Game Warden Field Notes

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

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports.  *Images of individual field notes are available upon request with the TPWD press office.

How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria?

A landowner called Texas Game Wardens when a group of quail hunters requested assistance rescuing a dog that had fallen into an abandoned grain silo-turned well. The dog, Maria, had chased a wounded bird through thick brush when she disappeared from her owner’s sight. After searching, the owner found the dog trapped 50 feet below. Two Game Wardens arrived on the scene with hundreds of feet of rope, a wire dog kennel and the know-how to build a pulley hoist system.  Wardens baited the kennel with recently harvested quail and slowly lowered it down to Maria. With some encouragement from her owner, the dog was coerced to enter the kennel. Wardens carefully lifted her out of the well and into the loving arms of her owner. Upon inspection, she appeared unharmed and fully alert, with all four limbs fully functional. Emergency responders, the dog owner, several fellow quail hunters and the landowners’ family were amazed how situation that unfolded. The owner transported Maria home and scheduled her for a follow-up with a veterinarian for precautionary measures.

Fortune Favors the Bald (Tire)

A local sheriff’s office reached out to Texas Game Wardens about a stolen vehicle from New Mexico heading into Texas. A warden located the vehicle under an irrigation pivot. After backup arrived, the subject attempted to evade officers by driving through fields. When the driver lost the tread on a tire, he stopped the vehicle and was met by the warden and a local deputy. The subject, who was a suspect in a New Mexico murder case, was taken into custody for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading in a motor vehicle and multiple other offenses. Cases and investigations for both states are pending.

Stuck in the Middle with You

Val Verde County Game Wardens received information about a fishing boat that ran aground on the Rio Grande River. The area recently accumulated excess silt from the Amistad Dam. Combined with decreasing water levels on the river, the exposed silt became sticky and acted as quicksand. The two boaters were unharmed but unable to vacate the vehicle without sinking into the mud. One of the wardens moved to an overlook point and located the boat. The wardens confirmed there was no way to reach them through waterways or on land. A call was placed for a helicopter with hoist capability. A municipal helicopter reached the individuals, and the rescue was completed successfully. The boaters did not require medical attention.

Mama Mia

A landowner notified Henderson County game wardens about someone who shot a deer on their property from the road. The landowner received word that the suspected shooter was bragging about the act on social media. A quick search of social media revealed the suspect’s mother posted about grinding up deer meat for chili. The wardens contacted the mother. She said her son shot a deer on their property, and she was processing it. The wardens interviewed the suspected shooter and he quickly confessed to shooting the deer on the caller’s property from the road. It was further determined that the mother believed the deer was shot on their property and was very upset when she learned the truth.

Help! I Need Somebody!

A Karnes County game warden patrolling a local highway came across a deer laying in the middle road. Realizing it could be a safety hazard, the warden turned around to remove the buck. After exiting his vehicle, he noticed someone walking near the front gate of a residence in the dark. The warden thought it could be the landowner coming out to ask about the deer. Upon further observation, he realized the man was stumbling. The man said he hit the deer with his motorcycle which was heavily damaged and was now laying in the bar ditch up ahead. The motorcyclist did not know how long he had been in the ditch. Thankfully, he wore a helmet. The warden notified dispatch and requested an ambulance over a possible broken hand. EMS and a sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene. The warden called the man’s wife, informed her of what happened and that he was in the care of EMS.

Here’s Your Sign

A Texas Game Warden received a call from a landowner concerned about road hunters driving near his property, shining a light and shooting guns. The warden met up with a deputy sheriff who had just intercepted the vehicle with three male subjects. In the bed of the truck, the warden found multiple loaded weapons, two dead jackrabbits, two dead raccoons and a piece of deer backstrap. After a roadside investigation, it was determined that the three subjects had spent the night driving around on the public roads, shooting animals and stop signs. Two adults were arrested for hunting from a vehicle and one juvenile was released pending charges. A total of seven firearms and two varmint game calls were seized for evidence. Additional charges are pending.