A Lancaster County resident was cited for poaching a record-book class buck, according to charges filed by Pennsylvania Game Commission in the court of District Justice William Wenner, Harrisburg.

Wildlife conservation officers Mike Doherty of Dauphin County and John Veylupek of Lancaster County filed the charges against Scott M. Garner, 33, of Bainbridge, Lancaster County, who was charged for exceeding the bag limit for antlered deer in a license year by killing a second buck. Under long-standing bag limits, Pennsylvania hunters are limited to one antlered deer per license year.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, Garner killed a 14-point buck in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, during the two-week firearms deer season after having killed a five-point buck in archery season, Monday, Oct. 31. He re-used and altered his buck tag, originally used on the buck taken in archery season, to tag the second buck illegally harvested during the firearms season.

For killing the 14-point buck, Garner faces penalties of up to 90 days in jail and an enhanced fine of $6,500 since the size of the deer's antlers are considered trophy class under Game Commission regulations. He also faces up to three years revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges in Pennsylvania.

Had the 14-point buck been lawfully taken by a hunter, with a Boone & Crockett green-score of 172.5 inches, it would have placed it in the top 25 for typical deer taken with a firearm in Pennsylvania's All-Time Big Game Records.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are urging wildlife enthusiasts to join the tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the United States in the Audubon Society's 112th Annual Christmas Bird Count, which is underway through Thursday, Jan. 5.

"Bird enthusiasts, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists, will head out on an annual mission often before dawn to make a difference and to see nature firsthand," PGC Wildlife Diversity Division chief Dan Brauning said. "Each year, volunteers brave snow, wind or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count, and they have made enormous contributions to bird conservation continent-wide while doing so.

"The data collected through this effort which is the longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations allows researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys, such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years."

Local counts will occur on one day during the project, and volunteers can pick the most convenient circle or participate in more than one count. There is a specific methodology to the CBC, but everyone can participate.

Each count takes place within "Count Circles," which focus on specific geographical areas. Each circle is led by a "Count Compiler," who is an experienced birdwatcher.

To view instructions on how to search for a circle and sign-up for an open count, visit the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us, click on "Wildlife" in menu bar at the top of the homepage and then choose the "Christmas Bird Count" under the "Wild Birds and Birding" listing.

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Representatives of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association are holding "Muzzleloader Weekend" today and Sunday at the Cabela's store in Hamburg. Hosted by NMLRA Longhunter Society director Dave Ehrig of Topton, the weekend features free seminars designed to help hunters prepare for Pennsylvania's flintlock muzzleloader deer season, which opens Monday, Dec. 26.

Seminar schedules for both days are as follows: "Flintlock Muzzleloader Basics," 11 a.m.; "Powders, Pellets, Confusion," 1 p.m.; "The Truth about Flints, Caps, 209 Primers and Battery Ignition," 2 p.m.; and "Foul Weather Muzzleloader Hunting," 3 p.m. For more information, access the website at www.cabelas.com/hamburg.

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This year's Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Photography Contest deadline is Saturday, Dec. 31. This year's contest will have the following three categories: "Anglers and Boaters," "Waterway Scenics" and "Reptiles and Amphibians." To obtain an entry form, complete with contest rules and past winning entries, visit the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com/anglerboater/photocontest/00photo.htm.

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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, Road and Gun Club Road, Bowmanstown.

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This week's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, Sunday, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Longhunter Society chairman Dave Ehrig.

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Dec. 22, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net.