Western Pa. man accused of hunting while under the influence

Western Pa. man accused of hunting while under the influence
Deer drags away family’s Christmas decorations

WESTMORELAND CO., Pa. — A Western Pa. man is accused by state game wardens of being under the influence of marijuana while he was hunting earlier this month, court documents said.

Wardens said David Bruner, 53, of Johnstown, set out a mineral lick on Dec. 3 on Laurel Ridge State Park property, according to our news partners at TribLive.

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Investigators were called to the park at 4 p.m. to investigate a complaint about a hunter using bait. They found Bruner in a tree stand with a loaded bolt action rifle, according to court papers filed last week.

The Trib reported that once he climbed out of the stand, wardens said they could smell marijuana on him. Bruner admitted to smoking marijuana 30 minutes earlier, setting out the mineral lick and throwing some corn near the tree stand during turkey season, according to court papers.

The northeastern section of Westmoreland County where Bruner was hunting is part of the state Game Commission’s Disease Management Area 2, which extends to the southern state border and to Harrisburg, according to TribLive. The area was set in an effort by the commission to stop chronic wasting disease from spreading among the deer population. Hunters must follow specific guidelines and are prohibited from feeding deer in those areas.

Bruner is charged with a misdemeanor count of hunting while under the influence of a controlled substance and summary offenses of hunting game with bait, unlawfully feeding wildlife in a disease management area and hunting without his license. A Jan. 24 preliminary hearing is set.

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