Week of December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas to all!!

Dan Thomas, President

Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

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Beyond the Great Lakes

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Ohio

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World

Study Disputes Cell Phone-Cancer Link

WASHINGTON -- A huge study from Denmark offers the latest reassurance that cell phones don't trigger cancer. Scientists tracked 420,000 Danish cell phone users, including 52,000 who had gabbed on the gadgets for 10 years or more, and some who started using them 21 years ago.

 

They matched phone records to the famed Danish Cancer Registry that records every citizen who gets the disease _ and reported Tuesday that cell-phone callers are no more likely than anyone else to suffer a range of cancer types.

 

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is the largest yet to find no bad news about the safety of cell phones and the radiofrequency energy they emit. "There's really no biological basis for you to be concerned about radio waves," said John Boice, a Vanderbilt University professor and scientific director of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md. "Nonetheless, people are."

 

So Boice and colleagues at Copenhagen's Danish Cancer Society plan to continue tracking the Danish callers until at least some have used the phones for 30 years. This so-called

Danish cohort "is probably the strongest study out there because of the outstanding registries they keep," said Joshua Muscat of Pennsylvania State University, who also has studied cell phones and cancer.

 

Cell phones beam radiofrequency energy that can penetrate the brain's outer edge, raising questions about cancers of the head and neck, brain tumors or leukemia. Most research has found no risk, but a few studies have raised questions. And while U.S. health officials insist the evidence shows no real reason for concern, they don't give the phones a definitive clean bill of health, either, pending long-term data on slow-growing cancers.

 

For the latest study, personal identification numbers assigned to each Dane at birth allowed researchers to match people who began using cell phones between 1982 and 1995 with cancer records.

 

Among 420,000 callers tracked through 2002, there were 14,249 cancers diagnosed _ fewer than the 15,001 predicted from national cancer rates. Nor did the study find increased risks for any specific tumor type.


National

Tips on Protecting Your Social Security

You do NOT need a SSN for a minor when applying for a passport

Protect your Social Security #, and the numbers of your family members, as much as you can--it is the primary vehicle for identity theft in the United States. Not every demand for your number is legitimate and not every organization asking for it will insist on it. No law says that private organizations can’t ask for it (with a couple of exceptions in Rhode Island and Virginia), and no law says that you have to do business with an organization that wants your SSN.

 

Never put your SSN on personal checks or mailing envelopes. Never!

 

Know How to Say No

Verbally, say you "decline" to give your number, not that you "refuse" to. Sounds nicer. "I chose not to" sounds even nicer. Be prepared to state your reasons briefly and courteously, and you will often get a clerk to sympathize with you. In online or written applications, be sure not to leave any boxes blank. Computers abhor that. Instead, write in N/A, which can mean "not available" or "not applicable" or whatever. Many times, the application will go through like that.

 

Prepare For an Extended Crusade

Especially when you apply for credit or insurance or a mortgage, you should expect to have your application rejected if you don't provide a Social Security . Simply apply again. If you get refused an account by a cable or satellite TV provider or a video-rental store, simply apply again or make clear that you will take your business elsewhere. Expect to be denied three or more times. Eventually, the company will agree to your wishes and process your application. All these denials are costing it money.

 

Don't Expect a Turndown

Attitudes in government agencies and businesses have changed radically in the past five years. They are aware of identity theft and stolen laptops. Many agencies no longer want Social Security numbers--even though they keep asking by habit. Their technologists now know that there are alternatives for keeping track of personal records, often without using digits at all. One is called AlphaSearch, another Software Search America.

 

Know Why You Are Saying No

Providing your Social Security # frequently increases your exposure to theft of identity. That's when a stranger uses your SSN to "confirm identity" when applying for credit--or applying for citizenship documents. The victim is left with the bad debts that are generated. ID theft is not the only reason you want to protect your SSN. The number is the key for agencies to get at personal information about you stored in a vast array of data banks. You don't want to make it easier for these data banks to talk behind your back without your knowledge.

 

Don't Lie

You may feel clever about reporting a fictitious Social Security number, but what lasting good does that do? You have missed a chance to educate the organization that some people care enough to protect their Social Security numbers. And you may get hung up later by laws or contractual terms that prohibit lying on application forms.

 

Know Your Rights

The bottom line: Give up your Social Security # only when the transaction is a taxable event--like employment or a house purchase--or for Medicare or Medicaid. You don’t have much

choice. The SSN is your Medicaid and Medicare number. Credit bureaus get along without SSNs on a third of the consumers in their files, so you can avoid giving up your number when you apply for credit or for insurance, or apply to college or for a job until you get offered a position. The federal Privacy Act prohibits most federal and state government agencies from demanding your SSN unless they tell you their legal authority and the consequences of not giving it. Here, the law isn't much help.

 

Think Of the Kids

It's not true that children need Social Security # at birth. Don't rush to get your kids Social Security #, until they get their first jobs. If you really value your privacy, you'll arrange your federal taxes so that you can do without the dependent exemption. (IRS regulations require a SSN to accompany a request for the exemption on your Form 1040.) Or claim a religious objection. Or try the "not available" ploy. It often works. A Social Security # ought not be necessary to get medical care; in fact the idea has been rejected by Congress. Just say no.

 

You do NOT need a SSN for a minor when applying for a US passport; you can just put in all zeros.  For more info call 877-487-2778 or go to:  http://travel.state.gov/passport/about/npic/npic_898.html

 

Caution Online and On the Phone

Don't ever give up personal information like a Social Security # online. Don't provide it over the telephone unless you placed the call to the business or agency and you're sure whom you are dealing with.

 

Have a Fall-Back Position

If you feel you absolutely have to give up a Social Security # to get a transaction you really need, attach conditions to the information. Write on the application that the agency can't disclose the information to anyone or use it for any other purpose. Many people think that giving up the last four digits of your number is "pretty good privacy." They are right. It is safe enough and lets the agency do the data matching it claims it needs to do. Still, remember that a stranger with your last four digits and name may well be able to get your full number online simply by using a search engine like Google.

 

Know What Your SSN Says About You

It's not a totally anonymous number. The first four digits indicate in what state you first applied for it. The middle two are a rough chronological guide to when you first got the number (although those numbers do not represent a calendar year). This information can help you object if you see college grades "anonymously" listed in public by Social Security # or if your employer publicly posts sensitive information "anonymously" by SSNs.

 

Choose Your Battles

Don't make a big fuss and then cave in. Don't expect to get wages or Medicare or veterans benefits without a Social Security #. Federal law requires that you provide a Social Security # in order to get any state license--to drive, to engage in certain occupations, to hunt, to fish, to get married, and to get a birth certificate for your new baby. Two other federal laws prohibit display of the number on your driver's license or child's birth certificate.

 

Again, you do NOT need a SSN for a minor when applying for a US passport; you can just put in all zeros.  For more info call 877-487-2778 or go to:  http://travel.state.gov/passport/about/npic/npic_898.html


Firearms, Hunting & Fishing Gear Sales Strong in '05

Sales Increases beat market average

New statistics show that hunting gear, firearm sales and fishing tackle topped $5.4 billion in 2005 according to data just released by the National Sporting Goods Association. Hunting, firearm and fishing tackle sales grew 6 % from the previous year, which is two times better than the athletic and sports equipment market performed as a whole.

 

Within the hunting and firearms category, hunting footwear sales saw a 7 % increase, and sales of hunting-related apparel saw a 4 % gain. Shotgun sales increased by 10.5 % for a total of $667.9 million, handgun sales rose 8.5 % to $630.7 million and rifle sales were up 2.7 % to $849.2 million.

 

Athletic and Sports Equipment Sales
(in millions of dollars)

Rank

Category

2005
Sales

% Change
from 2004

1

Exercise

$5,206.90

3%

2

Golf

$3,474.40

9%

3

Hunting & Firearms

$3,351.40

6%

4

Athletic Goods Team Sales

$2,567.50

2%

5

Fishing Tackle

$2,138.90

6%

6

Snow Skiing

$1,532.60

3%

7

Camping

$1,441.50

-6%

8

Optics

$886.90

3%

9

Billiards & Indoor Games

$572.30

-8%

10

Wheel Sports

$407.70

-25%

 

Nine wolves killed during gun deer season

$4,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest and conviction

MADISON – State and federal wildlife officials report nine wolves were shot in separate incidents during the recent Wisconsin gun deer hunting seasons and that a $4,000 reward fund has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the incidents.

The reward is being offered by the Timber Wolf Alliance of Ashland, Defenders of Wildlife of Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Anyone with information on these wolf shootings can call the DNR Tip Hotline, 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367), or the federal government at (920-866-1750). Local Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are investigating the shootings.

 

State officials estimate Wisconsin had a 2005-2006 over-winter population of 465 to 502 wolves, and they are expecting numbers to be similar or perhaps slightly higher for the winter 2006-2007. Wolves began repopulating Wisconsin in the mid 1980s, dispersing into Wisconsin from Minnesota and Michigan on their own.

 

“This is the highest recorded number of wolves killed in Wisconsin during the gun deer season,” says Adrian Wydeven, a mammalian ecologist with the DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources.

 

The highest number of wolves killed in prior deer seasons was five in 2002. In 2005, two wolves were detected killed and in 2004 one was shot.

 

Wolves are listed as protected wild animals by the State of Wisconsin, but continue to be listed as Endangered under federal law. In March 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started a process to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region from the federal list of endangered and threatened species, and return management authority to the states. The federal delisting process is expected to be completed by early 2007, but wolves would continue to be protected animals in Wisconsin.

 

CONTACTS: Randall Stark, Chief DNR Conservation Warden - (608) 266-1115 Adrian Wydeven, DNR mammal ecologist - (715) 762-1363 or, USFWS Special agent – (920) 866-1750.

 

 


Budget Conference dies in Congress

Funds for Electronic Barrier blown away

Efforts to reconcile House and Senate differences on funding of the WRDA Bill that would have funded the construction, operation and improvement of the Chicago area Electronic Waterway Barrier failed in the waning minutes of the 109th Congress.

 

House and Senate negotiators gave up efforts to reach a compromise on a water resources bill, leaving the task of writing a new multibillion-dollar reauthorization to the 110th Congress.  The collapse of the talks put an end to several months of concerted efforts to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Water Resources Development Act (HR 2864). Negotiations had intensified in the past two weeks, but neither side could agree on a series of offers that were floated in the final days of the legislative session.

 

The main sticking points were over which water resources projects to include in a final bill, lawmakers said. The $10 billion House bill would have authorized about 700 projects, while the Senate had about 200 more expensive projects estimated to cost $13 billion. Caught up in the political

quagmire was the anticipated funding for the Chicago area Electronic Waterway Barrier, which failed to materialize.

 

One of the main differences was over funding for environmental infrastructure projects, with the House bill earmarking $1.2 billion and the Senate providing no money. Another difference was over how strict new rules concerning independent peer reviews of Army Corps of Engineers' projects should be, although lawmakers believed that they were close to settling that difference.

 

Differences over how to overhaul the corps and establish more stringent oversight have prevented the last three Congresses from enacting legislation. Taxpayer and environmental groups have contended that without strict new oversight, such as independent peer reviews, the corps wastes money on unneeded projects.

 

Incoming Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif, and incoming House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman, Democrat James L. Oberstar of Minnesota, plan to revisit the bill next year. But both lawmakers have full agendas, so it is unclear when action would commence.


Congress Approves Overhaul of Rules for Fisheries

Significant changes approved for U.S. fisheries management 

Alexandria, VA – In a last minute effort, Congress approved the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Sustainable Fisheries Act on December 9, 2006. The Act, under development since early 2005, took until now to bring together all the different interests to reach a final bill. The Act makes a number of significant changes to the fisheries management system in the United States, including important advances for sportfishing.

 

The bill places limits on the creation of no-fishing zones, requiring that they be based on sound science and that a review process be set to determine when and if they are no longer needed. The bill also requires the federal Fishery Management Councils to recognize the economic contributions of sportfishing when setting allocations. Important conservation measures include: a time frame to end overfishing; new requirements for reducing bycatch; and provisions for buyouts of overcapitalized commercial fleets. The bill also contains extensive provisions on individual fishing quotas for commercial fleets and strengthened enforcement to fight illegal international fishing. 

Basically, the Act includes provisions instructing fishery managers to adhere strictly to scientific advice so as not to deplete the ocean.  The measure mandates an end to overfishing of depleted species within 2½ years and allows the selling and trading of shares in a fishery to promote conservation.  Commercial fishing interests, Bush administration officials and GOP lawmakers also praised the legislation.

 

"Fishermen and conservationists are all getting something they can be proud of in this bill, and they can rest assured that this bill maintains a critical balance in fisheries management," said House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.). "While it is important to protect our nation's fish stocks, it's equally important to protect our nation's vital and deep-rooted fishing communities. This bill does just that."

 

While much of the bill focuses on tightening the 30-year-old fisheries law, it also endorses for the first time creation of "limited access privilege programs" allowing groups or individuals to trade shares of a fishery's overall catch.

 

Saltwater anglers contribute over $31 billion annually to the United States economy.


Tribes Lose Management of National Bison Range

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 14, 2006 (ENS) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cancelled its Annual Funding Agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), for shared management of the National Bison Range Complex and terminated negotiations with the CSKT for fiscal year 2007. The National Bison Range is a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Montana.

 

The March 2005 funding agreement had awarded half of the positions and funding for the National Bison Range, and the nearby Ninepipe and Pablo National Wildlife Refuges, to the CSKT.   The FY 2006 agreement lapsed in September but had been extended on a provisional basis pending completion of negotiations for the FY 2007 Annual Funding Agreement.

 

In a letter to the chairman of the Tribal Council dated December 11, the USFWS regional director said that the agreement was cancelled due to a host of performance issues on the part of the CSKT, as well as reported mistreatment of Service employees by the CSKT. The letter cited unacceptable and unusable biological data collection and reporting, non-compliance with prescribed bison management and husbandry protocols, and negligence with vehicle and equipment maintenance, facilities, security and management.

 

It also described the workplace environment at the NBRC as "characterized by harassing, offensive, intimidating and oppressive behavior on the part of employees of CSKT,

including obscenity, fighting words, and threats of violence and retaliation directed at employees of the Service." On September 19, the FWS staff of the National Bison Range filed an unusual joint grievance that working conditions have become intolerable due to a torrent of "safety and ethical violations, harassment, intimidation, and personal slander," according to agency management.

 

Negotiations for a new funding agreement broke down after the tribes demanded a turnover of the entire budget and all 20 positions to the CSKT. These demands, plus a poor first year performance review and increasing hostilities by tribal leaders toward USFWS staff, led USFWS Director Dale Hall and other senior agency administrators to terminate tribal management of the refuge.

 

The internal documents were released December 13 by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national organization of employees in natural resources agencies. "Events of the past two years have created deep schisms in the communities of Western Montana," said Grady Hocutt, a former refuge manager who directs PEER's refuge program.

 

"They were created by political appointees in DC for no good reason except political expediency and animosity toward federal land management. It will take years of hard work and good faith by all sides to put the pieces back together," said Hocutt. "None of these sad events had to happen."


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec. 15, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

Lake Superior is currently 13 inches lower than it was a year ago, while the levels of the remaining lakes range from 3 to 11 inches higher than those of a year ago.  Currently, all of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline, although due to wet conditions on the basin Lake Ontario is expected to rise over the next 30 days.  Over the next month water levels on all of the lakes are expected to fall 2 to 3 inches except Lake Ontario, see the table below for details.  Lake Superior is expected to remain well below last year’s levels, while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to remain above the water levels of a year ago.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

Flow in the St. Marys and St. Clair rivers is expected to be below average in December.  Outflow from the Detroit River is predicted to be near average for this month.  Flow in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River, is expected to be above average.

Alerts:

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin

over the last five months, Lake Superior ’s water level is

currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum through April.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Dec 15

600.3

577.3

573.5

571.4

245.5

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-10

-2

+14

+26

+26

Diff last month

-3

+1

-2

+2

+2

Diff from last yr

-13

+3

+6

+11

+1


Beyond the Great Lakes

Kentucky Removes Youth Hunting Barriers

KENTUCKY — Young hunters in the Bluegrass State recently are the most recent to benefit from the Families Afield program after the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission passed two measures to open doors for young hunters.

 

The first measure establishes a one-year, non-renewable exemption from hunter education classes when the novice hunter is accompanied by an adult mentor. The mentor must be a licensed hunter at least 18 years old.  The second measure raises the age at which young hunters must take a hunter education course prior to hunting from 10 to 12 years old.

 

The National Wild Turkey Federation has led the charge to remove youth hunting barriers, and has teamed up with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance to do just that. Using data from the Youth Hunting Report, the three organizations joined forces to remove youth hunting barriers across the nation through the Families Afield initiative.

 

Hunter recruitment and retention is at the heart of the Families

Afield initiative. The Youth Hunting Report, written by Silvertip

Productions, USSA and Southwick Associates Inc., shows that for every 100 hunters who leave the sport, only 69 take their place. One reason for the decline in a sport with such rich traditions is the barriers in place that prevent young hunters from going afield with an adult mentor.

 

In Michigan and Ohio — two states where Families Afield legislation was passed earlier this year — more than 27,000 apprentice licenses already have been sold.

 

“The license sales data from Ohio and Michigan clearly shows that young hunters want the opportunity to spend time afield with their families,” Keck said. “This is a great victory not only for Families Afield, but for hunters across the nation. Young hunters are the future of conservation, and by removing barriers at the state level, we’re ensuring our hunting heritage remains strong.”

 

For more information about Families Afield, and to download your copy of the Youth Hunting Report, visit www.familiesafield.org.


Michigan

December Elk Hunt Completed; January 16-20 Hunt Scheduled

Michigan Department of Natural Resource officials today announced 105 elk were harvested during the December elk season. Elk hunting in Michigan was reinstated in 1984 and over the past 22 years, 4,951 elk licenses have been issued resulting in the harvest of 4,094 elk.

 

The DNR’s objective is to maintain a winter herd of approximately 800 to 900 elk in Montmorency, Cheboygan, Presque Isle and Otsego counties. The elk herd has expanded outside the traditional four-county elk range and now can also be found in Alpena, Alcona, Emmet, Charlevoix and Oscoda counties.

This year, 168 hunters were selected through the statewide lottery, which is open only to Michigan residents. Those selected are required to attend an orientation course for the hunt and are assigned antlerless-only licenses or hunter’s-choice licenses, which allow the harvest of a bull. An additional 40 elk hunters have been selected for the Jan. 16-20 hunt.

 

Of the 113 hunters drawn for the December hunt, 111 individuals participated; they harvested 41 bull elk and 64 antlerless elk. An early elk hunt occurred in late August and early September when 43 elk were taken.

 


Minnesota

Bass disease discovered in inland Minnesota lakes

A fish disease discovered five years ago in the Mississippi River has spread to Minnesota’s inland lakes, the Department of Natural Resources announced.

 

Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV), a family of virus that only affects fish, amphibians and reptiles, has been found in 20 states since its discovery in 1991. The disease was found in five of nine metro area lakes sampled last summer.  The DNR is currently considering rules that could ban off-site weigh-ins at bass fishing tournaments during the hottest times of summer.

 

Found primarily in the southeastern United States, the disease is known to occasionally cause fish kills, generally in relation to stress from high water temperatures and from handling and transportation by anglers. The disease may spread by either transporting fish or water from infected lakes.

 

The DNR partnered with the Minnesota Bass Federation to collect samples following bass fishing tournaments at nine

metro area lakes known to receive high fishing pressure. The disease was discovered at Green Lake (Chisago County), Prior Lake, Lake Minnetonka, Rush Lake and Forest Lake. Lakes sampled that were negative for LMBV are Clearwater Lake, North/South Center Lake, Whitefish Lake and Green Lake (Kandiyohi County).

 

So far, the disease has proved fatal only in largemouth bass. LMBV attacks the swim bladder and may cause largemouth bass to appear bloated. The disease also affects their ability to control their buoyancy and maintain their position in the water column. Infected, normal looking largemouth bass can be affected by all kinds of stressors including high temperatures and lower oxygen levels.

 

Other members of the sunfish family known to become infected with the virus include spotted bass, Suwanee bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, white crappie and black crappie. Fish infected with LMBV are safe to handle and eat. The virus is not known to infect any warm-blooded animals, including humans.


Ohio

Governor Veto of Ohio Statewide Preemption Bill Overridden by legislators

The Ohio State Senate on December 12, voted to override Governor Taft’s veto of HB 347 by a vote of 21-12.  The House overrode the veto last week by a vote of 71-21.

 

HB 347 will create statewide preemption ensuring that firearms laws are uniform throughout the state. Currently, 43 states have similar laws across the country. Passing statewide preemption now eliminates problems for all gun owners who have been unduly burdened by local ordinances such as Columbus so-called assault weapons ban.

 

In addition, this legislation will correct a number of problems

that have surfaced during the past year for concealed carry permit holders. The most common complaint for license holders has been the “plain sight” requirement in a motor vehicle. HB 347 will eliminate this requirement.   This is the first override of a governor’s veto in Ohio in 29 years.

 

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, upset that the legislature has challenged his city’s home rule has said his city will file a lawsuit challenging the state rule.

 

This is the first override of a governor’s veto in Ohio in 29 years.

 


Youth deer permit sales up 53 %

COLUMBUS, OH - Preliminary figures collected from the sale of Ohio hunting licenses indicate that more young people have joined the hunting ranks. Sales of youth hunting licenses are up 45 percent from last year’s record total, according to the Ohio Department of Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

       

 So far, 52,952 youth hunting licenses and 7,666 apprentice youth hunting licenses have been sold for a total of 60,628.  This number far surpasses the total 41,850 youth licenses sold last year. In 1992, 29,571 youth licenses were sold.  Youth deer permit sales are up 53 %, youth spring turkey permit sales are up 31 percent, and youth fur takers rose 59 %.

       

This license allows new hunters, both adults and youth, to sample the experience of hunting under the mentorship of a licensed adult, prior to completing a hunter education course. The apprentice hunting license was developed as part of a nationwide effort called “Families Afield,” designed to remove

barriers that prevent hunters from passing along the hunting heritage.

 

Four special youth-only hunting seasons, designed to introduce hunting to young Ohioans, are offered.  These seasons set aside specific days for wild turkey, deer, pheasant and rabbit, and waterfowl hunting.

       

Youth hunters pay only half the general hunting license fee that adult hunters pay. In 2004, the Division of Wildlife also reduced the price of deer and turkey permits to $12 for young hunters. Formerly, young hunters had to pay the $24 full adult price for deer and turkey permits.

       

Many young hunters have already shared their successes this year by submitting harvest photos to ohiodnr.com/wildlife. The photo submission process is easy and once the photo is posted, it can be emailed to a friend. Visit the web site and click on New! Submit Your Deer Photos and More.


Pennsylvania

Five non-resident poachers apprehended for illegal deer

FRANKLIN - On Nov. 30, an anonymous tip from a concerned citizen led Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Mario Piccirilli to a farm along Turkey Track Road in Conneautville, Crawford County. The information WCO Piccirilli received indicated that five non-resident hunters were illegally shooting deer.

 

A search of the area resulted in nine illegal deer being confiscated and five individuals being charged with 15 counts of Game and Wildlife Code violations. Their fines totaled $7,500, plus court costs. The individuals were taken into custody and arraigned before District Justice Lincoln Zilhaver and, after failing to post bond, were committed to the Crawford County Jail.

 

On Dec. 1, the defendants posted bond and pled guilty to all charges at District Justice Rita Marwoods' office in Linesville.

 

The defendants and their penalties are:

Bryan S Patterson, 34, of Madisonville, Tenn., pled guilty to two counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife

and one charge of Unlawful killing or taking of big game, and fined $1,500 plus court costs;

 

Steven R Belk, 42, of Athens, Tenn., pled guilty to two counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and one charge of unlawful killing or taking of big game, and fined $1,500 plus court costs;

 

Jeffrey P Millsaps, 30, of Madisonville, Tenn., pled guilty to two counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and one charge of unlawful killing or taking of big game, and fined fine $1,500 plus court costs;

 

Clifford L Williams Jr., 34, of Madisonville, Tenn., pled guilty to three counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and one count of unlawful killing or taking of big game, and fined $2,000 plus court costs; and

 

Kevin M Rushing, 27, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, pled guilty to one count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and one charge of unlawful killing or taking of big game, and fined $1,000 plus court costs.


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

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