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Yes, it's the law there but....

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by zettler, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. zettler

    zettler Elite Refuge Member

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    Five men will pay more than $55,000 in fines for a snow-goose killing spree in April in which they shot 365 birds in Berks County.

    That's 265 over the daily limit in Pennsylvania. One of the men wasn't licensed to shoot any geese, and the other four each would have been limited to 25 geese.

    On April 1, state Game Commission officers were called to a property in Marion Township, Berks County, which is about five miles north of Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area - a popular wintering area for huge flocks of snow geese.

    A caller reported lots of shooting in the area.

    Upon arrival, officers discovered five men had killed 365 snow geese, a news release states.

    Between May 19 and June 1, the five men pleaded guilty to all charges lodged against them, the Game Commission reports.

    Norman Brubaker, 30, of Bernville, pleaded guilty to one count of hunting without a migratory bird license, one count of a violation involving federal laws and 73 counts of unlawful taking and possession of snow geese, the news release states. He also agreed to pay $14,990 in fines and replacement costs.

    Laverne Frey, 34, of Womelsdorf, pleaded guilty to one count of a violation involving federal laws and 48 counts of unlawful taking and possession of snow geese. He also agreed to pay $10,040 in fines and replacement costs.

    Nevin Frey, 28, of Myerstown, pleaded guilty to one count of a violation involving federal laws and 48 counts of unlawful taking and possession of snow geese, the news release states. He also agreed to pay $10,040 in fines and replacement costs.

    Kenneth Oberholtzer, 26, of Womelsdorf, pleaded guilty to one count of a violation involving federal laws and 48 counts of unlawful taking and possession of snow geese, the news release states. He also agreed to pay $10,040 in fines and replacement costs.

    Nelson Sensenig, 25, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty to one count of a violation involving federal laws and 48 counts of unlawful taking and possession of snow geese, the news release states. He also agreed to pay $10,040 in fines and replacement costs.

    The meat from the illegally-shot birds did not go to waste, according to the Game Commission.

    After evidence was collected, the birds were taken to a local processor who then produced 288 pounds of goose meat.

    The Game Commission donated the meat to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, and included the processing fee in the fines assessed to the hunters.

    ?This case ranks as one of the larger poaching cases in recent memory," Matthew Hough, the Game Commission's executive director, states in the news release.

    "And I?d like to applaud the citizen who reported it, the officers whose investigation led to the charges, and the combined work of all of our wildlife conservation officers."
     
  2. Allan

    Allan Elite Refuge Member

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    "but".....but what?
     
  3. Rubberhead

    Rubberhead Elite Refuge Member

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    My only :scratch is paying replacement costs for a bird under a near free-for-all management season.

    My only :confused: is it that Norman Brubaker is just a better shot than the other four?

    My only :clap is for the guys carring enough shells to get this done.

    My only :pra is that I get to hunt that field one day.
     
  4. zettler

    zettler Elite Refuge Member

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    Over a 100 views but finally you guys post. Thanks.

    Forgive my ignorance, but here in Illinois there is a conservation season with no limits but maybe that is just because the migratory flocks that travel through here are different is scope, size of problem or the like as compared to the birds in this instance above?

    And while I do not condone breaking the law, I was taken aback by the steepness of the fines and the crowing about their arrests by authorities IF those flyway birds are also a problem that the USFWS and Canadian wildlife authorities are trying to mitigate.

    And, journalists nowadays are lazy and seldom look into a story, they simply regurgitate what they are presented with. So they don't cover what I am asking above.

    My thoughts are, IF these birds are also creating a problem like the flyway birds in illinois, and only IF, why does this state have limits?

    And IF these flyway birds are an issue too, and only IF,why doesn't the wildlife authorities restructure their laws to help "save the tundra?"

    I know, BIG IF's....
     
  5. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    No he was fined like the rest based on a count of taking 73 birds. That a vary expensive duck stamp.
     
  6. Skip OK

    Skip OK Elite Refuge Member

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    As I understand it, these were greater snows and there is not the same urgency to lower the population size.

    Even if that's not right 25 birds a day isn't exactly low, limit wise.

    The end game is that these people(since they weren't properly licensed I refrain from calling them hunters, disrespected the law that you and I and everybody on this site is bound by. They were not licensed and they GREATLY exceeded the established limit.

    The only complaint about their sentences I have is that they each should have been barred from hunting for several years.
     
  7. Fieldgeneral

    Fieldgeneral New Member

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    If the law is broken you deserve what you get. Pretty simple.
     
  8. theduckguru

    theduckguru Elite Refuge Member

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    The USFWS offers PA a conservation season with no limit just like the states where lesser snow geese are abundant. Obviously USFWS sees no difference in the population problem between lesser and greater snow geese.

    While violating the law canni be condoned, neither can PA's silly limit. The fact that these guys were able to harvest that many birds makes it rather clear there is no reason for the limit based on population.
     
  9. Skip OK

    Skip OK Elite Refuge Member

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    Duckguru,

    A couple of questions

    When determining bag limits and season dates in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who gets to decide?

    A. Pennsylvania Game Commission
    B. A bunch of guys who can't even be bothered enough to buy the proper licenses or
    C. One guy from a neighboring state who thinks the laws are silly?

    When caught and found guilty in a court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who should get to decide on the appropriate penalty?

    A. The Court, possibly using guidelines set by the PGC and the legislature; or
    B. A bunch of guys on an internet forum.

    Is there ANY possible way to consider the situation without concluding that the defendant broke the law and deserved punishment

    A. No
    B. there is no answer except A.



    When the snow goose overpopulation issue first broke, I was one of the guys on here arguing for very relaxed rules; high (or no) daily bags) use of whatever means necessary to maximize harvest, no license requirements.

    However, not all states adopted each of these ideas, which means that anybody not following the rules o0f those states would be subject to prosecution. These guys did and they were.
     
  10. andy dively

    andy dively Senior Refuge Member

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    The whole story isn't there and won't be published. There were other violations that lead to the plea quickly and since I live in PA and rather close to the area in question, I'm privy to all the gossip, which has been fairly consistent. These charges were the ones that are easy to prove without getting the witness involved and resolving it very fast. It was supposedly a pond shoot before shooting time which happened while trespassing. Either way you look at it, we have had the same laws for the C.O. since it started in 2009. These guys broke the law and will pay for it. I am extremely happy and satisfied with our PGC and how the law was enforced and hope it curtails similar "hunts" in the future.
     

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