Some may have thought Stephen Andrew Moore, 46, of Tannersville enjoyed wildlife however, as neighbors may have noticed a decline in the local wildlife populations, it became clear that the Monroe County man was participating in a non-traditional form of poaching.

After receiving a tip from a confidential informant, PGC wildlife conservation officers Scott Malicky and Cory Bentzoni went to Moore's home on Gravatts Way in Pocono Township to investigate alleged illegal possession of birds.It was discovered he possessed wildlife illegally taken from the wild for what he said became "a hobby that got out of control."

As a result of the investigation, he pled guilty to 30 counts of illegal possession of various species ranging from blue jays to raccoons, from chipping sparrows to gray squirrels, from groundhogs to purple finches. A search of the residence resulted in the seizing of 13 goldfinches, 11 pine siskins, seven house finches, five dark-eyed juncos, four purple finches, three blue jays, three gray squirrels, two groundhogs, two raccoons, two indigo buntings, two black-capped chickadees, two rose-breasted grosbeaks, one chipping sparrow, one cardinal, one brown-headed cowbird, one house sparrow, one mourning dove and five other species needing identification due to decomposition.

As part of the plea agreement, charges against Moore for cruelty to animals were withdrawn. District Judge Thomas E. Olsen, Tannersville, ordered Moore to pay $2,250 in fines and $750 in reimbursement to the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for expenses incurred treating the wildlife that survived.

"When we arrived, we saw several cages and multiple bird traps on the front porch," Malicky said. "Also visible from the front porch were several bird traps in the backyard."

"The birds and mammals, as well as some of the enclosures, were transferred to the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for care and housing. Many of the birds required beak trimming, nail trimming and antibacterial medication in their drinking water, one of the raccoons is suffering nutritional problems requiring dietary supplements and the cages needed cleaning and disinfection due to the improper care of the wildlife."

Katherine Uhler, who runs Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and has many years of experience caring for sick and injured wildlife, stated that all of the birds were "underweight, suffering from neglect and had nutritional problems." Since being housed at her facility, 20 of the birds have died due to the poor condition they were in when they arrived.

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Fishing guide Rod Bates of Carlisle will discuss fall fishing on the Susquehanna River as today's guest on "Experience the Outdoors" with Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on Oldies 1410-AM, from 7:30-8 a.m. There will be a rebroadcast of the program Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on Magic, WMGH, 105.5-FM.

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A muzzleloader shoot will be held Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by First Frontier Militia, at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.

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A trap shot will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net.

As part of its popular patch collection offerings, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has commissioned a new patch to promote the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.Accompanying the 4.5x3.5-inch patch is a Saf-T Plug that acts as a visual cue that the action of any pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun is open and safe.The two items sell for $7, including sales tax, and can be obtained at any Game Commission office or through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's Web site at www.pgc.state.pa.us.

To order online, click on "The Outdoor Shop" icon in the right-hand column of the homepage, then choose "Pennsylvania Game Commission Outdoor Shop" in the lower left-hand corner of the page, select "Merchandise" in the banner, select "Patches" in the left-hand column and scroll down to "2009 Mentored Youth Patch & PGC Saf-T Plug." Orders also can be made by calling 1-888-888-3459.