HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Hunting and trapping has been banned in seven northeastern Pennsylvania townships after police found explosive devices allegedly left by the suspect in last month's deadly ambush at a state police barracks.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission issued the ban on Wednesday, one day after state police revealed that two pipe bombs were found in the woods where 31-year-old Eric Frein is believed to be hiding.
Hunting and trapping is prohibited until further notice on all public and private lands in Blooming Grove, Porter, Lehman and Greene townships in Pike County and Barrett, Price and Paradise townships in Monroe County.
State game lands in the seven townships are closed to the public altogether. Portions of state game lands 180, 183 and 221 are impacted.
Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough cited the discovery of the explosive devices for prompting the ban, saying the danger associated with the search effort posed too great a threat to hunters.
"While we realize this temporary closure might disappoint some of the hunters and trappers it affects, we're certain, too, they understand the gravity of the situation, as well as the danger in allowing the seasons to continue as scheduled, given this new information," Hough said. "We need hunters to readily adjust their plans to help bring resolution to this case and see that justice is served."
Lt. Col. George Bivens said that investigators have found "several items" attributed to Eric Frein, including the pipe bombs which could be detonated by trip wires or a lighted fuse.
The pipe bombs had the capability of causing substantial damage, Bivens said.
The search for Frein entered its 19th day Wednesday. He is charged with opening fire at the Blooming Grove barracks during a shift change on the night of Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously injuring Trooper Alex Douglass.
Bivens said he was confident that the manhunt has "significantly degraded" Frein's abilities.
"I'm certain he's not sleeping well at night," Bivens said.