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Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
- Your Lie Just Croaked
Two Tarrant County game wardens were checking a field on opening day when they found two men sitting around a stock tank with shotguns and a moving dove decoy set out. The father-son duo was contacted by the wardens and it was discovered that the father, who was from out-of-state, did not have a hunting license. The father told the wardens that he was not hunting dove, and that the shotgun and empty hulls by his seat were from shooting at bullfrogs. The wardens informed the man that he needed a license to hunt bullfrogs, as well.
- Trouble in the Field
A Shackelford County game warden was checking local fields for early hunters when he found a field with a high concentration of dove. After investigating the sunflower field further, the warden found wheat seed. Later that night, the warden came back to the field to confirm it was baited and found that wheat seed had been spread all the way around the field and in each mowed strip. The next morning, the shooting started and the warden made contact with a group who said they were surprised to see the bait. One subject was even more surprised that the nighthawk he shot was not a dove.
- Fishing in the Dark
Two game wardens received information-including the time and place, that a Mexican commercial fisherman would be out on Lake Falcon picking up gill net. When the wardens checked the lake at the reported time, they saw a vessel without navigation lights operating in the dark. They moved in for a closer look, made contact with the vessel, and found a fisherman pulling in the last section of gill net. He was placed in custody for no commercial fishing license and possession of illegal fishing device (1,980 feet of gillnet).
- Can I Keep Him?
A San Patricio County game warden received an Operation Game Thief call about someone keeping white tailed deer as pets. With the help of another San Patricio County game warden, they found the property where the deer were being kept. Hidden behind a trailer park on several acres of high fence with a mixture of fallow and axis deer were one doe, one buck, and one very young fawn whitetail. After the wardens talked to several neighbors, the property owner was located and questioned. He said that he knew the day would come when he would get caught. He claimed the oldest animal jumped in his pen and never left and the other two were brought to him to be cared for after they were found abandoned. A citation was issued for possession of white tailed deer without permits and the deer were relocated.
- Driving Dangerously
While driving through the Rio Grande Valley after working during opening weekend, a game warden stopped a vehicle in Brooks County that was being driven erratically and also had an expired registration. After the driver consented to a search, the warden found approximately 25 grams of cocaine for which the driver was arrested.
- Prickly Situation
A game warden was contacted by U.S. Border Patrol about some peyote cactus they had found on a ranch. The federal agents were tracking illegal immigrants when they found three burlap sacks full of peyote, and the warden was contacted to help them dispose of it. The total weight of the peyote was 297 pounds with a value of almost $24,000.
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