|Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN September 30, 2019 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement reports.
From Cheer to Fear
While on the way to patrol the San Jacinto River, a Montgomery County game warden observed a vehicle driving erratically toward a bridge near the river. The vehicle voluntarily pulled into the same area beside the road as the warden. After approaching the vehicle, the warden noticed several beer cans in the passenger’s side floor board. The driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, denied drinking the ice-cold beer. The warden began a field sobriety test and when instructed for the hand coordination test, the driver began doing a high school cheer. When asked to do the breathalyzer to prove they hadn’t been drinking, the driver refused. When asked why they wouldn’t do it, the driver said, “because I would be way over.” They were placed under arrest for Driving While Intoxicated, a charge the driver had previously been convicted for.
Be Very, Very Quiet; We’re Hunting Snakes
Late one evening, two Trinity County game wardens noticed a truck driving slowly near Alabama Creek Wildlife Management Area. After following the suspicious vehicle for a while, the truck stopped on a bridge and one of the passengers began shinning a spotlight out of the windows. The wardens watched the vehicles for a few miles, then initiated a traffic stop. Six people were in the truck, along with snake capture bags, a bucket marked for venomous snakes and snake catch poles. The wardens advised them of the hunting rules and regulations and cited them for the appropriate charges including hunting reptiles from the roadway.
It Wasn’t Me
A Navarro County game warden was checking a group of hunters after hearing shots coming from a nearby field. As the warden began to check the group, one of the hunters disappeared. After a quick search, the warden found the missing hunter lying face down in a field of tall grass. The warden asked the hunter if they had any luck, to which they replied they were just lying in the field. About six inches away from the hunter’s hands was a shotgun on the ground. When the warden asked about it, the hunter said they were watching the shotgun for someone else. Near his feet was a box of shotgun shells and a stool commonly used by bird hunters. The hunter continued to say they hadn’t been hunting. Questioning continued for a short time and the individual finally admitted the obvious, they had been hunting. The individual has never possessed a Texas hunting license.
From Bad to Worse
Four game wardens apprehended a group of individuals who were taking fish from the Navasota River with an illegal electricity-producing device. The group had five flathead catfish in their possession, which were released back into the river. In addition to that violation, the group was in possession of drug paraphernalia, 3 grams of methamphetamine, an illegally possessed firearm and a truck that had been reported stolen. Several water safety violations were also noted. Violation categories ranged from Class C misdemeanor to 3rd degree felony. All violators were taken to the Leon County Jail.
Two game wardens from Montgomery County and San Jacinto County were patrolling the highway when they saw an oncoming car swerving from their lane. The wardens pursued the vehicle when it immediately lost control swerving into a ditch, overcorrected back onto the highway spinning 360-degrees and came to a stop on the same lane it originally departed. The wardens approached the vehicle to check on the operator, who was extremely shaken up. As the driver exited the vehicle, a faint odor of marijuana drifted from the car. The wardens escorted the driver to the side of the road to avoid traffic. The driver grabbed his abdomen claiming nausea from the spin but doing so caused the sound of crumpling paper. Wardens asked the individual to raise his hands away from his waist and they found a large paper sack full of marijuana tucked into his beltline. The operator of the vehicle said the bag was originally under his seat, but it slid forward under the pedals causing the reckless driving. The individual was placed under arrest for possession of marijuana. Cases pending.
Blame the Dog
A Lubbock County game warden received a call from someone who had their roof peppered by dove hunters. The warden went to the location and found three dove hunters with dove scattered over a concrete slab in a pile. When asked which dove belonged to each hunter, the group claimed they didn’t know and blamed it on their dog for scattering and displacing the dove, some of which were still alive. Upon further investigation, the warden learned that one hunter claimed 10 doves, the second claimed seven doves, leaving the third hunter as the owner of the remaining 17 doves. The hunter continued to blame the dog. Citations were issued for over the daily bag limit and civil restitutions. The dove were seized and donated.
(Expired) License to Kill
On the morning of Sept. 1, two Trinity County game wardens were on patrol when they heard a group of hunters constantly shooting. The wardens located the area and found six individuals hunting in an area baited with milo. When they asked the hunters for their licenses, two hunters said they left it at home, another bought a license three months prior. The wardens informed the hunters that new licenses had only been on sale for two weeks. Several cases were filed, and 36 doves were seized. Restitution and cases pending.