Game Warden Field Notes

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Note: This item is more than three 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.

A-B-C, It’s Easy as 1-2-3

A Hamilton County game warden and Johnson County game warden were patrolling Lake Pat Cleburne when they conducted a water safety check on a pontoon boat that had three women, one man and two dogs on board. The boat had expired registration, no throwable floatation device and the captain of the boat had a freshly opened 16 oz. can of beer next to his seat. During the water safety check, the warden could smell alcohol on the man and noticed he had a hard time keeping his balance standing.  The warden asked the captain, “How much have you had to drink? Have you had anything to eat today?” The captain said, “I’ve had about 5 beers and I had some watermelon earlier.” The warden then asked the man to say his ABC’s and he missed several letters. During the standard field sobriety test on shore, the man said under his breath, “I can’t even do this sober.” The captain was placed under arrest for Boating While Intoxicated. He consented to provide a breath specimen, which produced a result of 0.182 g/210L blood alcohol content. The captain was booked into the Johnson County Jail.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

A game warden was traveling back to Bell County from Lake Travis when he heard several deputies, several volunteer fire fighters, Temple technical rescue and Starflight in route to a call near a river. The warden called the local dispatch for more information and learned that a minor was operating an ATV and went off a sheer 35-40 ft. cliff into the Little River. Additional assistance was requested because the terrain was difficult to navigate and needed a four-wheel drive vehicle. The warden reached out to another warden also in the area and they responded to the scene. Upon arrival, Temple Fire Department’s technical team prepared a repelling system pully system and various personnel from seven different agencies assisted in recovering the patient, two of his friends and several rescuers up the sheer 35-40 ft. cliff. Due to the excellent teamwork and communication the operation was successful, and the patient was transported to the hospital in stable condition with a few broken bones.

Strike a Pose

A Houston County game warden was patrolling Houston County Lake when he noticed a man in possession of a slot limit bass. The man said he was going to take a photo with the fish and then release it back into the lake. The warden asked to see the fish and when the man removed it from the live well, the warden saw that it was dead and beginning to turn stiff. Case pending.

Curiosity Caught the Cat

A game warden received a call from an Andrews County deputy asking about the legality of shooting mountain lions in Texas. After explaining the regulations, the deputy told the warden someone had claimed to have seen several mountain lions hanging around an old abandoned house near the state line. The warden contacted the individual who had allegedly seen the cats and located where he had spotted them. The warden spoke to the landowners in the area and found out the individual did not have permission to be on their property. After investigating further, it was determined that four individuals were trespassing on the ranch. Appropriate charges were filed and are currently pending.

Punch Buggy! Wait…That’s MY Buggy!

A Polk County game warden was patrolling an area recently hit with several burglaries when he noticed an unoccupied UTV. While searching the UTV for a serial number, a person pulled up in a truck screaming for help. The person claimed that someone had just broke into their property, then said “Hey! That’s my buggy!” The thief had used the UTV to transport stolen goods from the burglary that morning. Trail cameras, which were also stolen, sent partial images of the thief to the owner’s cell phone. The next day, the warden visited a nearby house that was being worked on to see if anyone recognized the subject. One of the workers said, “Yes, that guy borrowed my phone, he said his buggy broke down.” The warden saw the text messages the subject sent and was able to gather their name and address. The case was handed to Polk County Sheriff’s Office due to subject being part of an organized crime ring in Polk, Liberty and San Jacinto Counties. Multiple warrants have been issued.

We Found Dove in a Hopeless Place

Two game wardens responded to a call regarding individuals shooting birds near a gun range in Donna. With the wardens approaching the area from opposite directions, two men were found exiting a brushy area carrying a rifle and piece of plywood with a target affixed, while a third man was sitting under a blue tent near his pickup truck.  The wardens confronted the men and asked if either of them owned the property or had the landowner’s permission to be there. They readily admitted that they did not have permission, although one offered that he had hunted there a couple of years before.  They were then asked if they had been hunting birds, but categorically denied it.  Unfortunately for them, the Wardens were able to find the seven white-winged dove they had hidden in a bait bucket.  After consulting with the landowner, it was determined that “Criminal Trespass – Agricultural Land” and “Hunting During Closed Season” would be the charges filed.  In addition, the individual claiming to have killed the birds was assessed the civil restitution value for each of the white-winged dove.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

A Montgomery County game warden received a complaint from a woman saying her boyfriend and his friend had killed a deer a couple of days ago and still had it hanging in the garage. The warden arrived at the location and found the deer had gone to waste. The boyfriend admitted to shooting the deer from a public road at night and was arrested for a Felony Warrant, Hunting at Night and Failing to Retrieve or Keep in Edible Condition.  The next day, the warden contacted the friend who had admitted to helping the boyfriend kill the deer and leaving it hanging in the garage without processing it completely. After further investigation, the warden found that the friend also had a felony warrant. He was arrested for the Felony Warrant, Hunting at Night and Failing to Retrieve or Keep in Edible Condition.