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Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
We love youth hunts, just not during the school day
A landowner called Polk Co. game wardens Oct. 23rd, stating he had two trespassers stopped who were hunting on his property. Upon arrival, two 15-year-old males were apprehended. Truancy charges are pending against the parents and children for skipping school to hunt. The juveniles were issued citations and released to their parents.
Grim duty on the border
On the evening of Monday, Oct. 23, Starr and Zapata Co. game assisted the Starr County Sheriff’s Office with recovering five drowning victims from the Rio Grande River. The bodies were recovered approximately 10 miles below the Falcon Lake Dam. All the victims were Mexican immigrants attempting to enter the country illegally.
Sure it’s poaching
On Oct. 22, Tarrant and Wise Co. game wardens received a call about trespassers. While the wardens were investigating, they discovered a bucket of deer attractant and noticed signs of illegal hunting. The wardens made contact with an individual in a red Dodge pickup nearby and found that he was in possession of a bow and arrow, camouflage clothing, and a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle, marijuana and methamphetamine. The subject was interviewed and confessed to hunting without landowner consent, but he did not believe that what he was doing was considered poaching. Cases are pending.
A subconscious plea?
On Oct. 21, a Palo Pinto Co. game warden was being followed by an individual in a vehicle who was flashing him with his bright lights. The game warden allowed the vehicle to pass, and then he stopped the vehicle. The game warden found the man to be intoxicated, and while searching his vehicle noticed there was blood in the back of the vehicle. The game warden questioned the individual about the blood and was informed by the man that the day before he had killed a pig while hunting off the roadway. He said that he wrapped the pig in a plastic bag and tossed it out at another location. The individual was cited for DWI and littering, hunting off the roadway, and no hunting license. Cases are pending.
On second thought, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea
Ellis, Kaufmann and Dallas Co. game wardens assisted in rescuing a family stranded on the Trinity River Oct. 21. A man had taken his three kids onto their flat bottom boat to make a trip downriver. The only problem was he launched at dusk in a boat full of holes and no running lights on a river he had never been on. The family quickly took on water and called 911. They made it to a sandbar and waited for help. A DPS helicopter was able to land on the bank to rescue them. After speaking with the father about boating safety, one of the game wardens issued him a citation for not having any lights after dark. The family was especially lucky because about 100 yards downriver was a waterfall.
Stock it and they will come
On Oct. 19, a Wichita Co. game warden filed eight cases for over the daily bag limit of channel catfish on four individuals who were fishing at Plum Lake after it had been stocked that morning.
Should have stuck to home repair
On Oct. 18, a Clay County game warden received a phone call about an individual who was shooting at turkeys. After the game warden’s investigation, he filed on a subject for hunting turkey during closed season. The man was roofing a house when he noticed some turkeys walking across the yard. He then went to his truck, got his gun and began shooting at them. Case is pending.
Two strikes …
On Oct. 12, Bell Co. game wardens responded to a call in Morgan’s Point about illegal hunting activity. The complainant actually saw the subject get out of the vehicle with the crossbow and walk towards the deer. After searching for awhile, game wardens located the suspect vehicle and — no surprise to the wardens — so were the same two subjects they had apprehended last year taking a deer in the same area as juveniles. This year one of them was 17 years old and the other was 16. They admitted to shooting at a 10-point buck but thought they had missed it. They were charged with hunting in closed season and made aware of how bad this could be, especially for the 17-year-old, if a class A misdemeanor had been filed. Cases pending.
A South Texas game warden captain was given the opportunity to try out his new alligator “ketch-pole” Oct. 11 A Refugio Co. game warden had received a call from the sheriff’s office regarding an alligator at a residence in Bayside. The game warden was off-duty and a long way from Bayside. The game warden made contact with his captain, who advised him that he was on his way home and not far from Bayside. The captain arrived to find a very frightened, confused and angry 4-and-a-half -foot alligator that was surrounded by a dozen people with cameras. The captain subdued the alligator and relocated the lil’ critter to a nice new home in the Mission River.
In mid-October, San Patricio Co. game wardens got an easy one as they were checking dove hunters. As they approached a group of hunters alongside a county road, some birds flew across the road and one lucky hunter hit his target with the bird landing square on the hood of the game wardens’ patrol vehicle. The hunters got a good laugh out of this until the game warden broke out the ticket book and educated them about discharging a firearm across a public road.
The wheels of justice
On Oct. 11, Cameron Co. game wardens were in county court on a case that was filed March 3, 2006, on a local commercial trotliner who was apprehended with 49 redfish. The jury found the individual guilty and assessed 2 years probation and 200 hours of community service along with the $7,220.51 of civil restitution. Case closed.
Old-fashioned gumshoe work
While patrolling a county road outside Ballinger in mid-October, a game warden discovered several deer carcasses, heads, hide, and feet dumped on the side of the road. As luck would have it, no tags were located but the large cardboard box that the remains were in had a shipping label from Concho Business Solutions, an office supply company. That company was contacted, and they advised the filing cabinet was shipped to the district clerk's office in Ballinger. The district clerk was contacted and stated the janitor took the box from her office. The janitor advised he gave the box to an adult probation officer. Lane went to the probation officer’s home; she was not there but her husband was. You guessed it!! Appropriate charges filed.
On Oct. 2, a Tom Green Co. game warden was putting the “sneak” on some unsuspecting illegal dove hunters and was trying to find a way to approach them unnoticed, when he heard an approaching vehicle behind him. At first, he thought it was more hunters coming to join the ones he was watching, but as the vehicle got closer he saw that it was a pizza delivery truck. Being the innovative warden that he is, the game warden quickly saw that a solution to his problem was at hand and quickly stopped the pizza truck. It just so happened that the driver was trying to locate the same hunters and deliver their pizza. The game warden convinced the driver that it would be a good idea if he assisted in the delivery of the pizza, and the driver consented to let him ride along. To say the least, the hunters’ jaws dropped when they saw a game warden getting out of the pizza delivery truck to delivery a pizza supreme and a few citations.
Listen to your heart
A game warden filed 14 cases on Sept. 20 on a Gulf shrimp boat for having fish with heads and tails removed. The frozen fish were found in the microwave and gas oven in the kitchen area aboard the shrimp boat. The captain stated that he knew that was going to be a bad place to hide them. Cases pending.
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