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North Park Hunter Fined

Old 01-07-2010, 05:28 PM
  #1  
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34757264/ns/local_news-pittsburgh_pa/

Hunting In An Allegheny Co. Park? Better Know The Rules

North Park Hunter Fined For Not Belonging To Hunting Group

ThePittsburghChannel.Com
updated 11 minutes ago
PITTSBURGH - THE PITTSBURGH CHANNEL.com

Allegheny County permits bow hunting in its parks, but in order to do so, hunters must belong to a group called Whitetail Management Associates -- something unbeknownst to hunter Mark Benec.

Benec is not a member of the group, and when he went up into a tree stand at North Park last November, he came down with a ticket and $360 fine.

"I said, 'All these people standing here who are hunters are you going to give them a fine too?' He said, 'No, I'm not,'" said Benec.

That's because the other hunters were members of Whitetail Management Associates -- a nonprofit group of hunters that has exclusive rights to hunt in county parks.

"Safety is our main concern and we really want to know who's hunting in the park to make sure they have a clean record, they can shoot straight," said Allegheny County Parks Director Andy Baechle.

In an interview with Channel 4 Action News investigative reporter Paul Van Osdol, Benec pleaded his case to Baechle.

"I've had background checks. I was hunting in a tree stand. I did all that. I've done all that was required but you're telling me other people can hunt there and I can't? Is that where we're at now?" said Benec.

A representative for the Pennsylvania Game Commission said Allegheny County has the same rights as any private property owner to limit the number of people who hunt on its land.

District Judge William Wagner dismissed the charge against Benec.

Benec was charged with illegally discharging a weapon in a county park, but never actually used his bow.

No ruling was given as to whether anyone can hunt in the parks.

Benec told Van Osdol he will "absolutely" hunt in the parks again.

Benec said he plans to talk with the game commission before heading back into the woods.



Its shocking that Allegheny county is over run with deer and cant give away enough tags to solve the deer problem so what’s the solution in a WMU with very limited land access further limit hunters to access of public municipal ground

Whitetail Management Associates web page
http://www.wmapgh.com/

the funny thing is they never mention fees charged to hunt or how hunters are assigned hunting areas the more you pay the better your area

Last edited by bowhunter2117; 01-07-2010 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:33 AM
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It looks like a pretty well thought out program that allows hunters to hunt areas that normally would not be hunted. The guy that got fined was hunting property he did not have permission to hunt. I think rather than bash an organization like this we should support it, because there are going to be more and more areas like this with developments filling up old farms and open land. The other alternatives all EXCLUDE hunters all together. If attention to detail is not practiced while hunting these areas with PETA and the such all around high population areas, hunting could be set in a bad light by one hunter and blown way out of proportion. We see it all the time how the some media and Hollywood portray the hunter. I give these guys credit for coming up with a way to hunt this area. Kudos!

I read some of the website and also did not see a mention of fee's, but don't jump to conclusions until you know the facts.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:07 AM
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I have two friends that belong to this organization and hunt in Boyce Park. I think the only "fees" involved are for the background checks etc. It's not that hard to get in. You basically have to pass a background check and be able to hit a deers vitals consistently at 20 yards. Last I heard you also had to document a few deer kills with a bow (photos)

I was asked to join but declined for only one reason. They expect their hunters to hunt their spots regularly and to produce! I am already involved in one suburban control program and felt it would have spread me too thin.

This organization has managed to present hunters in a very positive light and get bowhunting into places where it serves both the hunters and the community very well . They did it in spite of fierce resistance from the animal rights crowd.

This clown either couldnt qualify or didnt want to play by the rules and the judge who let him off didnt do his job.

The county, as the landowner, has the right to regulate who does what on the property. Yes it's public property but just like with ATV's, alcohol, boats, bicycles, fishing, they have the right to regulate who uses the property and how. Until these guys came along, nobody was allowed to hunt these places.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:39 PM
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I can't really condemn the practice, and the judge let him off the hook, so looks like it's a wash.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:11 PM
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I think it's BS, if it's county property then anyone residing in the county should be able to hunt it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:37 PM
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The judge did good with the discharging charge. Was there another charge for hunting without permission actually sought? I think the judge would have been correct to find him guilty of that. Seems like the guy is just being a rabble rouser and knows darned well what he is doing and he is doing it out of spite. If he keeps it up we will see what kind of ground he stands on. I think the program is well thought out and legit. Getting hunters in those parks is a very tough sell and the program sheds good light on hunting's image as a viable herd control measure. Who knows, the guy might win in the end. Legal issues are strange sometimes. Where it goes from here is his call I guess.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:38 PM
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I think it's BS, if it's county property then anyone residing in the county should be able to hunt it.
Absolutely. Wonder how many members of the anointed hunting clic are from out of county and out of state.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:40 PM
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The program has a rule that you must take a number of does before you can take a buck I believe. Are these guys from out of state that hard pressed for deer meat? I just don't see it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by falcon View Post
Absolutely. Wonder how many members of the anointed hunting clic are from out of county and out of state.

It's open to PA residents. Anyone can get in if they can pass the background checks and shoot a bow accurately. There have been times when a waiting list was in place but thats no different than any farmer limiting the number of people on his ground.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by livbucks View Post
The judge did good with the discharging charge. Was there another charge for hunting without permission actually sought? I think the judge would have been correct to find him guilty of that. Seems like the guy is just being a rabble rouser and knows darned well what he is doing and he is doing it out of spite. If he keeps it up we will see what kind of ground he stands on. I think the program is well thought out and legit. Getting hunters in those parks is a very tough sell and the program sheds good light on hunting's image as a viable herd control measure. Who knows, the guy might win in the end. Legal issues are strange sometimes. Where it goes from here is his call I guess.

Good catch Greg. They screwed up when they wrote the guy the ticket and the judge DID do his job legally. Cant quite understand why they didnt charge him properly but I'm gonna guess that the county tried to give him the ticket when it should have been a WCO to write up the proper charges. Either way, the hunter could have played by the rules to hunt there and obviously chose not to so he put hunters in a bad light with absolutely no good reason.
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