PA: county treasurer and five others discovered hunting over bait.
December 21, 2009
Morreale charged in deer hunt
Game officials allege county treasurer and five others discovered hunting
Luzerne County Treasurer Michael Morreale and five others were charged by
the state Game Commission on Friday in connection with an incident that
allegedly occurred in Susquehanna County during the two-week rifle deer
According to Wildlife Conservation Officer Michael Webb, the game
commission's Northeast Region Office in Dallas received an anonymous tip on
Dec. 3 about a group hunting deer over bait. On Saturday, Dec. 5, Webb and
other officers went to the Forest Township property to investigate the
complaint and allegedly discovered several hunters, including Morreale,
hunting over bait.
Webb declined to say what the group was using for bait, but he did state
the baited area, which was on private property, wasn't hard to find. Webb
added that one deer that he is aware of was shot over the bait.
Morreale, 75, of Wyoming, was charged with a summary offense of hunting
over bait, which carries a fine of $100 to $300. Morreale's county office is
responsible for accepting and processing antlerless deer license
applications from hunters.
When contacted on Saturday, Morreale said no one in his group put the
bait out, nor were they aware that it was in the area. He said he and his
sons own the property where the incident took place.
"I didn't know that if somebody puts bait out and you're hunting in the
area you can get arrested for it," Morreale said. "We didn't put the bait
out and we didn't know it was there. We didn't see it because it's dark when
we're walking out to hunt."
Morreale said he hasn't decided how he will plead to the baiting charge.
Also charged in the incident were:
Lorraine Edythe Vann, 54, of Dallas -- hunting over bait, failure to wear
required amount of protective material; John Vito Morreale, 55, Duryea --
hunting over bait; Nicholas M. Morreale, 19, Pittston Township -- hunting
over bait; unlawful taking (deer); David Albert Morreale, 50, Pittston --
hunting over bait, failure to wear required amount of protective material;
Michael C. Morreale, 56, Dallas -- hunting over bait.
All charges were filed before District Judge Jeffrey L. Hollister in
Montrose, Susquehanna County. All six individuals have 10 days from the date
the charges were filed to enter a plea.
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