUNTY
READING – Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) filed charges against Shane Shue and Jeffrey Trogdon, both of Lititz, Lancaster County, for killing three deer at night and attempting to kill a fourth on Swatara Road in Derry Township, Dauphin County, on Jan. 10 and 17.
On Jan. 12, Game Commission officers discovered a dead deer in a field along Swatara Road. A second deer was found the next day, a short distance away. Examination of the deer indicated they had been killed with a .257 caliber rifle during the previous weekend.
The following weekend, Game Commission officers staked out the road and observed a truck spotlighting the fields shortly after midnight, and then witnessed a passenger fire a shot from the window at a group of deer grazing in the field.
“When the vehicle was stopped, we discovered Shue and Trogdon in the truck, with a spotlight and loaded rifle,” said Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty. “Two young boys, who were not charged, were in the back seat.”
Bloodstains were found on the bed and sides of the truck, and evidence was found to link the men with the two deer killed and left to rot the previous weekend. When confronted with the bloodstains, the men admitted that they had killed another deer and had taken it home to be butchered.
Shue also admitted to killing a button buck without a license during the archery deer season.
“When asked why the two young boys were with them, Shue said that they ‘just wanted to show them some deer,’” WCO Doherty said
Officers seized two rifles and two spotlights, as well as nearly 50 pounds of frozen deer meat from Shue’s freezer. Under current law, the rifles and spotlights will be returned to the violators. However, thanks to Harold Daub, a Game Commission volunteer Hunter-Trapper Education instructor, and friends, the meat is being prepared into venison jerky, and will be sent to U.S. troops serving overseas.
BEDFORD COUNTY DEER POACHERS PLEAD GUILTY
HUNTINGDON – David Loy, 25, and Domenick Gillespie, 23, both of Buffalo Mills, recently pled guilty to charges stemming for a poaching case that spanned at least two months. Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Dan Yahner, of Bedford County, headed up the investigation and filed the charges in District Judge Tonya Oman’s court in Schellsburg.
Loy pled guilty to two counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting, three counts of unlawful taking or possession of deer, and one count of making false reports. Judge Oman assessed fines and penalties on Loy of $2,891.
Gillespie pled guilty to one count of unlawful use of lights while hunting, and one count of loaded firearms in vehicles. He was fined $871.
On Nov. 22, Pennsylvania State Police Troopers initially responded to a call for shooting in a field near Manns Choice. After apprehending Loy and
determining that it was a Game Law violation, State Police contacted WCO Yahner, who responded along with Deputy WCO Keith Comer.
The resulting investigation revealed that Loy and Gillespie had been driving in a field and shooting a .22 rifle from the vehicle, at deer. A Pittsburgh man who was staying in a nearby camp witnessed the reckless act.
“This man courageously approached Loy’s vehicle on his ATV and obtained a license number before dialing 911,” WCO Yahner said. “The suspects fled, and then Loy dropped off Gillespie at his home before visiting a local bar, where State Police apprehended him.”
After obtaining search warrants, Game Commission officers found evidence of past violations in Loy’s vehicle and residence.
WCO Yahner states that officers overheard statements made by locals that it was about time that these guys were caught.
“Our investigation revealed that it was apparently well known in the area that these men were poaching and bragging about it,” WCO Yahner. “Unfortunately, no one contacted the authorities. It took a visitor from Pittsburgh to finally get involved and bring a swift end to this poaching spree.”
FINAL CHARGES FILED IN YORK COUNTY POACHING CASE
READING – Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Chad Eyler, of York, announced that Shane Allen Krout, 19, of Holley Road, Glen Rock, pled guilty, on Jan. 28, to three charges of violating the Game and Wildlife Code, which resulted in fines of $2,000.
Krout pled guilty to one charge of illegal importation of an unlawfully-killed Maryland deer, for which he was fined $800.
Additionally, Krout pled guilty to one count of unlawful use of lights while hunting for and/or assisting in killing a deer at night, and one count of unlawful devices and methods for locating the deer that was shot at night by use of a motor vehicle on Oct. 1, in Codorus Township. Krout was fined $700 and $500, respectively, for these charges.
In the beginning of October, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers responded to a call where a deer was shot at night with a spotlight and a witness got a partial Maryland plate number.
“The subjects tried to retrieve the deer, however they were scared off by the witness,” said WCO Eyler. “After conducting a search of the area, ballistic evidence was found and forensic tests were conducted on the deer.”
In mid-October, WCO Eyler and his Deputy WCOs made contact with the vehicle and two male individuals, who were in possession of another illegally-killed, large-racked buck from Maryland. Information was gathered, evidence was collected and interviews were conducted.
Also charged in this investigation were: Justin David Stambaugh, 19, of Rockdale Road, Millers, Maryland; and Tyler Owen Troxel, 18, of Berlin Street, Codorus, Pennsylvania. Troxel, who was not charged for the illegal importation of the Maryland deer, pled guilty on Nov. 5, and Stambaugh pled guilty on Nov. 18.