A Johnstown man is accused by state game wardens of being under the influence of marijuana while he was hunting on Laurel Ridge State Park property this month, according to court papers.

David R. Bruner, 53, set out a mineral lick on Dec. 3 in St. Clair Township, wardens said.

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.

After he climbed out of the stand, wardens said in court papers 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 defendant appeared unable to answer questions quickly or recall where he placed his hunting license,” Warden Christopher Reidmiller wrote in the complaint. “He also appeared to have difficulty walking as we all returned to his vehicle to retrieve his hunting license.”

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. 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. The charges were sent by summons. A Jan. 24 preliminary hearing is set.

Bruner could not be reached. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561