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Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Sometimes modesty’s the best policy
Val Verde County Game Warden Chrissy Plant made contact with hunters at a camp in West Val Verde County Nov. 7, the second day of general deer season. Although the hunters had no deer, one hunter started bragging about the four javelinas he had killed. They’d scared off his deer at the feeder, he said. Not impressed, Warden Plant cited him for exceeding his bag limit. At another nearby camp, Plant checked some hunters who had been luckier, having taken a nice buck. An hour and a couple flashlight batteries later, Plant found the carcass of a javelina that had been dumped the day before, and a case for waste of game is pending.
Unwise poaching in Wise County
Nov. 5, Wise County Game Warden Chris Dowdy and Tarrant County Game Warden David Vannoy were patrolling Wise County on the eve of the rifle season opener. While investigating a call about a possible poacher, warden Dowdy received another call from a landowner about a deer that had just been shot from the road. After the first call was cleared, the wardens responded to the second call. When they arrived, the wardens found two very upset landowners and one dead white-tailed doe. Darkness had not yet fallen, and the wardens figured that the poachers would soon be back for their take. They didn’t have to wait long before the poachers returned. As a pickup truck crept to a stop on the county road, the driver got out and gleefully ran through the field laughing and shouting back to his buddies, “I got it, I got it!” As the driver attempted to return to the truck with the deer, wardens Dowdy and Vannoy surprised the two men and one juvenile. In the truck, the wardens found a rifle, spotlight, headlamps, and beer. Another doe poached from a neighboring county also was found in the bed of the truck. Multiple cases are pending.
Case made by just a hair
Houston County wardens Eddie Lehr and Zak Benge were checking camps in the national forest on opening day of general deer season when a truck pulled up. When asked, the men said they had not killed anything. But Lehr noticed what appeared to be a red stain in the bed of the freshly washed truck and dropped the tailgate. After the wardens found a single deer hair, the suspects finally confessed to killing an illegal buck. After a short interview, the suspect also admitted shooting the deer with a shotgun from Highway 7 near Ratcliff. Cases and restitution pending.
Case of the Misplaced Anger
Sabine County Game Warden Sam Smith and Capt. Tom Jenkins checked a hunter coming out of a wildlife management area on opening day. The man did not have an annual public hunting permit, and as warden Smith wrote the citation, the subject said he was angry at the store that sold him the license for not informing him that he needed a permit to hunt on a wildlife management area, and that he would be having the store pay his fine. Capt. Jenkins, who had walked into the woods while Smith talked with the annoyed license holder, found a permanent stand, corn, and a freshly killed white-tailed doe. The man admitted to all the violations and said he was no longer mad at the store that sold him his license. Cases pending.
Nice deer…too bad it’s illegal
Tyler County Game Warden Roy Eddins received a call Nov. 7 that a hunting club member had exceeded the bag limit by killing two bucks with antlers greater than 13 inches. A 10-point buck was seized, and a citation was issued for exceeding the bag limit for a single county. The buck scored 128 5/8. Case pending.
Sometimes waiting’s a good thing
Houston County Wardens Eddie Lehr and Zak Benge checked a camp Nov. 7 and found two untagged deer. After interviewing a father and son, it was determined that they had each killed a deer. Unfortunately, the son hadn’t wanted to wait in line the previous Friday to buy his license so the father offered to tag each deer. Case pending.
Didn’t take CIS to figure this one out
On Nov. 7, Houston County Wardens Zak Benge and Eddie Lehr received an Operation Game Thief tip concerning an illegal buck. They located a deer head in an open field on a private road. It appeared that an animal had dragged the head there. With the tag still attached, locating the suspect was fairly easy. Case pending.
Undersized oysters R a violation
Nov. 6, Chambers County Game Wardens Hector Gonzalez and John Feist filed on three oyster boat captains for possessing a cargo of undersize oysters. Ninety-five sacks of oysters were returned to the reefs. Two days later, Galveston County Game Wardens Mack Chambers, Brain Scott, Vu Nguyen and Lt. Fred Ruiz filed on three oyster boat captains for possessing a cargo of undersize oysters. Seventy-eight sacks of oysters were returned to the reefs. Cases pending.
On Nov. 6, Hutchinson County Game Warden Lance Lindley was contacted by a citizen watching a group of hunters through a spotting scope across Lake Meredith. He said one of the hunters had shot a mule deer doe. Warden Lindley went to the location and contacted the hunters. One of them was found to have shot two doe mule deer. Cases and civil restitution filed accordingly.
All in the family
On Nov. 5, Lamar County Game Warden Bryan Callihan and Hopkins County Game Warden Jarrod Bryant caught three groups of spotlighters in Delta County inside two hours. One man said his wife had warned him about road hunting before he left the house. This same man went home and told his son to watch out for game wardens, but the boy didn’t listen. An hour later the wardens caught the son on the same road where he dad had been caught.
Jumping the gun with a .22
On Nov. 7, Red River Wardens Daniel Roraback and Benny Richards got a tip on a subject who allegedly killed a buck with a .22 rifle on the Friday before deer season. After a short investigation, the subject confessed to shooting a buck with the rifle the day before deer season and failure to tag the illegal buck deer or fill out his harvest log. Cases and restitution pending.
Well, there was that little deal last year
Morris County Warden Michael Serbanic interviewed a suspect on Nov. 11 after a Morris County deputy stopped him and found a gun and spotlight in the vehicle. The suspect would not admit to road hunting but decided to tell warden Serbanic about the 8-pointer he killed last year and didn’t tag. After looking at the man’s old license and finding no tags missing and getting the deer head from his residence, citations were issued.
Jig’s up for flounder giggers
Nueces County Game Warden Mike Wheelington responded to an Operation Game Thief call that resulted in a man being filed on for gigging five flounder during the November flounder gigging closure.
Nothing accidental about it
On Nov. 12, Refugio County Game Wardens Pinky Gonzales and Danny Kelso received a call from a Refugio County deputy concerning a vehicle he had stopped with a white-tailed buck deer in the back of the vehicle. The two subjects in the vehicle told the wardens that they had accidentally hit the deer with their vehicle. But the wardens found a receipt showing they had purchased a box of bullets about an hour earlier. Checking the deer, the wardens found one shot to the head and one in the neck. Confession, confiscation, impoundment, citations, and a trip to jail followed. Cases pending.
Catching was good for wardens, too
Cameron County Game Wardens Santana Torres, Marc Vela, and Libby Balusek received information on Nov. 10 that several subjects were catching oversize red drum off the Port Mansfield jetties. The wardens headed up the beach and made contact with several vehicles, all of which had at least one violation. A total of 13 cases were made for violations including untagged red drum, improperly tagged red drum, and no fishing license. Civil restitution was filed for one oversize red drum.
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