Pennsylvania Game Commission

RIDGWAY, Pa. — The investigation into the origin of two ear-tagged deer that were euthanized recently in Elk County has resulted in a conviction.

A 56-year-old Ridgway man pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to two counts of disturbing wildlife after reporting he’d handled the deer, saying both were wild and he tagged them in separate years while they were fawns. Fines and costs totaled $2,120.

It is unlawful in Pennsylvania to pick up, take into captivity or otherwise disturb wildlife, or release any deer into the wild. Doing so can result in stiff penalties, including imprisonment.

The ear-tagged deer were euthanized July 26 in Ridgway Township, Elk County. Although the Pennsylvania Game Commission uses ear tags during research, the agency’s tags differ in appearance from the tags commonly used on deer farms. Because of the risk escaped or released captive deer or elk could spread chronic wasting disease to areas where the disease has not been detected in the wild, commission protocol authorizes wildlife conservation officers to shoot free-ranging ear-tagged deer.

Both deer euthanized July 26 tested negative for CWD. The results from genetic tests were performed to learn more about the deer’s bloodlines are pending.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northcentral Region Office at 570-398-4744, or 570-398-4745.

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