Nonresidents Cited For Deer Poaching In Elk County, PA
Pennsylvania – -(AmmoLand.com)- An investigation that began by looking into a concerned citizen’s complaint about illegal baiting resulted in three Massachusetts residents being charged for two illegally killed antlerless deer in Elk County, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.
Elk County WCO Doty McDowell, on Oct. 7, was investigating a baited tree-stand in Jones Township, when he encountered two individuals who were staying at a local camp with others from Massachusetts.
“While it soon became clear that these two had no part in the baiting, neither had identification on them, as required by law, so we proceeded back to camp so they could obtain their identification,” WCO McDowell said. “On the way back, one of the men offhandedly mentioned a deer that had been killed and was at camp. When I began to ask about the deer, the individual who first mentioned it refused to provide more specific information.”
“Upon arriving at camp, both provided identification and the two claimed they had nothing to do with the deer that had been taken. However, they told me it was in the shed and that it was taken by another in their party.”
At this point, WCO McDowell obtained description of the vehicle that the other individual was in, and contacted neighboring Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn and asked him to patrol the area to look for vehicle.
In a short time, WCO Bodenhorn found the vehicle, and escorted its occupants back to the camp. As the vehicle approached the camp, WCO McDowell noticed that the truck drove past the camp and parked in the dark. As the investigation continued, Kaleb Ryan Severance, 25, of Worchester, Massachusetts, admitted he shot an antlerless deer, and then the landowner signed a consent to search the shed.
“Upon searching the shed, we found the head and hide of the deer,” WCO McDowell said. “The individuals then went into camp and removed meat from freezer and surrendered it to us. ”
“Another defendant, Michael Christopher Siemaszko, 24, of Millbury, admitted to illegally possessing an antlerless deer that was in the bed of the truck, which had previously been hidden in the woods.”
Both deer were seized, and WCO Bodenhorn donated them to needy families in the Ridgway area.
On Oct. 15, WCO McDowell filed charged in the office of District Judge Tony King, of Johnsonburg, Elk County, against the three for unlawfully taking or possessing of wildlife: Kaleb Severance was charged for the first deer in shed, Michael Siemaszko was charged for second deer in truck; and Robert Joseph Siemaszko, 51, of Worcester, was charged for transporting Kaleb Severance’s illegally killed deer.
Kaleb Siemaszkos pled guilty on Oct. 22, and Robert Siemaszkos pled guilty on Oct. 23, and both were ordered to pay fines of $300 each, plus court costs. The case against Severance remains open at this time.
Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: Since Pennsylvania is not part of the Wildlife Violator Compact, each of these nonresidents will be able to continue to lawfully hunt in other states. If Pennsylvania were part of the Wildlife Violator Compact, which would take an act of the General Assembly, these convictions would be reported to the other 31 states, as of January, enrolled in the Compact, and they would be prohibited from hunting in those states as well for their poaching activities here.