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Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Throwing the book at them: On Oct. 10, a Jack County game warden and a Wise County game warden apprehended three subjects at a deer camp for possession of marijuana, hunting deer by illegal means and methods (rifle during archery-only season), failure to tag, two counts of failing to maintain in edible condition, no archery stamp, no hunter education, hunting in closed season and possession of a stolen ATV. The ATV had been stolen in Wise County in 2001. The ATV was returned to Wise County sheriff’s office. Cases pending.
Caught in the act: During the week of Oct. 19-22, a Grayson County game warden spent several days investigating what began as an individual leaving one of the local marinas without paying. The investigation soon became a collaboration with the Rockwall County sheriff’s office, a TPWD investigator and the Grayson County sheriff’s office. The investigation caught the same individual stealing a $200,000 36 foot Carver boat. Charges pending for theft of more than $100,000, unauthorized use of a motor boat and theft of services.
Should have let him pass: On the night of Oct. 18, a Jasper County game warden stopped a subject who failed to yield right of way to a DPS trooper as he attempted to stop another vehicle. Upon making contact with the driver, the warden noticed several beer cans in the back seat and a .22-caliber magnum rifle in the front. A search of the vehicle’s trunk produced a doe head, guts, and a cooler containing numerous quarters. The case may be linked to other cases involving the illegal sale of deer meat. Case pending.
Game warden finds lost child: On Oct. 19, a Shackelford County game warden responded to a call about a missing two-year-old girl. The child had wandered away from her house accompanied by her two Doberman pinchers. While searching, the warden heard a dog barking in the distance and directed a volunteer fireman in a four-wheel-drive ATV to the area. The child was found about a half mile from her house beside a stock tank, with one of the dogs by her side. She had removed her wet and muddy clothing but was unharmed.
Game wardens confront serial trespasser: A Runnels County game warden received a call from a landowner who said her hunters had come in and checked their game cams to discover a picture of a man walking through the deer feeder area with a pistol strapped on. The warden met with the hunters and recognized the man as a neighbor. The landowner was contacted and signed an affidavit. She had caught him trespassing in the mid-‘80s and warned him about it then. The rancher had also caught him about five years ago. One felony and one misdemeanor warrant are pending.
Caught in the act, part 2: On Oct. 15 at 1:00 a.m., two Montgomery County game wardens were running a deer decoy operation near Montgomery when they apprehended three subjects night/road hunting deer. A vehicle passed the decoy, turned around and, on its way back, started shining a flashlight. As the vehicle approached the decoy, the passenger shot at it one time, hitting it just below the head with a .17-caliber rifle. The wardens stopped the vehicle, and after identifying the occupants realized they had caught the shooter night/road hunting three years before. The subjects confessed to having done this many times before. The driver and the shooter were arrested.
Thought he didn’t need it: On Oct. 18, while checking fishing licenses on the San Gabriel River, a Williamson County game warden came across a fisherman who thought he did not need a license unless he was fishing on the lake. While issuing a citation for no fishing license, it was found he had a warrant for his arrest for an unpaid ticket. He said he thought he did not have to pay for the ticket since he had moved and did not receive a notice. Williamson County was glad to clear a case off their books.
Well, that didn’t work: On Oct. 25, a Trinity County game warden received a call that a local subject had killed a deer off of a county road. When the warden arrived, he found two subjects with one skinned buck deer head arguing over the proper way to measure the spread, along with a cooler full of meat on top of twp hoop nets behind the barn. The suspect said that he was dropped off by his friend in the national forest to squirrel hunt but could not pass up the large buck. When the subject was asked why he had his friend drop him off to hunt, he stated, "So the game warden would not catch me."
Water chase: On Oct. 27, a Starr County game warden and a Zapata County game warden patrolled the north end of Falcon Lake and the Rio Grande River in search of illegal commercial fishing activity. The wardens found and seized 11 sections of gill net (approximately 3,630 feet). With the net weighing down the bow of the boat, the wardens were about to call it a day and head back toward the lake when they saw a Mexican commercial fishing vessel traveling northbound, hugging the U.S. shoreline. The wardens went out to the halfway point of the river and were able to stop and board the boat. They arrested both subjects on board and seized another two sections of gill net (approximately 660 feet).
Uncertified hunter accidentally shoots self: On Oct. 24, an Upshur County game warden was notified of a subject who had been shot while hog hunting. While walking through the woods, the group of four had decided to shoot at some cans. The victim had a piece of hot brass go down his shirt and, when he tried to remove it, he accidentally shot himself with a .45-caliber handgun. Nobody in the hunting party had hunter education or a hunting license. Charges pending for fail to show hunter education.
Water rescue: On Oct. 25, a Morris County game warden and a Bowie County game warden responded to a call regarding multiple shots coming from White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area. A night hunting case quickly turned into a water rescue when the wardens were informed that four men in a flat-bottom boat were stranded and lost on White Oak Creek. The wardens used several techniques to locate the stranded vessel until finally hearing a shot that gave them a good location of the vessel. The stranded boaters’ friends then braved the rain and wind and used their boat to tow in the stranded vessel.
Massive deer caught in fence: On Oct. 20 a Camp County game warden received a call from a landowner in Franklin County about two bucks that he found on his property that had gotten their antlers locked together and were stuck together, each on opposite sides of a fence. One buck was a 9-point that had already died, but the other was a huge 14-point that was still alive, but exhausted. The warden notified a Franklin County game warden and both wardens met with the landowner. When they arrived, Warden Taylor and the landowner were able to pry the bucks apart and untangle the huge buck from the fence. After laying on the ground for a couple of minutes, the big buck stood up and walked into the brush, escaping what would have been certain death. Both the wardens and the landowner said it was one of the biggest bucks they had seen in this area.
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