DALLAS – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that a Pike County man has been successfully prosecuted for the illegal taking or possession of 11 antlered deer over a several-year period.
James A. Twaite, 72, of Rowland, was found guilty of 11 summary counts of the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, one count of hunting in an area where bait was used as an enticement, and one count of failure to tag big-game kills.
The charges were filed by State Game Warden Kevin Moran at the office of Magisterial District Judge Alan Cooper, Shohola. During a hearing held on Dec. 13, Twaite was found guilty of all charges. Fines and court costs were assessed at just under $10,000 and Twaite faces the loss of Pennsylvania hunting license privileges for 13 years.
The Game Commission received information that Twaite posted a photograph of a recently killed protected antlered deer on his Facebook page during the 2018 archery deer season. An investigation conducted by Moran and Game Warden Cadet Patrick Sowers determined that the protected deer also was killed in a baited area and was not tagged.
Subsequent interviews and additional evidence revealed that Twaite unlawfully killed or possessed at least 11 antlered deer during the past several years. Deer were killed outside of established deer-hunting seasons, through the use of bait, or over the legal limit allowed by law.
“A tip from a concerned citizen who reported one unlawful incident led to the successful prosecution of a serial poacher,” said Moran. “When wildlife crimes are reported, both wildlife and hunters benefit.”
PGC Photo (1) Deer antlers seized during Pike County poaching case.
L-R Game Commission Cadet Patrick Sowers; Lackawanna State Game Warden Kevin Moran.