TPWD Game Warden Field Notes

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The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

500 Sharks Killed — A Cameron County Game Warden responded to a call from the U.S. Coast Guard pertaining to the capture of three Mexican fishing vessels fishing in U.S. waters. After all gear was recovered and transported to the shore, it took four game warden trucks to load all the net. More than 500 sharks were destroyed by the illegal netting.

Huge Catch in Boat Probe — A Cameron County Game Warden did some boat transfer investigations that revealed an individual had not declared the full amount at time of sale. After a little digging, the warden discovered an additional $9,000 needed to be added to the invoice. The customer was notified of his oversight and had to return to pay additional taxes and penalty fees.

Game Warden Do-Gooders — A Madison County Game Warden, a Wildlife Investigator, a Burleson County Game Warden, a Walker County Game Warden and a Montgomery County Game Warden assisted with the annual Madison County Youth Hunt. A total of 16 young people between the ages of 11-13 participated in the hunt. A total of 20 deer were harvested along with a wild hog. All of the young people seemed to have had a great time hunting, camping, and eating around the fire.

Wardens See it All — Walker County Game Wardens were patrolling the Sam Houston National Forest for deer violations when they discovered a couple camped in a no-camping area. As they spoke with the husband and wife, the familiar odor of marijuana became apparent. The wardens also noticed some mushrooms inside their tent. A check of the van revealed marijuana and paraphernalia. The subjects were arrested and while the wardens were inventorying their property, a large storage box was opened revealing numerous witchcraft books, gowns, face masks, more drug paraphernalia, numerous swords, double edged knives, brass knuckles and several cards with "spells" on them. The suspects informed the wardens that they were witches and that they were being arrested for their religious beliefs. However, they could not explain how prohibited weapons were a part of their religion. They were placed in jail for possession of prohibited weapons, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and camping in a non-designated area. More charges pending the chemical analysis of the mushrooms.

Never Underestimate a Warden — Howard and Midland county Game Wardens observed a couple of elderly gentlemen fishing and catching trout. When one warden approached the men and asked them how they were doing, one of the men stated, "Just fine," but he wasn’t fishing. "I’m just helping my friend get this bird’s nest out of his line." The warden told the gentlemen, "I bet your left hand not only smells like fish but will also have an evergreen scent on it too as you just caught a trout (using this rod) and threw it back at 4:45 p.m. and reached over and grabbed a branch of this tree right here (officer pointed to the exact branch) and stripped your hand down it to get the slime off your hand." At this point the elderly gentleman gasped (with eyes and mouth wide open) and stated, "Holy moly. I’m in trouble!!!!!!"

Five Houston Men Begin 2004 with a Surprise — On Jan. 5 in Refugio County, a Game Warden apprehended five Houston men taking deer on FM 774. At 11:45 p.m., the warden observed a pick-up truck stop near a buck deer grazing on the side of the road. Freezing temperatures and 25 mile-per-hour winds made it very difficult for the warden to hear what was going on. The warden watched through binoculars as the suspects moved in front of their vehicle’s headlights several times. The warden went to the suspects’ location and as he got closer, he could see antlers sticking up and out of the truck bed. The warden found five suspects inside the vehicle and three freshly killed buck deer in the bed of the truck. The suspects were arrested and transported to the Refugio County Jail. Several charges and civil restitution are pending against the suspects at this time. The warden asked the suspects why they had shot so many deer. Their response was that they wanted some meat for the freezer. When asked why they shot bucks instead of does, their response was, "we knew it was against the law to hunt does at night."