Vet proposes ban on salt licks, deer feeding stations

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CHAMBERSBURG – A Penn State veterinarian is proposing a ban on salt licks and feed stations for wild deer in Pennsylvania following the commonwealth’s first case of a fatal deer disease.


David Wolfgang of the College of Agricultural Sciences said that deer obviously congregate at such stations, and that’s bad enough.


But he said droppings from animals infected with Chronic Wasting Disease could get into the soil and pose a danger for years.


Wolfgang is a member of the state’s Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force.


He said the best control programs try to keep the deer population in good balance with forest resources, keep captive deer fenced-in – and farmers adhering to strict monitoring programs – and call on hunters to report sick deer immediately.


Three charged with stealing hatchery fish: Three Virginia men are in hot water for allegedly stealing 31 fish from a western Pennsylvania hatchery.


The men are accused of taking 29 steelhead and two brown trout from the Trout Run nursery on Tuesday night. That’s near Erie.


Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officer Brook Tolbert says the unidentified men were charged with the unlawful taking of more than three times the daily limit of trout and with unlawful devices used to take trout.


Airborne camera downed at pigeon: Police say a protester’s remote control helicopter was damaged by gunfire at a Pennsylvania pigeon shoot.


State police say someone shot the helicopter protesters were using last Sunday to record the pigeon shoot at Wing Pointe Gun Club in rural Berks County, about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia.


Investigators estimate the cost of the damage at $4,000.


Preliminary bear harvest at 2,442: Three days of the statewide four-day bear season have produced a preliminary harvest of 2,442 bears, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission check station reports filed this morning.


Last year’s three-day bear harvest total was 3,023; in 2010, which offered a three-day season with a Saturday opener, the harvest total was 2,815.


The top 10 bears processed at check stations, so far, all had estimated live weights that exceeded 548 pounds. James R. Weisbrod, of Quakertown, has harvested the largest bear so far this season. Taken Nov. 20 in Greene Township, Pike County, the male bear had an estimated live weight of 706 pounds.


Other large bears (all but one, are estimated live weights) included: a 699-pound male taken by William M. Rising, of Indiana, in Hamlin Township, McKean County, Nov. 19; a 652-pound (actual live weight) male taken by Timothy J. Moffett, of Barto, in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, Nov. 17; a 620-pound male, taken by Robert A. Pitts, of Meadville, in Roulette Township, Potter County, Nov. 17; a 598-pound male, taken by Michael P. Intallura, of Renovo, in Noyes Township, Clinton County, Nov. 17; 586-pound male, taken by Brian K. Stuebgen, of Renfrew, in Sergeant Township, McKean County, Nov. 19; a 576-pound male, taken by Dana L. Landis, of Chambersburg, in Southampton Township, Bedford County, Nov. 19; a 562-pound male taken by Bryan L. Leabhart, of Dudley, in Carbon Township, Huntingdon County, Nov. 19; a 559-pound male, taken by Clayton L. Dulaney, of Towanda, in Auburn Township, Susquehanna County, Nov. 17; and a 557-pound male taken by Barry Zimmerman, of Loysville, in South West Madison Township, Perry County, Nov. 20.


PGC seeks poacher: The Pennsylvania Game Commission is searching for a poacher who illegally shot a trophy buck with a small-caliber gun during archery season.


Wildlife conservation officer Brian Witherite said that the 225-pound deer had a 10-point rack with a 21½ inch spread.


The animal was shot in the neck Nov. 2 and its carcass left behind in Black Township, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.


Witherite says the deer’s size and rack make it a trophy-class animal, meaning there are substantial penalties for those who are charged with killing it. Witherite hasn’t specified the range of those penalties.


The game commission is also offering an unspecified monetary reward for information on the poaching.


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