Multiple deer killed unlawfully in Susquehanna County
DALLAS – A search warrant executed by Pennsylvania State Game Wardens on Jan. 25 at a residence along Berg Hill Road, Gibson Township, Susquehanna County, revealed evidence of deer that were killed by persons hunting at night and using bait. One man living at the residence, and performing work associated with the natural gas industry, was subsequently cited for killing three white-tailed deer, and attempting to kill others, over an extended period of time. His roommate was cited for assisting in the killings.
Susquehanna County Game Warden Benjamin Rebuck filed charges against James D. Hawkins, 62, and William C. Corbell, 26, both of Hamilton Miss., for multiple violations of the Game and Wildlife Code. Charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Suzanne Brainard in Clifford on Feb. 13.
“Unusual nighttime activity and evidence of food products being used to attract deer was reported to the Game Commission by a number of area residents,” said Rebuck. “An examination of a wooded area behind the residence of the two defendants eventually supported these reports.”
Rebuck initially observed a dead antlerless deer, with an arrow in its hind quarter, near a home along State Route 2067 in Gibson Township. He followed a blood trail from the deer to a pile of corn behind the home of the defendants. Several other blood trails were found radiating from the pile of corn. Officers conducting the search warrant also discovered a nocked compound bow, firearms, and a spotlight positioned near the back door of the residence.
Hawkins was charged under the Game and Wildlife Code with one count of the unlawful killing or taking of big game, four counts of the unlawful taking of possession of game or wildlife, and four counts of unlawful devices and methods. Corbell was charged with two counts of the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.
Mississippi Conservation Officer Dean Hudson worked with Rebuck to gather background information on Hawkins and Corbell. Additional game law charges may be levied against Corbell in Mississippi.
Both men pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 and the two paid nearly $5,000 in fines. They face the loss of hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania and Mississippi for several years.
“These men were successfully prosecuted thanks to concerned citizens reporting these crimes against wildlife,” said Rebuck. “They took the time to get involved and help put an end to the illegal acts being performed by these two individuals.”
Image Info: Multiple blood trails led from a baited area behind a home along Berg Hill Road. The two residents were charged with game and wildlife code violations.