Game Warden Field Notes

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Note: This item is more than 17 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

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

Don’t rock the boat — On Jan. 6, a Burleson County game warden received a phone call on a missing 71-year-old man who had gone hunting at the Somerville WMA and hadn’t returned. Lee County wardens found the elderly man trapped due to swift flood waters in the area. A canoe was tied to a rescue rope to retrieve him. On the first rescue attempt, the man tipped the canoe and dumped everyone out of the boat. The second attempt was successful and rescuers and the elderly hunter managed to stay in the canoe. Thankfully, causalities of the incident were limited to a life jacket and rescue bag rope.

Live deer don’t make good passengers — A McMullen County deputy game warden observed a car in the ditch at 4:30 a.m. Jan. 1. Upon making contact he discovered that a deer had been put in the trunk of the car — alive. The two men in the car admitted to tackling a trapped 8-point buck and putting it in the trunk of their car. When the deputy advised the men that they risked injury from the buck, they stated they had both played football and could handle themselves. The deer was removed from the trunk of the car and searched for bullet holes — none found.

A faulty excuse — On Dec. 30, a game warden was checking camps in a subdivision near Sanderson when he discovered a hunter in possession of a fallow deer. The hunter claimed that his 9-year-old son killed the deer on a ranch in Central Texas. When the warden asked to see the boy's hunting license, the hunter explained that his son was only nine and didn’t need a hunting license in Louisiana. The hunter was advised that he was in Texas, not Louisiana.

Hunter’s rabbit grows antlers — A Runnels County warden located and questioned a man suspected to have been hunting from the road Dec. 20. The subject confessed to shooting a rabbit from the road but said he was unable to find it. The suspect found his kill the next morning, however, when he was able to recognize the rabbit in its deer disguise. Charges are pending.

At least they got the boat — On Dec. 19, U.S. Border Patrol agents were patrolling Falcon Lake by boat when they came upon a Mexican commercial fishing vessel in U.S. waters. The occupants evaded arrest by fleeing into shoreline brush. Border Patrol seized the vessel and turned it over to a Zapata County game warden. A motor and approximately 2,000 feet of gill net were also seized.

Would you like fries with that fine? — In late December, a Burnet County game warden pursued an individual advertising deer meat for sale over the Internet. The warden purchased an advertised "Happy Meal # 1" from the suspect and scheduled a pick-up time. Upon meeting, the suspect filled the warden’s order and was consequently made aware of the sting. The suspect's computer, firearms, and meat were seized. Further investigation revealed the suspect had killed at least 24 deer over the past two years, and sold numerous processed deer over the Internet. Restitution is approximately $16,000.

Dodging accountability doesn’t necessarily pay off — A Hardeman County game warden checked on a suspicious vehicle in a rural area in early December and found occupants with alcoholic beverages. The warden was sure that one occupant was a minor. The youth had recently accompanied him on a job shadow program. A baggie of marijuana was also spotted. Both occupants claimed it belonged to the other, so they both went to jail.

If only it were always this easy — On Dec. 9, at approximately 11:30 p.m., a Panola County game warden was on his way home when he looked in his rearview mirror and saw a vehicle behind him spotlighting. As he slowed down to observe, he witnessed violators’ hunting hogs from the road. Cases are pending.

Attempting illegal activity isn’t legal?’ — Two subjects were apprehended in Nueces County on an early December night after they shot at deer in a ditch. The subjects complained that they shouldn’t have been cited because they did not hit the deer. Cases are pending.

Diapers, formula and fish — A Harris County game warden received numerous complaints in late November about a lady catching undersized fish and hiding them in her car. When the warden approached the suspect, she was removing a diaper bag from her vehicle. After receiving permission to search the car, no fish were located. The suspect kept moving the diaper bag farther from the warden, so he requested permission to search the diaper bag. Eleven undersize black drum, one undersize flounder and several hardheads were found among the baby items. Cases are pending.