Pennsylvania Game Commission Investigating Illegal Killing of Trophy-Class Buck

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by J. Irwin/Classicstock/Getty Images)

Officials of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are now investigating the illegal killing of trophy-class buck. The deer was reportedly killed near a federal prison in Union County.

OutdoorLife further reports that a witness called in a tip on Monday (October 3rd) and revealed that they had heard a shot after legal shooting light in Gregg Township. Game warden cadet Brooke Hargenradar went into the area to investigate. She discovered the dead trophy-class buck in a field along Route 44, which is close to Allenwood penitentiary. 

Hargenrader stated in her investigation that the buck had been shot with a small caliber firearm sometime around 11 p.m. on October 3rd. The meat was then salvaged and donated to a needy family. However, it’s not clear exactly why the animal was abandoned. “It’s tough to say at this point,” Hargenrader explained. “It did appear that they had shot and left it. For some reason, they never came back for it.” 

Hargenrader did explain that it’s possible that the person who shot the buck may have fled the scene when authorities arrived. No vehicle was identified at or department the area. Hargenrader then shared that the game wardens are now relying on the public to help identify a possible suspect. 

“We are heavily relying on the public for additional information,” Hargenrader continued. “They are the backbone of everything that we hear within the local community, so anything that they can reach out and give us as far as this investigation goes would be greatly, greatly appreciated.” 

Pennsylvania Game Commission Announces Investigation into Illegal Buck Killing 

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Game Commission also announced its investigation into the illegal killing of the buck. 

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northcentral Region is seeking information related to the illegal taking of a trophy-class white-tailed deer,” the post reads. “The deer was found in a field along Route 44, in Gregg Township, Union County, adjacent to the federal penitentiary. The game warden’s investigation concluded that the deer was shot with a small caliber firearm on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at approximately 11 p.m.”

The organization further stated that anyone who has information related to the buck incident is encouraged to report it at 1-833-PGC-WILD, online, or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001. “Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping to protect Pennsylvania Wildlife!”

OutdoorLife also reported that while Pennsylvania does not use a scoring system, the buck is considered “trophy-class” which means there are additional fines to the charge of illegal kill. Hargenrader noted that the decision to fine the suspects is usually at a judge’s discretion. 

Also, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission, the state had a total of 6,359 prosecutions for wildlife violations in 2021. The largest category was the illegal take of game or wildlife. This was 1,430 total violations.