Game Warden Field Notes

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

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement reports.

How Trashy

On Nov. 20, a Lubbock district game warden received a call about several illegally dumped sandhill cranes in a community dumpster. The Lubbock police department officer on scene climbed into the dumpster to confirm that the birds were not breasted out and the warden responded to collect evidence and begin interviewing possible suspects and neighbors. The dumpster was next to a Texas Tech University fraternity and a large apartment complex. After interviewing multiple individuals, the suspect was discovered and admitted that he and his friend left the cranes in the back of his truck the day prior and thought that the temperature was too warm to keep the meat. Waste of game charges were filed on both individuals.

Two Hearts That Beat as One

On Nov. 16, Anderson County game wardens were patrolling near Highway 155 for deer hunters. While traveling, the wardens noticed a freshly caped whitetail deer hide stretched and tacked on a 4x8 sheet of plywood and a gentleman observing it. After turning around to make an inspection, the gentleman and his wife both noticed the game wardens making an effort to approach their residence and left the scene. After further inspection, two undersized buck heads were found along with the deer hide. Time elapsed and after a brief wait, the female suspect returned to the scene. The wardens questioned her about the deer and the location of her husband. She stated that she dropped her husband off at work. After further investigation the husband was located at the local Walmart and later returned to the scene. The husband admitted to killing a doe and said that his wife killed an illegal buck a few weeks prior. As for the other whitetail buck, the couple removed its head from the median of Highway 155. Multiple citations were issued including hunting under the license of another, allowing another to hunt under his/her license, and no hunting license. The case is still under investigation and pending.

See You Later

On Nov. 9, a Pecos County game warden acquired a search warrant for a residence in Fort Stockton that was known to have a live American alligator as well as other illegally obtained live species. Unfortunately, the resident of the house had moved out a week prior to another location in town. Left at the house were two ornate box turtles and one red-eared slider which were relocated at the request of the landlord. Later in the day, the wardens were able to meet with the suspect to conduct an interview. The suspect was asked to write and sign a statement about all the animals he has had, where he got them, how he got them, and where they are now. The written statement admitted that he had possessed an American alligator and other species but had released them a week ago near the road where he collected them. The suspect consented to a search of his new residence to prove he no longer had any other animals. Citations issued, cases pending.


A Henderson County game warden received information from an individual who said he saw a Snapchat video of a young man shooting off the highway multiple times at night. After reviewing the video, the warden was able to obtain the shooter’s name and location. Game wardens interviewed the individual who said that he was shooting at some pigs crossing the road and didn’t know that the passenger was recording him with her phone. He was unaware it was going to be posted to social media. Cases pending.

Drive-by Poaching

On Nov. 9, a Henderson County game warden was contacted by a landowner who said he heard a gunshot near the end of his driveway right after sunset. The landowner walked down to the county road and found a freshly wounded doe in the ditch. Approximately 45 minutes after the doe was shot, the warden was talking to the landowner when a truck stopped for a few seconds where the deer had been shot, then proceed to leave the area. The warden made contact with the driver who said he was going to his girlfriend’s house. The warden noticed a shotgun in the passenger seat and again asked the driver what he was doing in the area. After a short discussion, the driver admitted to shooting a deer from the county road and said he had come back to pick it up after he made sure no one heard him shoot. As the warden was busy with the driver of the truck, the landowner came to the scene with another individual. The landowner stated he watched this individual, with his thermal scope, as he tried to drag the doe to the county road so they could load it up. Both individuals were arrested and booked into Henderson County jail for multiple violations.

Bag o’ Bass

On Nov. 16, a Williamson County game warden received a telephone call from a complainant regarding a fisherman keeping undersize striped bass in Lake Georgetown. The game warden arrived on scene and made contact with a fisherman matching the description the complainant gave. The game warden immediately observed three undersize striped bass flopping on the ground next to the fisherman. The fisherman had a red bag that was open and in plain view there was a fish tail sticking out. The warden identified the angler and checked for a valid fishing license. The angler said all of the fish were his and said they were white bass. The game warden explained to him the difference between white bass and striped bass. The angler had a total of 7 undersize striped bass measuring 15-16 inches. Four of them were in plastic bags, wrapped with black electrical tape, and stuffed in his bag. The angler was issued citations and civil restitution was filed. The fish were donated to a family in need.

Premature Celebration

On Nov. 10, a Red River County game warden was assisting a landowner in the evening when he heard what he believed to be duck hunters shooting well past legal hours. After relocating and talking to multiple deer hunters, the warden was able to locate a group of duck hunters celebrating their recent kill nearly 45 minutes after legal shooting hours. The five duck hunters killed a total of 21 ducks. Multiple citations were issued for hunting ducks after legal shooting hours and various other violations. Cases and civil restitution pending.

Poaching on the Job

On Nov. 15, a Bexar County game warden received an Operation Game Thief complaint about a deer killed in San Antonio City limits and immediately went to pick up the poached deer. The next day game wardens made contact with construction workers that were working at the housing development where the deer was killed. After interviewing one of the subjects, he said that he had killed a deer in Devine. After more questioning he confessed that he did indeed shoot two deer in the housing development construction property. The landowner was notified, and the workers are no longer allowed on the property and charges are pending.