Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, April 25, 2017 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Caught With His Pants Down
A Comal County game warden responded to a call for assistance from the Comal County Sheriff’s Office after deputies received a shots fired call. The officers located an individual in a residential neighborhood on the south side of the lake who appeared to have fresh blood on his tactical boots, but did not have a firearm. A search of his vehicle was conducted and two assault rifles were located in the vehicle as well as small drops of blood on the driver and passenger seats. After a brief interview with the suspect, the warden discovered that there were numerous deer shot and killed along the golf course neighborhood throughout the night. The warden was also able to determine that another individual was involved and was hiding out in the woods. The first suspect was asked to contact the individual in the woods via cellphone and to wait along the roadway for a deputy to pick him up. The suspect hiding in the woods was not wearing any boots or pants. It was later determined he had removed them to conceal blood evidence. The warden continued to interview the suspects and determined that they had killed at least two white-tailed does and wounded another one. The suspects could not provide a specific number of animals shot, but believed it to be more than 10 animals. Cases and restitution for these cases are still pending.
Get Off My Brush Pile
A Smith County Warden began an investigation into a possible fisherman harassment case on Lake Tyler after victims caught a video of a homeowner circling their boat because he was angry that they were fishing "his brush pile." After the confrontation, the victims intentionally prop washed the suspect’s boat house before leaving. Game wardens received confessions from both the suspect and for the prop wash from the victims. Charges for fisherman harassment for the suspect and hazardous wash or wake on one of the victims are pending.
Don’t Text and Poach
During a public outreach event, game wardens were provided information about deer being killed throughout the hunting season by the same two suspects. A warden was able to make contact with the suspects from the incident and was given a confession that in addition to killing one deer in January, another white-tailed doe was killed in February on the north side of Canyon Lake. The shooter admitted to killing the deer from a roadway, and at night, with a 20-gauge shotgun. The shooter also admitted to cutting the head off with a hatchet and disposing of the head in a wooded area. During the investigation, game wardens confiscated the shooters cellphone, and a search warrant was completed on the phone which uncovered numerous pictures and videos from another deer being killed in late December. The videos included the deer carcass being mutilated by both individuals. Two assault rifles, one shotgun, numerous knives and a hatchet were seized related to the illegal killing of white-tailed deer. Cases and restitution are pending.
That Ain’t Bait
A game warden was patrolling the Navidad River off Lake Texana when he found trot-lines and throw-lines baited with blue and channel catfish. After setting up in a location to observe the lines that evening, the game warden was able to find the suspect and cite him for using game fish for bait.
Can’t Hide Miles of Line
While conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment patrol in the Gulf of Mexico near the U.S. and Mexico border, Cameron and Hidalgo County game wardens came across illegal longline gear set by Mexican commercial fishermen. The illegal gear was located approximately 1 mile north of the U.S./Mexico Exclusive Economic Zone and stretched west approximately 4 miles toward Boca Chica Beach. Numerous black drum, redfish, sharks and stingrays were caught on the gear; many of which were released alive.
Red River County game wardens set out a bobcat decoy during a county wide predator hunt. Later that evening, a side-by-side ATV illuminated by an aftermarket LED light bar approached their location. The ATV stopped and fired three rounds from the county road with a suppressed .22 caliber pistol, striking the decoy once. Several cases are pending.
‘Tisn’t the Season
A Sutton County game warden was patrolling the county checking turkey hunting camps when he made contact with an individual that had bobwhite quail in a trap. The quail were released and the hunter was cited for possession in closed season and illegal means and methods.
That’s Not Neighborly
A Titus County game warden received a trespassing complaint in the Miller’s Cove area of Titus County. The land owner said he found a large hog trap on his property and he does not allow hunting. The land owner did not know who the trap belonged to but he suspected it was a neighbor that owed him money. The game warden contacted the neighbor and received a confession. Citations were issued for no hunting license and criminal trespassing. A warning was also given for hunting without landowner’s consent.
A Jackson County game warden and his ride along were patrolling the Navidad River south of Lake Texana dam when they came upon some illegal throw lines. After inspecting numerous lines, the warden came upon a line that was baited with an undersized crappie. Due to the liveliness of the crappie, he knew the bait was freshly placed onto the line. The warden proceeded down river to see if they could find the suspect who placed the lines. He witnessed a boat in the middle of the river channel and after making a water safety contact he was able to determine that this was the individual who had placed the lines. The said individual received a citation for using game fish as bait as well as warnings for undersized crappie and gear tag violations.