Ohio Residents Plead Guilty in Clearfield County Deer Poaching Case

HARRISBURG – What started out as an investigation about illegally dumped deer carcasses resulted in six Ohio residents pleading guilty to numerous charges filed by Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Dave Stewart for illegally killing five deer in Clearfield County.

Gordon Blanton, 53, of Franklin Furnace, Ohio, pled guilty on Oct. 24, to killing one 8-point antlered deer and one antlerless deer on Sunday, Oct. 1, in WMU 2G. Additionally, Blanton used an antlerless deer license from WMU 2D to tag the antlerless deer, and stated on both harvest tags that he killed both deer on Sept. 30. Blanton was fined $1,150.

Robert E. Blanton, 59, also of Franklin Furnace, pled guilty on Oct. 19, to illegally killing a protected antlered deer that did not meet the minimum antler point restrictions and an antlerless deer in WMU 2G. He also tagged his antlerless deer with a WMU 2D antlerless tag, and there was no harvest tag on the protected four-point antlered deer. Blanton was fined $1,150.

Kevin Duane McDavid, 45, also of Franklin Furnace, pled guilty on Oct. 24, to illegally killing an antlerless deer in WMU 2G that he tagged with a DMAP Unit No. 1112, Coupon 139 on that animal. The DMAP coupon that McDavid used was not issued for Clearfield County. McDavid was fined $500.

Wesley Ray Bussey, 56, of Sciotoville, Ohio, pled guilty on Oct. 24, to aiding, assisting and conspiring with Gordon Blanton to take deer on Sunday. He also aided and assisted in processing all five unlawfully taken and possessed deer. Bussey was fined $400.

Nathaniel G. Blanton, 32, and John Steven Blanton, 37, both of Franklin Furnace, pled guilty on Oct. 24, to aiding, assisting and conspiring in processing five illegally taken and possessed deer. Both defendants were fined $400.

On Oct. 2, WCO Stewart received information regarding a deer carcass and entrails found along Blackwell Road in Huston Township, Clearfield County. While investigating, WCO Stewart obtained further information that led him to the group of Ohio residents who were staying at Parker Dam State Park. As part of the investigation, Stewart was able to use forensic techniques to determine that five of the six deer taken had been killed illegally on Sunday.

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