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Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
A Smith County game warden was contacted by a local landowner on the Neches River about a driver in a truck with noisy pipes shooting a rifle and shining a light across his pasture. Shortly after the warden began to observe the area, the truck returned and after a brief chase, the subjects were stopped. After the warden questioned the passenger, the driver admitted to shooting at some wild hogs. The warden called the landowner and asked him to check his property for freshly killed wildlife. While the warden drove back to where the hogs were shot, the passenger confessed to all of the events that night including a buck he shot. When they arrived, the driver, who held the brand new spotlight, said they “may have shot a hog.” Then, after seeing the buck next to the landowner’s vehicle, the driver hung his head and said “Sir, can I tell you something...We shot that deer.” The subjects were arrested on eight charges ranging from littering to hunting without the consent of a landowner.
- Gus’s Nose Knows
A Brazos County game warden received a call from Bryan Police Department requesting that Gus the patrol service dog sniff a vehicle. When the game warden and Gus arrived at the location, they went straight to work searching the outside of the vehicle. Gus indicated two separate times on the driver’s side rear door handle. A police officer searched the vehicle and found a bag of marijuana in the rear door pocket. Charges pending for possession of marijuana.
- Fish are Friends, not Bait
Two game wardens were patrolling the Navidad River checking for recreational fishing and water safety violations during a local catfish tournament when they found a trotline holding several blue catfish. They watched the trotline from a distance and later that afternoon, three fishermen returned to check their line and were greeted by the wardens. The fishermen were questioned and asked if they were using the catfish as bait, but the men denied baiting their line with the game fish. The wardens explained that they had taken pictures of the catfish and the fishermen then admitted to baiting the trotline. The three men were issued citations for using game fish as bait.
- Bragging Brings Trouble
A Zapata County game warden received information from a partner, who was fishing on his day off, about some bow fishermen who said they had shot an alligator gar and one black bass. The warden located the boat that was described and after a brief water safety check, he found multiple water safety violations along with one illegally taken black bass. Cases and restitution pending.
- It Wasn’t Me
Two Taylor County game wardens received a call about a man at Lake Fort Phantom with undersized crappie. They began to patrol the lake and made contact with the man, who said he had caught a few fish but not many. A fish basket was located nearby that contained seven crappie- four of which were undersized. The man claimed he leaves his fish basket at that location and sometimes people generously leave fish in it for him. Citations were issued for undersized crappie.
- Filet O’Charges
A Williamson County game warden received an Operation Game Thief call about a group of people cast-netting largemouth bass in the San Gabriel River. The warden found a woman filleting a largemouth bass and three men using casting nets. Charges and civil restitution are pending.
- Sometimes You Shouldn’t Let the Good Times Roll
A Montgomery County game warden responded to a call from the county sheriff’s office about a vehicle seen swerving into oncoming traffic and off the edge of the road. The warden found the vehicle at a red light before it entered the highway staying on the shoulder of the road. When the car began to swerve, the warden stopped the vehicle and found it occupied by a man, his wife and three children. The driver staggered when he walked, used the car to maintain his balance and smelled strongly of alcohol. While speaking to the warden, the driver leaned heavily on the car and made it roll forward a small distance. The warden checked inside and saw that while the driver had turned the vehicle off, never placed it in park. The man was arrested for driving while intoxicated with child passengers.
- Casting Your Net Upon the Waters not Always Smart
Two Dallas County game wardens were informed of two men using a cast net and keeping white bass on Rowlett Creek. The wardens located a van in the parking lot and waited in the brush for the men to leave with their catch. In the early hours of the morning, two men wearing head lamps and equipped with a bag, bucket and 12-gauge shot gun approached the van and were intercepted by the wardens. The bag and buckets were filled with white bass, but the men had no fishing rods or reels. They admitted using a cast net to take all the bass without a fishing license. A total of 80 bass were confiscated that night, along with a six-foot cast net. Multiple citations were issued and cases are pending.
- Poor Role Models
A game warden patrolling Shelby County noticed five fishermen sitting around a fire with four fishing poles in the water. As he approached the group, he saw many beer cans on the bank and around the fire. The smell of alcohol was apparent from every member of the group. Everyone admitted to drinking, including three minors. The adults said the minors wanted to be just like them and bought them a 30-pack of beer. Multiple cases for no fishing licenses, minor in possession/consumption of alcohol, and contributing/purchasing alcohol to minors are pending.
- Flying Fish
A Williamson County game warden patrolling Lake Georgetown saw six fishermen side-by-side at the Overlook Park. Once one of the men saw the warden, he threw his rod on the ground and a plastic bag onto some rocks. The warden spoke to the man and asked to see his fishing license, which he was unable to produce. Six feet away, a white bass caught the warden’s eye and another white bass began to wiggle out of the plastic bag. A total of 11 white bass were confiscated. Citations and civil restitution are pending.
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