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Millersburg, PA Man's Conviction Upheld

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- Jeffrey Fritz, 46, of Millersburg, was found guilty in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas for possessing and transporting an untagged 8-point deer, and making false statements to Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers at a trial on April 14.

Fritz, who had previously been found guilty by District Justice Gregory Johnson, originally was sentenced to pay $400 in fines, plus costs. However, Fritz appealed the guilty verdict to Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. On April 14, Judge Todd Hoover upheld the guilty verdict and increased the fines to $700, plus costs.

Fritz was charged with failing to tag a large 8-point deer during the first week of archery season in Wayne Township while hunting on a Powells Valley farm. The farmer told him several times to tag his deer, but Fritz refused to do so. Testimony at both trials indicated that Fritz had seen a second, larger 10-point buck that day, and that he was a regular entrant in local "buck pools," in which cash prizes are awarded for the largest antlers entered.

"We don't know if he would have killed the second buck," explained WCO Mike Doherty, who filed the charges. "But with almost six weeks of deer season remaining, and his history of entering buck pools, we decided to charge him for the untagged deer rather than wait and risk losing another trophy buck to a poacher."

At the conclusion of the appeal trial, Judge Hoover admonished Fritz about his lack of sportsmanship and ethics, which were the basis for his increasing Fritz's fine. Fritz also faces revocation of his hunting license for a time to be determined by the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners.

"We're pleased that both courts took this matter seriously, and that Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Sandy O'Hara handled the case so well," said WCO Doherty. "But we're especially grateful that a concerned citizen took the time to pick up the phone to make that call to the Game Commission, and report this crime."

Last Updated: 04/26/05



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