|Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN June 17, 2019 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Bad Exit Plan
During the night of May 14, a Fannin County game warden was alerted of a vehicle pursuit near his residence. The warden joined the pursuit and lent his knowledge of the area backroads to the other officers involved. When the subject entered a road the game warden knew had no exit, he advised officers the chase would be over very soon because the subject was headed toward a new pond that had been excavated recently. As predicted, the subject drove straight into the lake. The warden and other officers greeted the individual as he swam back to shore and safely placed him into custody. The warden then returned home to retrieve his river boat and assist with the recovery of the vehicle from the lake.
Loaner Car Loaded with Optional Equipment
In early May, a Nacogdoches County game warden received a call from a car dealership concerning some damage and questionable items found in one of their loaner vehicles that had been impounded by local police. The subject driving the vehicle at the time had been arrested for shoplifting. While inspecting the vehicle, the dealership discovered a bullet hole in the driver side mirror, and deer hair in the trunk, as well as a rangefinder and empty packaging for a spotlight. After reviewing the police offense report, the warden learned a rifle was also in the vehicle at the time of arrest. The warden interviewed the incarcerated driver, who initially denied any wrongdoing until presented with the evidence against him, and eventually confessed to poaching a deer. Despite having a confession in hand, the warden still couldn’t reconcile the case based on the evidence, particularly the bullet hole in the side mirror. After additional questioning, the subject’s girlfriend admitted shooting the deer with a .22 while her boyfriend held the spotlight. Her first shot had hit the side mirror. The couple then loaded the deer in the trunk and decided to dump it in a nearby pasture. Numerous cases are pending.
Ejected and Arrested
After sunset on May 25 while patrolling for water safety compliance on Lake Conroe, Montgomery County game warden’s observed a couple on a personal watercraft enter a no wake zone at high speed, and lose control while attempting a maneuver. Both the operator and passenger were ejected. The wardens made contact and immediately noticed signs of intoxication. An intoxication investigation revealed that the operator was intoxicated, as a breath sample indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.134. The operator was placed under arrest for Boating While Intoxicated.
Tip Helps Wardens Thwart Hitchhiking Zebra Mussels
In May, a Travis County game warden received a call about multiple barges covered in zebra mussels being transported from the Sandy Creek boat ramp. The barge rental company was identified and contacted. The owner admitted that they did not fully clean their barges before transporting them from all the different bodies of water. The warden educated the owner on how to improve his procedures to be in compliance with the law. Multiple commercial citations were issued for transporting zebra mussels.
Just Stand Up
Harris County game wardens were patrolling the San Jacinto River when they observed two individuals displaying signs of drowning after falling off floating tubes near a beach swimming area. The wardens tossed life saving devices to the subjects and towed them to shore. Even though the average depth of the area was three feet the subjects were too scared to try and feel for ground. This same beach last year had four drownings.
One Thing Leads to Another
While patrolling Lake Conroe, Montgomery County game wardens made contact with a kayaker who did not have a required life jacket onboard. The wardens followed the individual back to shore to issue a citation and when the subject provided an identification card they asked who had driven him to the boat ramp. He responded that his wife had driven him to the lake. Turns out the wife did not have a driver’s license either, but did have two active warrants. Consent was obtained to search the vehicle, where a vape cartridge containing THC oil was found in the passenger side door storage compartment. The original subject was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Wardens later discovered that the subject was out on parole for similar charges. The wife was also arrested for her warrants.
Teens Get Lesson in Game Law
On May 19, a game warden was approached by an individual in a parking lot in Abernathy claiming to have information regarding a deer that had been poached within the last hour. The informant gave the warden a vehicle description, a license plate, and the first name of the suspected poacher. After searching for about an hour, the warden located the parked vehicle and made contact with the juvenile driver. The driver quickly admitted to being involved in shooting a mule deer about an hour prior. The subject gave the warden six other names, all juveniles, who were also involved. The driver also told the warden where the deer had been dumped. The warden was able to locate the deer, the property where the deer was shot, and all the juveniles involved. The juveniles admitted to shooting the deer from the county road on property they did not have permission to be on, retrieving the deer, then dumping it in another part of the county. Citations and civil restitution pending.
Drink More Water, Less Beer Next Time
Bastrop County game wardens were patrolling the Colorado River when they received a call concerning a kayaker who was on an island and in need of medical attention. It so happened that the wardens were close by and arrived quickly to the distressed kayaker’s location. The kayaker was in a fetal position on the sand and stated that he was feeling very ill and his abdomen was in immense pain. The wardens assessed the situation and believed the kayaker was suffering from dehydration. The kayaker admitted to drinking beer and little to no water. The wardens placed the kayaker in a life jacket, covered him with a cold towel, gave him some water, and transported him to shore where EMS was waiting.
Uh, You Dropped Something
While patrolling Lake Conroe, Montgomery County game wardens checked a fisherman on a kayak. As he pulled his wallet out, to show his fishing license, a small baggie containing a crystal substance was seen falling from his pocket. The kayaker attempted to flood his kayak to destroy the evidence. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. It was also found that he had three outstanding arrest warrants out of Montgomery County. Case pending.