York County Duo Plead Guilty to Deer Poaching in Clearfield County

KYLERTOWN – Two York County residents recently pled guilty to illegally killing four deer and one wild turkey in Clearfield County, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.

Jeffrey Alan Smith, 48, of Hanover, and Keith Eugene Myers, 45, of York, pled guilty before District Judge Michael Rudella, of Kylerstown, to four counts each of illegally killing or possessing deer and one count each of illegally killing or possessing a wild turkey. Judge Rudella sentenced each to pay fines of $1,300 ($300 for each deer and $100 for the turkey).

Smith and Myers also face having their hunting and furtaking privileges revoked.

According to Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David Stewart, of Clearfield County, on Oct. 21, he and Deputy WCO Terry Sheetz witnessed Myers exit his camp and move across a field in Girard Towship. Myers was not wearing any orange, but was carrying a rifle.

“We saw Myers enter an adjacent field and, minutes later, two shots rang out in rapid succession,” Stewart said. “Deputy WCO Sheetz and I made our way toward the location of the gunshots and, from inside the treeline, observed Myers and Smith go into the camp to retrieve a flashlight, and then proceed back into the field to where two deer were laying.

“As the two defendants began dragging the untagged deer back to the camp, Deputy WCO Sheetz and I stopped them.”

During the investigation, the defendants produced two additional skinned and partially butchered deer that were in a refrigerator at camp, along with parts of a freshly-killed wild turkey. The defendants admitted that they had killed these two deer and turkey the previous day, Oct. 20. Turkey season was closed on Oct. 20. Also, Oct. 20 and 21 were part of the overlap for archery and muzzleloader deer seasons, during which the use of a rifle is not permitted.

Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: On March 18, the House Game and Fisheries Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 97, which would increase penalties for a variety of poaching-related offenses. HB 97 is sponsored by Rep. Ed Staback (D-60), who chairs the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

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