Oct 31, 2014, 23:28

Guilty Plea In Pennsylvania Trophy Elk-Poaching Case

Friday, 31 October 2014 00:00

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania man sentenced to up to 18 months in jail, more than $20,000 in fines and costs.

A Bellefonte man has been sentenced to spend up to 18 months in jail and pay more than $20,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty Wednesday to poaching three bull elk, one of them among the largest on record in Pennsylvania.

Frank Gordo Buchanan Jr., 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of unlawful taking of big game, and one count each of unlawful taking of game, unlawful use of a vehicle to take game, and unlawful use of an artificial light to take game.

As part of the plea agreement accepted by Magisterial District Judge Jerome M. Nevling, of Kylertown, Buchanan will spend three to 18 months in the Clearfield County Jail and pay $9,550 in fines. Additionally, he is responsible for paying $11,500 in replacement costs for the poached elk, two of which are classified as trophy-class animals.

Erie County Pennsylvania Residents Charged

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 00:00

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed charges against two Erie County residents as a result of search warrants served early this month.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Michael A. Girosky initiated an investigation after receiving information that a Springfield Township woman was in possession of eagle feathers. WCO Girosky applied for and received a search warrant for a residence on West Lake Road, East Springfield, Erie County. The search resulted in the seizure of hundreds of feathers from protected birds including bald eagle, various hawks, owls, gulls, songbirds and wild turkey. A subsequent search warrant was executed at Liberty Street in Girard Borough where additional feathers from protected birds were seized.

Charges were filed at District Judge Christopher K. MacKendrick’s office in East Springfield, Pa.

Laurie Gibbons, age 49, East Springfield, Pa:
41 citations with potential fines ranging from $4,200 to $8,400
Unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, 2 counts
Unlawful taking and possession of protected birds; 39 counts

Gerald Stazer, age 59, Girard, Pa:
    Unlawful taking and possession of protected birds, 6 counts with potential fines ranging from $600 to $1,200.

    WCO Girosky was assisted during this investigation by local wildlife conservation officers and deputy wildlife conservation officers.

It'S Not Easy Wearing Green In New Brunswick'S Forests

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:00


I ran into a conservation officer one day during a moose-scouting expedition, and he took a break from his duties for a bit of a chat.    Moose season is a busy time for New Brunswick conservation officers. After all, there aren't as many as there used to be,and their workloads are only going up at the same time that their numbers are going down.   

A few years ago the province divided our wardens into two groups: conservation officers (the guys who enforce game laws) and forest rangers (who take care of the trees, both live and dead ones). Let's pretend that there are 50 actual enforcement officers (I have no idea how many these days. I pulled that number out of my hat). That doesn't mean there are 50 in the woods at any given time. At any point in time, some conservation officers will be on holidays or doing paper work, in court, serving documents, off sick, enjoying a day off in lieu of overtime,taking a language course, having their computerized trucks fixed, learning how to work those newfangled computers in their trucks, or whatever.    It ain't easy wearing green.   

Cougar Sighting Upsets British Columbia Residents

Sunday, 14 September 2014 00:00

Carol Walton spotted a cougar on her family's property near Beaver Creek and Grigg Road on Sunday at 7 p.m. Her two dogs were anxiously barking at what she thought was a black bear. After noticing that it was a mountain lion, Carol hurried back to her house and alerted her son, Kirk.

"I've been here 50 years and I've never seen [a cougar]," Carol said, adding she believes the number of cougars in the area has been increasing lately. "But I always knew they were around."

Horses act differently, as if prepared to flee, when a cougar is in the area, she noted.

Carol had been volunteering as a horse riding coach for the Alberni Valley 4-H Clubs on Sunday. The youth participants, as young as nine years old, were out practicing their equine handling skills until 5 p.m. that evening - just two hours before the cougar showed up, Carol said.

Bronson and Minty, Carol's Belgian shepherd and miniature schnauzer, were barking anxiously in the twilight. Some wild predator was out there.

"I told them to get the bear," said Carol, who had chased off a black bear from their property a week earlier. "The dogs were having an absolute fit."

They were barking differently and leaping up, she noticed. From her animals' behaviour she looked closer and saw that it wasn't another bear. This particular creature was more aggressive. Carol recalled quickly leaving with her two dogs. "You have to give a cougar a lot of respect," she said.

The Beaver Creek resident jogged up the road and told her family about the encounter. Her son Kirk then went to have a look around.

"It was pretty traumatized from the dogs," Carol said, adding she's certain the cougar isn't coming back. "I'm not worried about it."

Thomas Pigeon has been fined $8,000 for possessing two muskox and a wood bison that were illegally hunted in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Illegal Bison, Muskox Hunts Get Reality Show Founder $8K Fine

Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:00

The founder of a hunting reality show is being forced to pay an $8,000 fine for possessing two muskox and a wood bison that were illegally hunted in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

In March of 2003, Thomas Pigeon came north to hunt muskox in Nunavut and wood bison in the Northwest Territories for his hunting adventure show, Canada in the Rough.

But the hunters drove their vehicles too close to the animals so they were easier to kill.

Five years ago someone tipped off the Ontario government about mounts brought back to the province, and wildlife investigators seized video footage of the illegal hunt.