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Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
- Smoke Signals
A game warden patrolling the Lakeside subdivision noticed a car parked at the end of a street. When he approached the vehicle, he saw the passenger smoking something. The driver sped off and turned onto another street without using his blinker. A traffic stop was made and as the warden approached the vehicle, a strong odor of marijuana could be smelled. During the vehicle search, the warden found a backpack with a scale, zip lock bags, individually wrapped bags of marijuana and two larger bags of unprocessed marijuana. The individual was placed under arrest and taken to the Webb County jail.
- “Owls” Well That Ends Well
Two Starr County game wardens attending career day at a local high school got a chance to make one student wiser, at least when it comes to game laws. While speaking to a student, the wardens learned that he had an owl in captivity. After a few more questions, the wardens were able to locate where the owl was being kept. The owl was recovered and released.
- Blood-shot Eyes Were a Clue
Two game wardens were patrolling Lake Brownwood with a Brownwood Lake patrol officer when they stopped a pontoon boat for a routine water safety check. The operator had blood-shot eyes and slurred speech. One of the wardens took the driver ashore for further testing, including field sobriety tests, and arrested him for boating while intoxicated. The man consented to a blood draw and was transported to the Brown County Jail.
- Safety First
A Shackelford County game warden and a Stephens County game warden received a call about three teenage boys missing at Hubbard Creek Lake. The boys had left before dark in a canoe and had not returned. The wardens found the boys stranded on an island in the middle of the lake. They said the wind was too strong for them to paddle back across. They were returned to their parents at the boat ramp.
- With a Little Help From My Friends
A Tarrant County game warden was checking bank fishermen at Benbrook Lake, when she noticed a man walking carrying an ice chest full of fish quickly to his truck. After contacting the subject, the warden found two ice chests full of white bass. The man said he was told by his friend that the limit was 75 white bass per day. The man insisted that he was under his limit. A total of 56 white bass were in the man’s possession. The warden seized 31 white bass, issued citations, and gave the man a copy of the Outdoor Annual. Cases pending.
- In the Heat of the Night
A Shelby County game warden patrolling Toledo Bend boat ramps and camping areas checking night fisherman, noticed a campfire along the shoreline near a boat ramp. As he approached the fire, he heard cast nets hitting the water. After watching the two subjects fish for a while, he made contact. The warden found an ice chest containing bass, crappie, and catfish. Multiple citations were issued for undersized largemouth bass, and fishing using illegal means and methods. Cases and restitution pending.
- Wild Blue Yonder
Four Tarrant County game wardens and a K9 warden assisted local agencies by patrolling the perimeters of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth during the Air Power Expo that featured the Blue Angels. In addition to patrolling for water safety, the wardens made sure boaters maintained a safe distance from the airfield and end of the runway.
- Fifteen and Seven Equals Ticket and Jail
A Montgomery County game warden performed a water safety check on a 15-foot boat with seven adult passengers on Lake Conroe. The boat was found to only have three lifejackets, displayed invalid registration, and had no fire extinguisher. Following field sobriety tests, the driver was also arrested for boating while intoxicated. Charges are pending.
- Fishing For Trouble
Two Zapata County game wardens and a Jim Hogg County game warden patrolling Falcon Lake stopped a vessel for a water safety check. During the inspection, the game wardens discovered a largemouth bass in an ice chest with its head removed. When the wardens asked the fishermen what they did with the head, they replied, “We were using it as gar bait.” A citation and a warning were issued. Cases pending.
- Caught Red-Handed
A Starr County game warden and a state trooper made a traffic stop and noticed the passenger had fresh blood on his hands. The man said they had just cleaned a deer, but the driver said it was a lamb. One thing they agreed on was that they were going to buy ice and put the meat in a cooler. After the stop, the trooper and warden followed the vehicle back to the residence of one of the men and saw the men packing meat in an ice chest. After a few questions, the two admitted to having just cleaned a whitetail deer. Criminal charges were filed.
- Pointing Fingers
A Travis County game warden was observing Lake Austin bank fishermen on the opposite shore, when two men walked by his patrol vehicle carrying three large black bass and fishing poles. When the warden approached the men, they said they did not have a fishing license. When asked who the fish belonged to, they denied ownership. When asked whose fish they were, they pointed at each other and then pointed to a friend who was sleeping in the pickup truck. Citations were issued to the men in possession of the bass.
- Pest Control
A Henderson County game warden was given information about a deer that had been shot. The warden drove to the suspect’s location and questioned him about the deer. After speaking to the man for a while, he admitted to shooting a doe and hauling it off because it was in his garden. The warden briefed him on the laws of shooting deer and alternative ways to keep deer out of his garden. Cases are pending for shooting a doe during closed season and waste of game.
- “Just Wanted To Be The Cool Mom”
While patrolling a Lake Bryan recreation area, a Brazos County game warden and Grimes County game warden noticed a group of five young people drinking alcohol in the early evening. As the wardens approached them, members of the group tried to hide the bottles of alcohol. All five were under age and admitted to drinking alcohol, which had been provided by one of their mothers. The mother was contacted and 40 minutes later arrived on scene. She admitted to buying the alcohol and said that she “just wanted to be the cool mom.” She was arrested for providing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor.
- Special Delivery
Three Galveston County game wardens were responding to a nuisance alligator call on High Island and were on their way to the ferry when they noticed a driver who appeared to be in distress. The wardens found that the driver was in labor and on her way to a hospital in Galveston to deliver a baby girl. With one warden driving her car, escorted her to the ferry and took her to the hospital where she was taken straight into the delivery room. Mom and daughter were doing fine at last report.
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