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Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
- Fake Buck Nets Real Citations
Two San Augustine County game wardens and a Forest Service ranger were using a decoy deer to deter night hunting, when a small car passed their location a couple of times, its occupants were observing the decoy. Once the suspects located the “deer” with their headlights, the passenger fired a small caliber rifle at the decoy. The wardens pursued the car and pulled it over. The suspects said they had shot the decoy with a .22 revolver that was stored in the glove box. However, the wardens saw no spent casings in the cylinder. After questioning, the driver admitted that they threw a rifle out of the window before they were stopped. After a quick search, a .22 rifle was found. The suspects were arrested and transported to the San Augustine County Jail. Cases pending.
- Wishing for More
A Williamson County game warden was off duty, when he and his family heard a loud noise from outside their home. When he looked outside, he saw a set of vehicle headlights in a creek bed. The warden told his wife to call 911, while he grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. When he got to the vehicle, a man was climbing out of the passenger’s side and a woman was sitting behind the wheel. The warden made sure everyone was okay and the man insisted that police should not be called. When asked why, his response was that he had priors and the woman was only 20 years old. Since these facts were irrelevant to the wreck, the warden asked him what he had inside the vehicle that he didn’t want the police to see. When he hesitated, the warden asked him how much marijuana was still in the vehicle since he could smell it. The man said he thought all the weed was gone, but asked the woman if any was left, she said, “I wish.” Williamson County deputies arrived and arrested the man for driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana.
- Warden Has Busman’s Holiday
A Smith County game warden was fishing on the Neches River on his day off, when two people began fishing nearby. Soon after arriving, one of the individuals finished his energy drink and threw the can into the brush. The other, caught a fish by snagging it in the back and threw it behind a tree so nobody would see it. The warden called another warden, who was on duty, to pass on the information. The on-duty warden arrived and discovered among other violations that neither individual had a fishing license. Numerous citations were issued. Cases pending.
- Lost and Found
An Atascosa County game warden received a call from a person who saw someone dump a dead feral hog in a ditch on the side of the road. A witness got the license plate number, so the warden picked up the hog and went to the suspect’s address. When he arrived, the warden showed the man the hog and asked him if he had “lost” the swine within the hour. The suspect admitted to dumping it and was issued a citation allowing with the hog so that he could dispose of it on his own property.
- Fishing for Trouble
While checking oyster boats in Galveston Bay, two Harris County game wardens encountered an oyster vessel leaving a closed area. The wardens boarded the vessel and found seven sacks of oysters on the deck. The captain admitted to taking them from a closed area and the oysters were returned to the reef. The vessel was then escorted to the dock and the captain was arrested for oystering in a restricted/closed area. Cases pending.
- Fast, but not so Furious
Starr County game wardens saw a vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and driving recklessly. When the wardens activated their emergency lights, the subject attempted to evade the officers by driving through a residential area and running numerous stop signs before stopping at a residence. The subject exited the vehicle and attempted to enter the residence, but she was detained and placed in handcuffs. A local K-9 unit arrived and alerted to the driver’s side door of the vehicle. Marijuana and a white powdery substance were found inside. The woman was transported to the county jail. Cases pending.
- Game Wardens Help with Lubbock Fires
Two Lubbock County game wardens assisted the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office with two separate grass fires and a structure fire. The wardens blocked the highway, directed traffic, and assisted emergency personnel. With the help of wardens and other first responders, the fires were contained with no injuries.
- Hide and Seek
A Cherokee County game warden received a call from a landowner who suspected there was a poacher on his property after hearing three gun shots. A short time after the warden arrived, the subject was found in the middle of the property dressed in camouflage and carrying a 17-caliber rim fire rifle. The subject said he was lost, failing to mention that he had to climb an eight-foot high fence to get to where he was apprehended. The subject was also found in possession of drug paraphernalia and was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to jail. Case pending.
- Net Gain: Fine and Restitution
A Houston County game warden caught a subject cast netting white bass, crappie and catfish on the Trinity River. The warden watched the subject for more than an hour and saw that he would pick up his fishing pole every once in a while and then go back to cast netting. The subject’s father would put the legal size fish in a cooler on the river bank and conceal the undersize fish in a bag and take them to their vehicle. Cases and civil restitution pending.
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